Of coral origin, the Maldives rest on a vast platform stretching from N to S for over 800 km between the Equator and 7º lat. N. Placed therefore in full equatorial area, they have a very hot-humid climate; this favors the presence of forest formations, in which coconut palms and bread trees predominate. The rains are concentrated in the season between May and August. The average annual temperature is between 24 and 30 ° C. § The population density is very high (1128 residents / km²) but the distribution on the territory is not homogeneous since only a quarter of the islands are inhabited. The population is growing at a sustained pace, even if considerably reduced compared to the values of the 90s of the twentieth century. The Maldivians, who make up almost all of the residents, are of Sinhalese origin,Northern India. A leg of the trade routes between the Mediterranean and the East, the Maldives maintained relations with the Arabs, who today constitute a small minority. More than a third of the residents live in the capital, Male, a neat and functional town, in which there is a certain aspiration to emulate Western urbanism, which came with British domination. For the rest, the dominant settlement is rural, organized in small coastal villages.
According to allcountrylist, tourism and fishing are currently the fundamental economic resources. Before the development of tourism, which began around the 1970s, fishing was the traditional means of subsistence. With the achievement of independence, the authorities tried to establish a program aimed at improving the socio-economic structure of the country; however, it was only in 1985 that the national development plans began. After a contraction due to the decrease in the price of tuna (one of the major export items), and to the simultaneous decrease in the tourist flow caused by the persistence of an unfavorable international economic situation, starting from 1994 the economic policy of the government took on new forms, for example by freezing hiring in the public sector (except for teachers and doctors) and by reducing public spending. At the same time, the growth strategy, based primarily on revenues from the tuna industry and tourism, has seen a significant improvement. The combined effects of the recovery of these two sectors and of the government’s economic maneuver made it possible to establish a virtuous economic cycle, which was halted only ten years later, in 2004, by the consequences of the tsunami. The natural disaster hit the country hard and required a joint effort by the authorities and international bodies, which planned the reconstruction. In 2008 the economy started to grow again: the GDP recorded was US $ 1,259 million, while the GDP per capita was US $ 3,649. The seventh development plan (2006-2010) aims to address the need to further diversify the country’s economy and promote the private sector. The Maldives, by tradition, have always had an economy dependent on the sea and on the cultivation of the coconut palm, from which oil, copra, textile fibers are obtained; in addition, tropical fruit, vegetables, millet and yam are grown on extremely small areas, however, not sufficient for local needs. Thanks to the modernization of its structures, fishing remains an activity of primary importance. The industrial sectors (excluding extractive activities) are very small: there are few modern manufacturing companies, mainly active in the canning of fish products and in the processing of coconut. Alongside these main activities, characteristic forms of craftsmanship that produces lacquered vases, coral ornaments and shells, etc. survive: however, it has found support precisely in the expansion of tourist demand. The tourism industry employs a large part of the active population and contributes practically a third of GDP. Over time, the country has equipped itself with programs for monitoring the sector, in order to safeguard the natural heritage, promoting “sustainable” tourism, the benefits of which can reach all the local population. The financial sector is dominated by the banking system and few institutions are dedicated to promoting alternative financial products. Interested in financial activities offshore, the country, also following the reports of the OECD, has adopted anti-money laundering regulations. Foreign trade, heavily in deficit, takes place mainly with Thailand, some European Union countries (the United Kingdom and France in the lead), the island of Sri Lanka and Japan., as regards exports, while imports concern Singapore, the European Union, India, Malaysia. Exports are almost exclusively represented by fish, while imports consist of a wide range of products, including rice and other foodstuffs, up to and including fuels, essential products, machinery and means of transport. The only form of communication between the various islands is maritime navigation, mostly sailing; an international airport operates in Hulule near the capital.