Marshall Islands

Map Marshall Islands
Maps copyright Hammond World Atlas Corp.

Flag of 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 hosts the US Army Kwajalein Atoll (USAKA) Reagan Missile Test Site, a key installation in the US missile defense network.
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 half way between Hawaii and Australia
Area land: 181 sq km
Area water: 0 sq km
Coastline: 370.4 km
Country name conventional long form: Republic of the Marshall Islands
Country name conventional short form: Marshall Islands
Country name former: Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Marshall Islands District
Population: 67,182 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 38.2% (male 13,062/female 12,576); 15-64 years: 58.8% (male 20,171/female 19,340); 65 years and over: 3% (male 988/female 1,045) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 1.954% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 29.11 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 4.38 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: -5.19 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 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: 0.94 male(s)/female; total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 23.74 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 26.69 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 20.64 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 71.76 years; male: 69.67 years; female: 73.95 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 3.44 children born/woman (2011 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: Marshallese;
Ethnic groups: Marshallese 92.1%, mixed Marshallese 5.9%, other 2% (2006);
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);
Languages: Marshallese (official) 98.2%, other languages 1.8% (1999 census);

note: English (official), widely spoken as a second language

Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 93.7%; male: 93.6%; female: 93.7% (1999);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $133.5 million (2008 est.); $115 million (2001 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate): $161.7 million (2008 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: -0.3% (2008 est.); 3.5% (2005 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $2,500 (2008 est.); $2,900 (2005 est.);
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 31.7%; industry: 14.9%; services: 53.4% (2004 est.);
Population below poverty line: NA%;
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%; highest 10%: NA%;
Labor force: 14,680 (2000);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 21.4%; industry: 20.9%; services: 57.7% (2000);
Unemployment rate: 36% (2006 est.); 30.9% (2000 est.);
Budget: revenues: $123.3 million; expenditures: $1.213 billion (2008);
Industries: copra, tuna processing, tourism, craft items (from seashells, wood, and pearls);
Industrial production growth rate: NA%;
Electricity - production: 
Electricity - consumption: 
Electricity - exports: 
Electricity - imports: 

Statistics: CIA World Factbook.

Marshall Islands in the News

Marshall Islands: Kwajalein Missile Range

A reporter observes the terrible conditions the people of Kwajelain Atoll have to endure.