Home>>Country Information>>  

 

Display this page in a new window                                 Bookmark this page
   
 

Marshall Islands

 
Flag of Marshall Islands
Click to enlarge
 

Coordinates:
09.00 N  168.00 E

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

Map of Marshall Islands

Click to see on Google Maps

 

Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Marshall Islands Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
After almost four decades under US administration as the easternmost part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the Marshall Islands attained independence in 1986 under a Compact of Free Association. Compensation claims continue as a result of US nuclear testing on some of the atolls between 1947 and 1962. The Marshall Islands hosts the US Army Kwajalein Atoll (USAKA) Reagan Missile Test Site, a key installation in the US missile defense network.
   Geography    Marshall Islands Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Oceania, two archipelagic island chains of 29 atolls, each made up of many small islets, and five single islands in the North Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to Australia
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
9 00 N, 168 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Oceania
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 11,854.3 sq km
land: 181.3 sq km
water: 11,673 sq km (note - lagoon waters)
note: includes the atolls of Bikini, Enewetak, Kwajalein, Majuro, Rongelap, and Utirik
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
about the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
370.4 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical; hot and humid; wet season May to November; islands border typhoon belt
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
low coral limestone and sand islands
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location on Likiep 10 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
coconut products, marine products, deep seabed minerals
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 11.11%
permanent crops: 44.44%
other: 44.45% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
0 sq km
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
infrequent typhoons
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
inadequate supplies of potable water; pollution of Majuro lagoon from household waste and discharges from fishing vessels
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
Bikini and Enewetak are former US nuclear test sites; Kwajalein, the famous World War II battleground, is used as a US missile test range; island city of Ebeye is the second largest settlement in the Marshall Islands, after the capital of Majuro, and one of the most densely populated locations in the Pacific
   People    Marshall Islands Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
60,422 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 38.1% (male 11,720/female 11,295)
15-64 years: 59.2% (male 18,305/female 17,445)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 801/female 856) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 20.3 years
male: 20.4 years
female: 20.3 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.25% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
33.05 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.78 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-5.78 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.94 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 28.43 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 31.93 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 24.76 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 70.31 years
male: 68.33 years
female: 72.39 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.85 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: Marshallese (singular and plural)
adjective: Marshallese
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Micronesian
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Protestant 54.8%, Assembly of God 25.8%, Roman Catholic 8.4%, Bukot nan Jesus 2.8%, Mormon 2.1%, other Christian 3.6%, other 1%, none 1.5% (1999 census)
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Marshallese 98.2%, other languages 1.8% (1999 census)
note: English widely spoken as a second language; both Marshallese and English are official languages
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.7%
male: 93.6%
female: 93.7% (1999)
   Government    Marshall Islands Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of the Marshall Islands
conventional short form: Marshall Islands
former: Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Marshall Islands District
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
constitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force 21 October 1986 and the Amended Compact entered into force in May 2004
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Majuro
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
33 municipalities; Ailinginae, Ailinglaplap, Ailuk, Arno, Aur, Bikar, Bikini, Bokak, Ebon, Enewetak, Erikub, Jabat, Jaluit, Jemo, Kili, Kwajalein, Lae, Lib, Likiep, Majuro, Maloelap, Mejit, Mili, Namorik, Namu, Rongelap, Rongrik, Toke, Ujae, Ujelang, Utirik, Wotho, Wotje
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
21 October 1986 (from the US-administered UN trusteeship)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Constitution Day, 1 May (1979)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
1 May 1979
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on adapted Trust Territory laws, acts of the legislature, municipal, common, and customary laws
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Kessai Hesa NOTE (since 5 January 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Kessai Hesa NOTE (since 5 January 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet selected by the president from among the members of the legislature
elections: president elected by Parliament from among its own members for a four-year term; election last held 17 November 2003 (next to be held November 2007)
election results: Kessai Hesa NOTE elected president; percent of Parliament vote - 100%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral legislature or Nitijela (33 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 17 November 2003 (next to be held by November 2007)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NA
note: the Council of Chiefs or Ironij is a 12-member body comprised of tribal chiefs that advises on matters affecting customary law and practice
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court; High Court; Traditional Rights Court
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
traditionally there have been no formally organized political parties; what has existed more closely resembles factions or interest groups because they do not have party headquarters, formal platforms, or party structures; the following two "groupings" have competed in legislative balloting in recent years - Aelon Kein Ad Party [Michael KABUA] and United Democratic Party or UDP [Litokwa TOMEING]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACP, AsDB, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, IDA, IFC, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, WHO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Banny DE BRUM
chancery: 2433 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 234-5414
FAX: [1] (202) 232-3236
consulate(s) general: Honolulu
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Greta N. MORRIS
embassy: Oceanside, Mejen Weto, Long Island, Majuro
mailing address: P. O. Box 1379, Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands 96960-1379
telephone: [692] 247-4011
FAX: [692] 247-4012
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
blue with two stripes radiating from the lower hoist-side corner - orange (top) and white; there is a white star with four large rays and 20 small rays on the hoist side above the two stripes
   Economy    Marshall Islands Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
US Government assistance is the mainstay of this tiny island economy. Agricultural production, primarily subsistence, is concentrated on small farms; the most important commercial crops are coconuts and breadfruit. Small-scale industry is limited to handicrafts, tuna processing, and copra. The tourist industry, now a small source of foreign exchange employing less than 10% of the labor force, remains the best hope for future added income. The islands have few natural resources, and imports far exceed exports. Under the terms of the Amended Compact of Free Association, the US will provide millions of dollars per year to the Marshall Islands (RMI) through 2023, at which time a Trust Fund made up of US and RMI contributions will begin perpetual annual payouts. Government downsizing, drought, a drop in construction, the decline in tourism and foreign investment due to the Asian financial difficulties, and less income from the renewal of fishing vessel licenses have held GDP growth to an average of 1% over the past decade.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$115 million (2001 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
NA
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$2,300 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 14%
industry: 16%
services: 70% (2000 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
14,680 (2000)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 21.4%
industry: 20.9%
services: 57.7%
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
30.9% (2000 est.)
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
1.8% (2001 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $42 million
expenditures: $40 million; including capital expenditures of $NA (1999)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
coconuts, tomatoes, melons, taro, breadfruit, fruits; pigs, chickens
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
copra, tuna processing, tourism, craft items from seashells, wood, and pearls
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA%
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$9.1 million f.o.b. (2000)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
copra cake, coconut oil, handicrafts, fish
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US, Japan, Australia, China (2004)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$54.7 million f.o.b. (2000)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, fuels, beverages and tobacco
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US, Japan, Australia, NZ, Singapore, Fiji, China, Philippines (2004)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$86.5 million (FY99/00 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
more than $1 billion from the US, 1986-2002
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    Marshall Islands Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5,510 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,198 (2004)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: digital switching equipment; modern services include telex, cellular, internet, international calling, caller ID, and leased data circuits
domestic: Majuro Atoll and Ebeye and Kwajalein islands have regular, seven-digit, direct-dial telephones; other islands interconnected by high frequency radiotelephone (used mostly for government purposes) and mini-satellite telephones
international: country code - 692; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean); US Government satellite communications system on Kwajalein (2001)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 1, FM 3, shortwave 0
note: additionally, the US Armed Forces Radio and Television Services (Central Pacific Network) operate one FM and one AM station on Kwajalein (2005)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
2 (both are US military stations)
note: Marshalls Broadcasting Service (cable company) operates on Majuro (2005)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.mh
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2,000 (2005)
   Transportation    Marshall Islands Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
15 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 11
914 to 1,523 m: 10
under 914 m: 1 (2005)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 64.5 km
paved: 64.5 km
note: paved roads on major islands (Majuro, Kwajalein), otherwise stone-, coral-, or laterite-surfaced roads and tracks (2002)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 706 ships (1000 GRT or over) 28,268,511 GRT/47,217,632 DWT
by type: barge carrier 3, bulk carrier 139, cargo 46, chemical tanker 110, combination ore/oil 10, container 116, liquefied gas 20, passenger 7, petroleum tanker 241, refrigerated cargo 3, roll on/roll off 7, vehicle carrier 4
foreign-owned: 632 (Australia 2, Bermuda 4, Canada 6, Chile 1, Croatia 2, Cyprus 7, Denmark 1, Germany 157, Greece 179, Hong Kong 8, India 1, Italy 1, Japan 5, Kazakhstan 1, Latvia 6, Monaco 8, Netherlands 5, NZ 1, Norway 35, Portugal 2, Russia 1, Saudi Arabia 1, Singapore 5, Slovenia 2, Spain 2, Sweden 1, Switzerland 11, Turkey 24, UAE 2, UK 20, US 131)
registered in other countries: 4 (North Korea 2, Mongolia 1, Panama 1) (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Majuro
   Military    Marshall Islands Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
no regular military forces; Marshall Islands Police
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 13,465 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 10,792 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 726 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Military - note:
Definition Field Listing
defense is the responsibility of the US
   Transnational Issues    Marshall Islands Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
claims US territory of Wake Island

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook