The population of Maldives in 2003 was estimated by the United Nations at 318,000, which placed it as number 167 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In that year approximately 4% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 41% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 105 males for every 100 females in the country in 2003. According to the UN, the annual population growth rate for 2000–2005 is2.98%, with the projected population for the year 2015 at 447,000. The population density in 2002 was 937 per sq km (2,426 per sq mi).
It was estimated by the Population Reference Bureau that 26% of the population lived in urban areas in 2001. Malé, the capital and sole urban settlement, had a population of 72,000 concentrated on an island of only about 1.9 sq km (0.75 sq mi).
According to the United Nations, the urban population growth rate for 2000–2005 was 3.8%.