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Northern Mariana Islands
(commonwealth in political union with the US)

 
Flag of Northern Mariana Islands
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Coordinates:
15.20 N  145.75 E

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

Map of Northern Mariana Islands

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Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Northern Mariana Islands Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
Under US administration as part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific, the people of the Northern Mariana Islands decided in the 1970s not to seek independence but instead to forge closer links with the US. Negotiations for territorial status began in 1972. A covenant to establish a commonwealth in political union with the US was approved in 1975, and came into force on 24 March 1976. A new government and constitution went into effect in 1978.
   Geography    Northern Mariana Islands Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Oceania, islands in the North Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
15 12 N, 145 45 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Oceania
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 477 sq km
land: 477 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes 14 islands including Saipan, Rota, and Tinian
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
1,482 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical marine; moderated by northeast trade winds, little seasonal temperature variation; dry season December to June, rainy season July to October
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
southern islands are limestone with level terraces and fringing coral reefs; northern islands are volcanic
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location on Agrihan 965 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
arable land, fish
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 13.04%
permanent crops: 4.35%
other: 82.61% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
active volcanoes on Pagan and Agrihan; typhoons (especially August to November)
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
contamination of groundwater on Saipan may contribute to disease; clean-up of landfill; protection of endangered species conflicts with development
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
strategic location in the North Pacific Ocean
   People    Northern Mariana Islands Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
82,459 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 19.4% (male 8,350/female 7,623)
15-64 years: 79% (male 26,715/female 38,442)
65 years and over: 1.6% (male 679/female 650) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 29.5 years
male: 31.7 years
female: 28.5 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.54% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
19.43 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.29 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
8.26 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.7 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.05 male(s)/female
total population: 0.77 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 6.98 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 6.92 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.03 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 76.09 years
male: 73.5 years
female: 78.83 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.24 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: NA (US citizens)
adjective: NA
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Asian 56.3%, Pacific islander 36.3%, Caucasian 1.8%, other 0.8%, mixed 4.8% (2000 census)
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Christian (Roman Catholic majority, although traditional beliefs and taboos may still be found)
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Philippine languages 24.4%, Chinese 23.4%, Chamorro 22.4%, English 10.8%, other Pacific island languages 9.5%, other 9.6% (2000 census)
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97%
male: 97%
female: 96% (1980 est.)
   Government    Northern Mariana Islands Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
conventional short form: Northern Mariana Islands
former: Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Mariana Islands District
Dependency status:
Definition Field Listing
commonwealth in political union with the US; federal funds to the Commonwealth administered by the US Department of the Interior, Office of Insular Affairs
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
commonwealth; self-governing with locally elected governor, lieutenant governor, and legislature
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Saipan
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
none (commonwealth in political union with the US); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are four municipalities at the second order: Northern Islands, Rota, Saipan, Tinian
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
none (commonwealth in political union with the US)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Commonwealth Day, 8 January (1978)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands effective 1 January 1978; Covenant Agreement fully effective 4 November 1986
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on US system, except for customs, wages, immigration laws, and taxation
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal; indigenous inhabitants are US citizens but do not vote in US presidential elections
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President George W. BUSH of the US (since 20 January 2001); Vice President Richard B. CHENEY (since 20 January 2001)
head of government: Governor Benigno R. FITIAL (since 9 January 2006); Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. VILLAGOMEZ (since 9 January 2006)
cabinet: the cabinet consists of the heads of the 10 principal departments under the executive branch who are appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate; other members include Special Assistants to the governor and office heads appointed by and reporting directly to the governor
elections: under the US Consitution, residents of unincorporated territories, such as the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, do not vote in elections for US president and vice president; governor and lieutenant governor elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held 5 November 2005 (next to be held November 2009)
election results: Benigno R. FITIAL elected governor in a four-way race; percent of vote - Benigno R. FITIAL (Covenant Party) 28.07%, Heinz HOFSCHNEIDER (Independent) 27.34%, Juan BABAUTA (Republican) 26.6%, Froilan TENORIO (Democrat) 17.99%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral Legislature consists of the Senate (9 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year staggered terms) and the House of Representatives (18 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve two-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 5 November 2005 (next to be held November 2009); House of Representatives - last held 5 November 2005 (next to be held November 2007)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Covenant Party 3, Republican Party 3, Democratic Party 2, independent 1; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Covenant Party 7, Republican Party 7, Democratic Party 2, independent 2
note: the Northern Mariana Islands does not have a nonvoting delegate in the US Congress; instead, it has an elected official or "resident representative" located in Washington, DC; seats by party - Republican Party 1 (Pedro A. TENORIO)
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Commonwealth Supreme Court; Superior Court; Federal District Court
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Covenant Party [Benigno R. FITIAL]; Democratic Party [Dr. Carlos S. CAMACHO]; Republican Party
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
Interpol (subbureau), SPC
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
blue, with a white, five-pointed star superimposed on the gray silhouette of a latte stone (a traditional foundation stone used in building) in the center, surrounded by a wreath
   Economy    Northern Mariana Islands Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
The economy benefits substantially from financial assistance from the US. The rate of funding has declined as locally generated government revenues have grown. The key tourist industry employs about 50% of the work force and accounts for roughly one-fourth of GDP. Japanese tourists predominate. Annual tourist entries have exceeded one-half million in recent years, but financial difficulties in Japan have caused a temporary slowdown. The agricultural sector is made up of cattle ranches and small farms producing coconuts, breadfruit, tomatoes, and melons. Garment production is by far the most important industry with the employment of 17,500 mostly Chinese workers and sizable shipments to the US under duty and quota exemptions.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$900 million
note: GDP estimate includes US subsidy (2000 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
NA
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA%
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$12,500 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
44,470 total indigenous labor force; 2,699 unemployed; 28,717 foreign workers (2000)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA%
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-0.8% (2000)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $193 million
expenditures: $223 million; including capital expenditures of $NA (FY01/02 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
coconuts, fruits, vegetables; cattle
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
tourism, construction, garments, handicrafts
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA%
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA kWh
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA kWh
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$NA
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
garments
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US (2004)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$NA
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
food, construction equipment and materials, petroleum products
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US, Japan (2004)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$NA
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
extensive funding from US
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
US dollar (USD)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
the US dollar is used
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 October - 30 September
   Communications    Northern Mariana Islands Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
21,000 (2000)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3,000 (2000)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: country code - 1-670; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 1, FM 6, shortwave 1 (2006)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
1 (Low Power TV on Saipan; in addition, two cable services on Saipan provide varied programming from satellite networks) (2006)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.mp
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
20 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10,000 (2003)
   Transportation    Northern Mariana Islands Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2005)
Heliports:
Definition Field Listing
1 (2005)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 536 km (2004)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Saipan, Tinian
   Military    Northern Mariana Islands Top of Page
Military - note:
Definition Field Listing
defense is the responsibility of the US
   Transnational Issues    Northern Mariana Islands Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
none

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook