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New York, New York, UNFPA, 1982. 50 p. (Report No. 49)The rate of population increase in the Republic of Maldives was very low until the 1950s, but rose to more than 3% in the 1960s and early 1970s. An annual increase of 3.2% is estimated in the 1980s. The crude birth rate is high. Population increases like this will put enormous strains on most social activities. 4 clear population policies are emerging; 1) improvement in the health of mothers and children; 2) the need to control population growth, including improving acceptable family planning methods; 3) relief from overcrowding; and 4) development of the atolls to attract voluntary migration. The government has 3 additional aims: 1) increasing the quality and quantity of population statistics and its ability to analyze such data; 2) integrate women into development plans; and 3) improve education of children on environmental subjects, such as the interrelationship of the environment and population. The 1977 census was conducted with United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) assistance. It is hoped that at least 1 Family Health Worker plus at least one Fooluma (traditional birth attendant) will work on each inhabited island; and 2 Community Health Workers and a health center will exist on each atoll. The Maternal and Child Health Program, including child spacing, is incorporated in their job descriptions. There is 1 hospital in Male'; 4 regional hospitals are planned. Male' hospital provides family planning service. A very active National Women's Committee exists. The government is encouraging the establishment of Women's Committees for Island Progress. The average woman has had 5.73 children, of whom 3.99 are alive. The number of children preferred is 3.38. International migration to Male' is a problem. Literacy is high, but there is a shortage of trained personnel. The country needs external assistance.