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People of Maldives



About 270.000 people live in the Maldives, 1/3 of them in the capital Malé. There are about 20,000 expatriate workers, mainly Sri Lankans, but also Europeans and Indians employed in the tourism and education sector. 

Maldivians are of the Indo-Aryan race with Arabic, African influences due to their geographical location. 


Nearly 50% of the population is under 15 years, an astonishing number, but easy to believe when one walks down the main road in Malé. Just before the beginning of school thousands of children in white school uniforms swarm the streets eager to go to school. 

People of Maldives


Maldivians are friendly, hospitable and peace loving people, at the same time reserved and in control of their emotions. 



Women have equal access to education and jobs and they play a vital role in island communities and in their families. Women‘s contribution to the national development effort is significant. They hold key posts in the civil service and the private sector. 


A married woman keeps her maiden name, can do business and acquire property in her name.  


A specific government ministry, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs is designated to oversee the development of women in the country. 


Marriage and divorce 

Marriage is usually a simple affair, but recently the trend has been towards Western-style wedding receptions with often up to 400/500 guests. The divorce rate is very high and it is not rare to meet people who have been married twice or thrice.  


Maldivians live in extended families and a newly married couple usually moves into a room in the girl or boy’s house, a necessity in Malé due to the shortage of housing.