The Maldives population is expected to reach almost one million by 2054, with more than half of the country’s nationals living in the Greater Malé area, a United Nations report published Wednesday said.
The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) also said the 2054 population figure would consist of 57 percent Maldivians and 43 percent foreigners.
Its overall population projection of 974,359 means there will be twice as many people living in the Maldives, according to the report.
Another key finding says that many of the bigger atolls will lose close to one-third of their population due to internal migration and a declining fertility rate, whereas the 2014 census showed that the majority of the population was living in the atolls.
The Maldives will also have 75 elderly people to every 100 children compared to 17 per 100 in 2014 and, while the child population currently accounts for 28 percent, it drops to 18 percent by the end of the projection period.
“The time has come for the Maldives to highlight population and development issues within the overall socio-economic development strategy of the country,” said the report.
“To do so, it will be necessary to reinforce the institutions dealing with population and development issues, especially those located in the President’s Office including the Economic and Youth Council and the Social Council.”
There was a continued need for affordable housing schemes in order to help people relocate to Greater Malé, better mechanisms to deal with the ageing population and greater emphasis on female education, said the report.