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Marshall Islands
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Marshall Islands Flag
Marshall Islands

Capital City
: Majuro (Dalap-Uliga-Darrit)

Internet Links

Official Sites of Marshall Islands
Republic of the Marshall Islands

Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands

RMI Government Overview

Bikini Atoll

Marshall Islands Maps
Maps of the Marshall Islands

Political Map of Marshall Islands

Map of West Pacific Islands

Map of Oceania and the Pacific Islands


Marshall Islands

Background:  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
have been home to the US Army Base Kwajalein (USAKA) since 1964.

Geography Marshall Islands

Location:  Oceania, group of atolls and reefs in the North Pacific Ocean,
about one-half of the way from Hawaii to Australia

Geographic coordinates:  9 00 N, 168 00 E

Map references:  Oceania

Area:  total: 181.3 sq km note: includes the atolls of Bikini, Enewetak,
Kwajalein, Majuro, Rongelap, and Utirik water: 0 sq km land: 181.3 sq km

Area - comparative:  about the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:  0 km

Coastline:  370.4 km

Maritime claims:   12 NM exclusive economic zone: Climate:  wet season
from May to November; hot and humid; islands border typhoon belt

Terrain:  low coral limestone and sand islands

Elevation extremes:  lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m highest point:
unnamed location on Likiep 10 m

Natural resources:  coconut products, marine products, deep seabed

Land use:  arable land: 17% permanent crops: 0% other: 83% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  0 sq km

Natural hazards:  infrequent typhoons

Environment - current issues:  inadequate supplies of potable water;
pollution of Majuro lagoon from household waste and discharges from
fishing vessels

Environment - international agreements:  party to: Biodiversity, Climate
Change, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship
Pollution signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

Geography - note:  two archipelagic island chains of 30 atolls and
1,152 islands; Bikini and Enewetak are former US nuclear test sites;
Kwajalein, the famous World War II battleground, is now used as a US
missile test range

People Marshall Islands

Population:  73,630 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 49.1% (male 18,443; female 17,704) 15-64
years: 48.9% (male 18,347; female 17,628) 65 years and over: 2% (male 720;
female 788) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  3.89% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  44.98 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  6.07 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
0.91 male(s)/female total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  38.68 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   68.09 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  6.49 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  NA%

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  NA

Nationality:  noun: Marshallese (singular and plural) adjective:

Ethnic groups:  Micronesian

Religions:  Christian (mostly Protestant)

Languages:  English (widely spoken as a second language, both English
and Marshallese are official languages), two major Marshallese dialects
from the Malayo-Polynesian family, Japanese

Literacy:  definition: age 15 and over can read and write total
population: 93.7% male: 93.6% female: 93.7% (1999)

Government Marshall Islands

Country name:  conventional long form: Republic of the Marshall Islands
conventional short form: Marshall Islands former: Marshall Islands
District (Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands)

Government type:  constitutional government in free association with
the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force 21 October 1986

Capital:  Majuro

Administrative divisions:  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:  21 October 1986 (from the US-administered UN trusteeship)

National holiday:  Constitution Day, 1 May (1979)

Constitution:  1 May 1979

Legal system:  based on adapted Trust Territory laws, acts of the
legislature, municipal, common, and customary laws

Suffrage:  18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:  chief of state: President Kessai Hesa NOTE (since 3
January 2000); note - the president is both the chief of state and head
of government head of government: President Kessai Hesa NOTE (since
3 January 2000); note - the president is both the chief of state and
head of government cabinet:  elections: president elected by Parliament
from among its own members for a four-year term; election last held
15 November 1999 (next to be held NA November 2003) election results:
Kessai Hesa NOTE elected president; percent of Parliament vote - 100%

Legislative branch:  unicameral Parliament or Nitijela (33 seats;
members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) elections:
last held 15 November 1999 (next to be held NA November 2003) note: the
Council of Chiefs is a 12-member body that advises on matters affecting
customary law and practice election results: percent of vote by party -
NA%; seats by party - NA

Judicial branch:  Supreme Court; High Court

Political parties and leaders:  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 - Kabua Party
[Imata KABUA] and United Democratic Party or UDP [Litokwa TOMEING]

Political pressure groups and leaders:  NA

International organization participation:  ACP, AsDB, ESCAP, FAO, G-77,
IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFC, IMF, IMO, Interpol, ITU, OPCW (signatory),

Diplomatic representation in the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador Banny
DE BRUM chancery: 2433 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
consulate(s) general: Honolulu FAX: [1] (202) 232-3236 telephone: [1]
(202) 234-5414

Diplomatic representation from the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
Michael J. SENKO embassy: Oceanside, Mejen Weto, Long Island, Majuro
mailing address: P. O. Box 1379, Majuro,
 [692] 247-4011 FAX:
Flag description:  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

Economy - overview:  US Government assistance is the mainstay of this tiny
island economy.  Agricultural production is primarily subsistence and
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
Compact of Free Association, the US provides roughly $39 million in annual
aid. Negotiations have continued for an extended agreement. 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 - $115 million (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  1% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $1,600 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 14% industry: 16% services:
70% (2000 est.)

Population below poverty line:  NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  1.9% (1999 est.)

Labor force:  28,698

Labor force - by occupation:  agriculture 21.4%, industry 20.9%,
services 57.7%

Unemployment rate:  30.9% (1999 est.)

Budget:  revenues: $42 million expenditures: $40 million, including
capital expenditures of $NA (1999)

Industries:  copra, fish, tourism, craft items from shell, wood,
and pearls

Industrial production growth rate:  NA%

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 99% hydro: 0% nuclear:
0% other: 1% (solar)

Agriculture - products:  coconuts, tomatoes, melons, taro, breadfruit,
fruits; pigs, chickens

Exports:  $9 million (f.o.b., 2000)

Exports - commodities:  copra cake, coconut oil, handicrafts

Exports - partners:  US, Japan, Australia

Imports:  $54 million (f.o.b., 2000)

Imports - commodities:  foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, fuels,
beverages and tobacco

Imports - partners:  US, Japan, Australia, NZ, Singapore, Fiji, China,

Debt - external:  $86.5 million (FY99/00 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:  approximately $39 million annually from the US

Currency:  US dollar (USD)

Currency code:  USD

Exchange rates:  the US dollar is used

Fiscal year:  1 October - 30 September

Communications Marshall Islands

Telephones - main lines in use:  4,186 (2001)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  489 (2001)

Telephone system:  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 shortwave radiotelephone (used mostly
for government purposes) international: satellite earth stations - 2
Intelsat (Pacific Ocean); US Government satellite communications system
on Kwajalein (2001)

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 2, FM 1, shortwave 0 note: additionally, the
US Armed Forces Radio and Television Services (Central Pacific Network)
operate one FM and one AM station on Kwajalein (2002)

Radios:  NA

Television broadcast stations:  2 (both are US military stations) (2002)

Televisions:  NA

Internet country code:  .mh

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  1 (2002)

Internet users:  537 (2001)

Transportation Marshall Islands

Railways:  0 km

Highways:  total: NA km paved: 64.5 km unpaved: NA km note: paved
roads on major islands (Majuro, Kwajalein), otherwise stone-, coral-,
or laterite-surfaced roads and tracks (2002)

Waterways:  none

Ports and harbors:  Majuro

Merchant marine:  total: 270 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 11,807,839
GRT/19,332,014 DWT note: the ship's register of the Marshall Islands
is a flag of convenience register since essentially none of the vessels
on it is owned domestically, includes the following foreign-owned ships
registered here as a flag of convenience: China 1, Cyprus 1, Denmark 9,
Germany 70, Greece 54, Hong Kong 2, Japan 4, Monaco 8, Netherlands 8,
Norway 10, Poland 16, Singapore 1, Turkey 6, United Kingdom 3, United
States 87, Uruguay 1 (2002 est.)  ships by type: bulk 82, cargo 14,
chemical tanker 24, combination ore/oil 4, container 46, liquefied gas
8, multi-functional large-load carrier 1, petroleum tanker 88, vehicle
carrier 3

Airports:  17 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 4 1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 914 to
1,523 m: 1 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 13 914 to 1,523 m: 10 under
914 m: 3 (2001)

Military Marshall Islands

Military branches:  no regular military forces; Police Force

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $NA

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  NA%

Military - note:  defense is the responsibility of the US

Transnational Issues Marshall Islands

Disputes - international:  claims US territory of Wake Island

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

Marshall Islands News
The CocoNET Wireless

Kwajalein Hourglass

Pacific Islands Report

Yokwe Online

Arts & Culture
Alele Museum, Library and National Archives

The Marshallese Cultural Journey

Business & Economy
Bank of the Marshall Islands

Air Marshall Islands

Country Guides
Marshall Islands Visitors Authority

General Tourist Information

Marshall Islands

RMI Photo Gallery

Rongelap Ecotourism

Tourism Fact Sheet

Tourism & Lodging
Outrigger Marshall Islands Resort

Books about Marshall Islands
Read about the Marshall Islands

College of the Marshall Islands

History of the Marshall Islands

The origins of the Marshallese

The Marshall Islands - An Electronic Library & Archive of Primary Sources

Micronesia Mythology Marshall Islands

People of Bikini

Resource Information for Researchers

RMI Historic Preservation Office

Issues Marshall Islands
Marshall Islands Nuclear Claims Tribunal

Marshall Islands Links





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