All of these “Best OF the Maldives”, what about the country itself. What about “The Maldives, Best of”? Can such a tiny country stand out as #1 in the world in any category?
Republic Day in the Maldives today with many patriotic points of pride to celebrate. The second round of elections has proceeded peacefully according to reports. And the country can point to many areas which despite it’s small stature on the map, where it commands a big standing on a few statistics.
Recently, Dog House Diaries created a fun infographic highlighting two things that every country on the planet led the world in. Unfortunately, the Maldives were woefully omitted. So being the master of what “best” about the Maldives, I thought I best do some research a lay down some markers.
- LOWEST LYING – Renowned as a climate change campaigner for years with the threat of rising ocean levels hitting the lowest lying parts of the world first. And according to Wikipedia, the Maldives is #1 on that list: “Maldives is the lowest country in the world, with a maximum natural ground level of only 2.4 metres (7 ft 10 in), with the average being only 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) above sea level, although in areas where construction exists, this has been increased to several metres. However, more than 80 per cent of the country’s land is composed of coral islands that rise less than one metre above sea level.”
- SKINNIEST – The islands form a narrow chain 820 kilometers (510 miles) in length and 130 kilometers (81 miles). Length to width ratio of 6.3. But Chile, the ostensible skinny champion, averages 110 miles wide across 2,653 miles of length for a ratio of 24.1. But, if you include Easter Island (and why not since Maldives includes islands!), then the width of Chile extends to 2,292 miles which changes the ratio to a mere 1.2.
- RESORT DENSITY – And of course, the ubiquitous resorts. There is a resort for every 2400 population in the Maldives (137 resorts active or inactive) not counting hotels and guest houses for 317,000 population). By contrast, the USA has 46,295 hotels/accommodation (NAICS code 721110) for 313.9m population. Only a fraction of these would be “resorts” and still this only comes out to 1 per 6823 of population. Another resort intensive country, Bali, has 830 resorts, but their population is 4.3m making 1 resort for about every 5000 population.
I thought that there might be a case for the “Least Landed” with only 300 square kilometres spread over 900,000 square kilometres of country boundary in the ocean. But it turns out that Tuvalu (in Polynesia) has only 26 square kilometres across an nearly identical expanse of ocean. Similarly, Tuvalu’s 11,000 inhabitants, compared to about 317,000 in the Maldives, make them also the least densely populated (when ocean area is considered).
So my nomination for Dog House Diaries Maldives entry would be “Sea-level Resorts”