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Maldives Geography Profile 2018

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LocationSouthern Asia, group of atolls in the Indian Ocean, south-southwest of India
Geographic coordinates3 15 N, 73 00 E
Map referencesAsia
Areatotal: 298 sq km
land: 298 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparativeabout 1.7 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries0 km
Coastline644 km
Maritime claimsmeasured from claimed archipelagic straight baselines
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climatetropical; hot, humid; dry, northeast monsoon (November to March); rainy, southwest monsoon (June to August)
Terrainflat, with white sandy beaches
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 1.8 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: 8th tee, golf course, Villingi Island 5 m
Natural resourcesfish
Land useagricultural land: 23.3%
arable land 10%; permanent crops 10%; permanent pasture 3.3%
forest: 3%
other: 73.7% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land0 sq km (2012)
Population distributionabout a third of the population lives in the centrally located capital city of Male and almost a tenth in southern Addu City; the remainder of the populace is spread over the 200 or so populated islands of the archipelago
Natural hazardstsunamis; low elevation of islands makes them sensitive to sea level rise
Environment - current issuesdepletion of freshwater aquifers threatens water supplies; coral reef bleaching
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notesmallest Asian country; archipelago of 1,190 coral islands grouped into 26 atolls (200 inhabited islands, plus 80 islands with tourist resorts); strategic location astride and along major sea lanes in Indian Ocean

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on January 20, 2018