Based on the 1990 census, the population was 213,215.
country's population in mid-1994 was estimated at 252,077.
high 1994 birthrate of 44 per 1,000 will lead to a
more than 300,000 by the year 2000 and 400,000 by 2020.
the high population growth rate was a serious problem,
lacks an official birth control policy. The population
rate also poses problems for the country's future food
because the dietary staple of rice is not grown in the
and must be imported.
The largest concentration of Maldives' population is in
a small island of approximately two square kilometers,
population of 55,130 represented slightly more than 25
the national total. Giving meaningful average population
is difficult because many of Maldives' approximately 1,200
islands are uninhabited. Of the approximately 200
islands in 1988, twenty-eight had fewer than 200
had populations ranging from 200 to 500, and eight had
populations between 500 and 1,000. A government study in
the mid1980s listed twenty-five places with a population of more
1,000. Maldives has few towns besides the capital of Male.
Villages comprise most of the settlements on the inhabited
islands. The 1990 census recorded an average population
for the Maldives of 706 persons per square kilometer.
The first accurate census was held in December 1977 and
showed 142,832 persons residing in Maldives, an increase
percent over a 1967 estimate. The next census in March
showed 181,453 persons, consisting of 94,060 males and
females. This pattern has continued in Maldives, with the
census listing 109,806 males and 103,409 females.
Despite rapid population growth, family planning
Maldives did not begin in a well-funded and planned manner
the UN implemented several programs in the 1980s. These
focused on improving health standards among the islanders,
including family planning education emphasizing the
births and raising the customary age of marriage among
adolescents. Abortion was not a legally accepted method
spacing in Maldives. In the mid-1980s, a World Health
Organization (WHO) program monitored the extent and use of
various contraceptive methods over a four-year period. As
early 1990s, the government had taken no overt actions
limiting the number of children per couple or setting
Data as of August 1994