Maldives (formerly Maldive Islands), island republic in southern Asia, located in the northern Indian Ocean, southwest of the southern tip of India. Maldives is made up of a chain of 1,190 small coral islands that are grouped into clusters of atolls. It has a total area of 298 sq km (115 sq mi). The capital and largest city of Maldives is Male (population, 1995, 62,973).
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