Maldives - an Islamic republic of nearly 300,000 people in the central Indian Ocean. Economy growing steadily based on tourism, fishing, shipping, and foreign aid. Now has highest per capita income in the South Asia region. Geography - humid tropical islands, sometimes heavily populated, on the rims of massive coral atolls. Atoll is originally a Maldivian word. History - official history in the Maldives is subject to government control and regular censorship. Maldives: Geography and History: accurate, well-researched and entertaining links to the best in Maldivian geographical and historical research. Social information for tourists, students, and businesspeople.