Inhabited islands- those officially recognised as towns, villages, fishing and farming communities with permanent human habitation. They all have an island office and island chiefs (councillor and katheeb).
Uninhabited islands- islands with no permanent human habitations. They are sometimes used for agricultural and industrial purposes, and more recently as tourist resorts and picnic islands. Some of these islands are valuable breeding grounds of various species of seabirds and sea turtles.
Disappeared islands- islands which during recorded history, have been completely eroded away, claimed by the sea due to the sea-level rise associated with global warming or assimilated by other islands. Some of these islands were previously inhabited and have been important in the history of the country. Some natural atolls are named after them (islands of Thiladhoo and Addu after which Thiladhunmati and Addu atoll are named respectively) while others are thought to have been the sites of the first settlements in the Maldives (Ihadhoo- meaning seen first and possibly the first settlement of the Maldives).