From 1905 to 1960, the population remained around 100,000 before starting to climb after independence. The population doubled by 1978, and its growth rate peaked at 3.4% in 1985. Maldives reached a population of 299,000 at the 2006 census.
The Maldive Islands has very little room for more growth, as it is already the 11th most densely populated country on the world and has less than 300 square kilometers of land. The country's fertility rate has fallen from 6.4 births per woman in 1990 to just 2.8 in 2000, while the share of older people has grown. Maldives is expected to continue its modest growth rate of 2% for the near future.