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Reliable and timely statistics is the key to effective policy-making. It is essential to create an objective image of the economic and social condition of the country, facilitate comparisons with the past, set benchmarks for the future and allow international comparisons.

Statistics play a key role in monitoring the economic and social progress of the country, in order to make the necessary adjustments for achieving the development objectives and targets of the country.

In 1978, the Government of Maldives recognized the necessity for the systematic collection of administrative, enterprise and household data for the purposes of macroeconomic and sectoral monitoring, management and planning of the Maldivian economy. This recognition led to the creation of the National Planning Agency that has been upgraded to a ministry, currently the Ministry of Planning and National Development. With the increasing importance attributed to timely and reliable statistics, a separate Statistics Section under the Ministry was formed in the 1980s.

The Statistics Section has the responsibility to co-ordinate statistical activities of other government agencies and strives to ensure coherence, comparability and quality of all national statistics. It is our vision to make the statistical system of Maldives to function and render statistical services on par with developed statistical systems in the world. Provision of timely and reliable statistical information, for the purpose of monitoring, planning and informed policy-making by the government, business community and international agencies, is our prime objective.

The Statistical Regulation of the Republic of Maldives was formulated in 1999. The purpose of this regulation is to standardise the data collection, compilation, publication and utilisation of statistical data in the country. In addition, this regulation will ensure the confidentiality of information, minimise respondent burden and avoid overlap of data collection operations. The Ministry of Planning and National Development is responsible for the execution of this regulation.

The Statistical Yearbook of Maldives is a product of the coordinated efforts of various government offices. We acknowledge the support and co-operation provided by all these agencies in providing data for this publication, and we are committed to continue working together with the agencies responsible for collecting and compiling statistics to improve the quality of this publication.

It is our aim that policymakers, business community, researchers and students will use this publication extensively. We hope that the Statistical Yearbook of Maldives remains a valuable resource for its users.

Mr. Hamdun Hameed
Minister of Planning and National Development

Ministry of Planning and National Development, Male', Republic of Maldives