Maldives Social Condition Facts

Social conditions

Many of the citizens of the Maldives have had a significantly higher standard of living since the 1970s. Poverty has been reduced and health care has improved. Almost everyone today has access to clean water and functioning sewage systems.

The financial success of the earliest republic in recent decades has contributed to the fact that living conditions are now quite good for most people. Extreme hunger and poverty have been wiped out. According to the UN, only a single percentage of residents live in real poverty, ie less than a dollar a day.

  • Countryaah Official Site: Official statistics for population in Maldives, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.

Health care has also improved. Child mortality has decreased, maternal care has improved and diseases such as HIV / AIDS and malaria have been successfully combated.

maldives population

The previously serious shortage of fresh water has been remedied by major investments. One of the remaining problems for the Malé residents is widespread congestion.

Daily life

Social life is characterized by Islam. Muslim living rules are relatively strictly adhered to: alcohol consumption is prohibited and family law rules such as marriage, inheritance and testimony are followed. For many citizens, Islam is a social foundation that creates community and national identity. The Maldives is in many ways an unusually homogeneous society. The residents not only share religion but essentially also share history, culture and language.

There is a certain level of social division, but it is not very strict and the gaps between different groups are not so great. A government job gives status, while education is not as important. The social elite that can be distinguished is found mainly in the capital Malé.

The strict interpretation of Islam makes the woman’s position weak from a Western perspective, for example in marriage and in divorce. But traditionally, Maldivian women have a stronger position than many women in the rest of South Asia. The women in the Maldives are among the most equal in the Muslim part of the world. They have not been excluded from the public and most are literate. Almost all girls go to school and many women work professionally, especially in Malé.

A household usually consists of a nuclear family. By law, a maldivian must be 18 to be allowed to marry, but many women are still married at the age of 15. Although Islamic law allows a man to have up to four wives, polygamy is unusual in the Maldives.

Usually with divorce

In general, the religious statements in the Maldives have usually been described as relatively liberal. However, tendencies to more orthodox interpretations have emerged in recent years, with influences from, among others, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Nowadays, for example, women appear to completely cover their faces while staying outdoors.

The combination of religiosity and the social control that arises in small-scale societies has long meant that crime has been limited and social problems small. In the atoll communities, most are related to each other. Respect for the elderly is important and the loyalty within the family is great. In Malé, however, there is a growing heroin addiction and some gang crime.

Somewhat unexpectedly, the Maldives has one of the highest divorce rates in the world. One reason may be that it is easy for a man to get a divorce under Islamic law – he only needs to request it three times. But women can also divorce. Another reason that has been stated is the old fishing culture, where the man often disappeared to atolls far away and perhaps formed a new family. A third, more contemporary, reason that has been cited is the extreme congestion in Malé that leaves no room for any privacy for young, newly married couples.


Infant Mortality: 7 per 1000 births (2018)

Proportion of population with access to clean water: 97.9 percent (2015)

Proportion of the population having access to toilets: 99.4 percent (2017)

Public expenditure on health care as a percentage of GDP: 11.5 percent (2015)

Public expenditure on health care per person: US $ 1,048 (2016)

Proportion of women in parliament: 6 percent (2018)