The Maldives, a chain of island atolls in the Indian Ocean south of India, is one of the very few places in the world with no institutional Catholic presence. Islam is defined in the constitution as the state religion. It prohibits any law deemed contrary to Sunni interpretation of Islam. Public conversion to other faiths is culturally impossible. Some Catholics from abroad work in embassies and other settings, and come there as tourists for the islands’ celebrated beaches, but there is no public Catholic practice there. Even foreigners who visit and work there have no organized venues for religious practice, outside of embassy compounds.

    Religious Affiliation
    Chart source: Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures Project, 2010
    Total Population
    444,259 1
    39.80% 1
    60.20% 1
    Immigrants as % of Population
    25.9% 2
    Level of Public Corruption
    95 (1=lowest, 176=highest corruption) 4
    Gender Equality in the Economy, Health, Education and Politics
    115 (1=most equal, 144=least equal) 5
    Fertility Rate
    2.09 births per adult woman 6
    Children Who Do Not Live to Age 5
    0.90% 6
    Life Expectancy at Birth
    77 years 6
    Adult Literacy Rate
    98.40% 6
    Internet Users
    49% 6
    Gross National Income per Capita
    US$6,410 6
    Population Living Below US$1.90 per Day
    5.6% 6
    • 1 United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2018). World Urbanization Prospects: The 2018 Revision, Online Edition.
    • 2 United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Trends in International Migrant Stock: The 2015 revision.
    • 3 United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, Homicide Statistics 2015.
    • 4 Transparency International, Corruption Perceptions Index 2016.
    • 5 World Economic Forum, The Global Gender Gap Report, 2016.
    • 6 UNICEF, State of the World's Children, 2016.

    These statistics are derived from the Vatican's official publication, Statistical Yearbook of the Church 2020 (Vatican City: Librera Editrice Vaticana, 2022). The numbers may differ from data reported by other sources on this site.