Maldives: a nation of 1,190 coral islands (Lead)February 7th, 2012 - 7:39 pm ICT by IANS
Maldives is located in the Laccadive Sea in the Indian Ocean, 400 km southwest of India’s southern coast.
It is an archipelago of 1,190 coral islands grouped in a double chain of 26 atolls oriented north-south. Only 185 islands are home to the Maldivian population. The other islands are used entirely for economic purposes of which tourism and agriculture are the most dominant.
Capital: Male; Official language: Dhivehi
Government: Presidential republic
Independence from Britain: July 26, 1965
Area: 296 km sq
Population: 394,999 (July 2011)
Religion: Islam is the official religion and open practice of any other religion is forbidden and liable to prosecution.
GDP: $2.931 billion
Per capita income: $9,065
Currency: Maldivian Rufiyaa, derived from Indian rupiyaa. 100MVR=$6.54
Environmental issues: Over the last century, sea levels have risen about 20 cm. Further rises threaten the very existence of the Maldives, which have a maximum natural ground level of only 2.3 metres averaging only 1.5 metres above sea level. Eighty percent of the total land mass is only 1 metre above sea level.
By 2020, the Maldives plans to eliminate or offset all of its greenhouse gas emissions.
Tourism: Tourism accounts for 28 percent of the GDP and more than 60 percent of foreign exchange receipts. Over 90 percent of government tax revenue comes from import duties and tourism-related taxes
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Tags: archipelago, atolls, coral islands, economic purposes, environmental issues, foreign exchange, gdp, government tax revenue, greenhouse gas emissions, import duties, indian ocean, laccadive sea, land mass, maldives, prosecution, receipts, religion islam, sea level, sea levels, tourism tourism