Marshall Islands Population: 73,376

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 History
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 Reagan Missile Test Site, a key installation in the US missile defense network. Kwajalein also hosts one of four dedicated ground antennas (the others are on Ascension (Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha), Diego Garcia (British Indian Ocean Territory), and at Cape Canaveral, Florida (US)) that assist in the operation of the Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation system.

 Geography
The islands of Bikini and Enewetak are former US nuclear test sites; Kwajalein atoll, famous as a World War II battleground, surrounds the world's largest lagoon and is used as a US missile test range; the 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
Location: 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 halfway between Hawaii and Australia
Geographic coordinates: 9 00 N, 168 00 E
Area: total: 181 sq km
land: 181 sq km
water: 0 sq km

note: the archipelago includes 11,673 sq km of lagoon waters and encompasses the atolls of Bikini, Enewetak, Kwajalein, Majuro, Rongelap, and Utirik

Size comparison: about the size of Washington, DC
Land Boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 370.4 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: tropical; hot and humid; wet season May to November; islands border typhoon belt
Terrain: low coral limestone and sand islands
Elevation extremes:
Natural resources: coconut products, marine products, deep seabed minerals
Land use: agricultural land: 50.7% arable land 7.8%; permanent crops 31.2%; permanent pasture 11.7% forest: 49.3%
other: 0% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 0 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: infrequent typhoons
Current Environment Issues: inadequate supplies of potable water; pollution of Majuro lagoon from household waste and discharges from fishing vessels
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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 People
Nationality: noun: Marshallese (singular and plural)
adjective: Marshallese
Ethnic groups: Marshallese 92.1%, mixed Marshallese 5.9%, other 2% (2006)
Languages: Marshallese (official) 98.2%, other languages 1.8% (1999 census) note: English (official), widely spoken as a second language
Religions: 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)
Population: 73,376 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 35.48% (male 13,273/female 12,758)
15-24 years: 17.54% (male 6,545/female 6,326)
25-54 years: 37.4% (male 13,966/female 13,475)
55-64 years: 5.79% (male 2,160/female 2,086)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 1,370/female 1,417) (2016 est.)
Median age: total: 22.7 years
male: 22.6 years
female: 22.8 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.6% (2016 est.)
Birth rate: 25 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate: 4.2 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate: -4.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 72.7% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 0.59% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: MAJURO (capital) 31,000 (2014)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.97 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth: 20.7 note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 20 deaths/1,000 live births male: 22.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 17.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 73.1 years male: 70.9 years
female: 75.4 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate: 3.09 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 44.6% (2007)
Health expenditures: 17.1% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density: 0.44 physicians/1,000 population (2010)
Hospital bed density: 2.7 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 93.5% of population
rural: 97.6% of population
total: 94.6% of population

unimproved:
urban: 6.5% of population
rural: 2.4% of population
total: 5.4% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 84.5% of population
rural: 56.2% of population
total: 76.9% of population

unimproved:
urban: 15.5% of population
rural: 43.8% of population
total: 23.1% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 42.3% (2014)
Literacy:
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 11% male: 12.2%
female: 8.7% (2010 est.)
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 Government
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of the Marshall Islands
conventional short form: Marshall Islands
local long form: Republic of the Marshall Islands
local short form: Marshall Islands
abbreviation: RMI
former: Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Marshall Islands District
etymology: named after British Captain John MARSHALL, who charted many of the islands in 1788
Government type: presidential republic in free association with the US
Capital: name: Majuro; note - the capital is an atoll of 64 islands; governmental buildings are housed on three fused islands: Djarrit, Uliga, and Delap
geographic coordinates: 7 06 N, 171 23 E
time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 24 municipalities; Ailinglaplap, Ailuk, Arno, Aur, Bikini & Kili, Ebon, Enewetak & Ujelang, Jabat, Jaluit, Kwajalein, Lae, Lib, Likiep, Majuro, Maloelap, Mejit, Mili, Namdrik, Namu, Rongelap, Ujae, Utrik, Wotho, Wotje
Independence: 21 October 1986 (from the US-administered UN trusteeship)
National holiday: Constitution Day, 1 May (1979)
Constitution: effective 1 May 1979; amended several times, last in 1995 (2016)
Legal system: mixed legal system of US and English common law, customary law, and local statutes
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Hilda C. HEINE (since 28 January 2016); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Hilda C. HEINE (since 28 January 2016)

cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the president from among members of the Nitijela, appointed by Nitijela speaker elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the Nitijela from among its members for a 4-year term (no term limits); election last held on 27 January 2016 (next to be held in 2020)

election results: Hilda C. HEINE elected president on 27 January 2016; Parliament vote - Hilda C. HEINE 24, she was the only candidate
Legislative branch: description: bicameral legislature consists of the Council of Iroij (12 seats; consists of tribal chiefs chosen by holders of the chieftainship among the constituent islands) and the National Parliament or Nitijela (33 seats; members directly elected by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms); note - the Council of Iroij advises the Presidential Cabinet and reviews legislation affecting customary law or any traditional practice)

elections: last held on 21 November 2011 (next to be held by November 2015)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - independents 33
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and other judges as prescribed by law) judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the Cabinet on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission and upon the approval of the Nitijela; judges appointed until retirement, normally at age 72

subordinate courts: High Court; District Courts; Traditional Rights Court; Community Courts
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 - Aelon Kein Ad Party [Michael KABUA] and United Democratic Party or UDP [Litokwa TOMEING]
Political pressure groups and leaders: NA
International organization participation: ACP, ADB, AOSIS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, IDA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITU, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, WHO
National symbol(s): a 24-rayed star; national colors: blue, white, orange
National anthem: name: "Forever Marshall Islands"
lyrics/music: Amata KABUA

note: adopted 1981
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Gerald M. ZACKIOS (since 16 September 2016)
chancery: 2433 Massachusetts Avenue NW, 1st Floor, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 234-5414
FAX: [1] (202) 232-3236
consulate(s) general: Honolulu, Springdale (AR) consulate(s): Agana (Guam)
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Thomas H. ARMBRUSTER (since 16 August 2012)
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
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 Economy
US assistance and lease payments for the use of Kwajalein Atoll as a US military base are the mainstay of this small island country. Agricultural production, primarily subsistence, is concentrated on small farms; the most important commercial crops are coconuts and breadfruit. Industry is limited to handicrafts, tuna processing, and copra. Tourism holds some potential. The islands and atolls have few natural resources, and imports exceed exports. The Marshall Islands received roughly $1 billion in aid from the US during 1986-2001 under the original Compact of Free Association (Compact). In 2002 and 2003, the US and the Marshall Islands renegotiated the Compact's financial package for a 20-year period, from 2004 to 2024. Under the amended Compact, the Marshall Islands will receive roughly $1.5 billion in direct US assistance. Under the amended Compact, the US and Marshall Islands are also jointly funding a Trust Fund for the people of the Marshall Islands that will provide an income stream beyond 2024, when direct Compact aid ends.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $180 million (2016 est.) $176.9 million (2015 est.) $174.5 million (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $188 million (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 1.7% (2016 est.) 1.4% (2015 est.) 0.4% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $3,300 (2016 est.) $3,200 (2015 est.) $3,200 (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
Agriculture - products: coconuts, tomatoes, melons, taro, breadfruit, fruits; pigs, chickens
Industries: copra, tuna processing, tourism, craft items (from seashells, wood, and pearls)
Industrial production growth rate: NA%
Labor force: 10,670 (2013 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 11%
industry: 16.3%
services: 72.7% (2011 est.)
Unemployment rate: 36% (2006 est.) 30.9% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budget: revenues: $116.7 million
expenditures: $113.9 million (2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 62.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
Public debt: 51.3% of GDP (2013)
Fiscal year: 1 October - 30 September
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0.7% (2016 est.) -2.2% (2015 est.)
Current account balance: -$14 million (2016 est.) -$6 million (2015 est.)
Exports: $53.7 million (2013 est.) $58.1 million (2012)
Exports - commodities: copra cake, coconut oil, handicrafts, fish
Imports: $133.7 million (2013 est.) $120.9 million (2012)
Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, fuels, beverages, tobacco
Debt - external: $97.96 million (2013 est.) $87 million (2008 est.)
Exchange rates: the US dollar is used
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 Energy
Electricity - production: 700 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 600 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 52,000 kW (2014 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 2,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 2,060 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 300,000 Mt (2013 est.)
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 Communications
Cellular Phones in use: total: 16,000 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 21 (July 2015 est.)
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 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 (2005)
Broadcast media: no TV broadcast station; a cable network is available on Majuro with programming via videotape replay and satellite relays; 4 radio broadcast stations; American Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) provides satellite radio and television serv (2009)
Internet country code: .mh
Internet users: total: 14,000 percent of population: 19.3% (July 2015 est.)
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 Transportation
Airports: 15 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 4

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 11

914 to 1,523 m: 10
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
Roadways: total 2,028 km
paved: 75 km

note: roads are mostly unimproved (2007)
Merchant marine: total 1,593

by type: barge carrier 1, bulk carrier 524, cargo 65, carrier 1, chemical tanker 351, container 226, liquefied gas 88, passenger 7, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 297, refrigerated cargo 13, roll on/roll off 9, vehicle carrier 10

foreign-owned: 1,465 (Belgium 1, Bermuda 35, Brazil 1, Canada 8, China 14, Croatia 12, Cyprus 40, Denmark 7, Egypt 1, France 7, Germany 248, Greece 408, Hong Kong 3, India 10, Indonesia 1, Iraq 2, Ireland 6, Italy 1, Japan 59, Jersey 11, Kuwait 2, Latvia 19, Malaysia 11, Mexi (2010)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Enitwetak Island, Kwajalein, Majuro
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 Military
Defense is the responsibility of the US
Military branches: no regular military forces; Marshall Islands Police (2012)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: claims US territory of Wake Island
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