Marshall Islands Population: 75,684

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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 conducted on some of the atolls between 1947 and 1962 (67 tests total). 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 that assist in the operation of the Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation system (the others are at Cape Canaveral, Florida (US), on Ascension (Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha), and at Diego Garcia (British Indian Ocean Territory)).

 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, consists of 29 atolls and five isolated islands in the North Pacific Ocean, about halfway between Hawaii and Australia; the atolls and islands are situated in two, almost-parallel island chains - the Ratak (Sunrise) group and the Ralik (Sunset) group; the total number of islands and islets is about 1,225; 22 of the atolls and four of the islands are uninhabited
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
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
Climate: tropical; hot and humid; wet season May to November; islands border typhoon belt
Terrain: low coral limestone and sand islands
Natural resources: coconut products, marine products, deep seabed minerals
Land use: agricultural land: 50.7% (2011 est.) arable land: 7.8% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 31.2% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 11.7% (2011 est.) forest: 49.3% (2011 est.)
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; sea level rise
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 80.5% (United Church of Christ 47%, Assembly of God 16.2%, Bukot Nan Jesus 5.4%, Full Gospel 3.3%, Reformed Congressional Church 3%, Salvation Army 1.9%, Seventh Day Adventist 1.4%, Meram in Jesus 1.2%, other Protestant 1.1%), Roman Catholic 8.5%, Mormon 7%, Jehovah's Witness 1.7%,  other 1.2%, none 1.1% (2011 est.)
Population: 75,684 (July 2018 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 34.26% (male 13,224 /female 12,706)
15-24 years: 18.49% (male 7,117 /female 6,875)
25-54 years: 37.15% (male 14,318 /female 13,800)
55-64 years: 5.86% (male 2,221 /female 2,215)
65 years and over: 4.24% (male 1,580 /female 1,628) (2018 est.)
Median age: total: 23.1 years
male: 23 years
female: 23.2 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.5% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 23.8 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 4.2 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: -4.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 77% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 0.61% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 31,000 MAJURO (capital) (2018)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.97 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 18.7 deaths/1,000 live births male: 21.1 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 16.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 73.6 years male: 71.4 years
female: 76 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.98 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Physicians density: 0.46 physicians/1,000 population (2012)
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 (2015 est.)
rural: 56.2% of population (2015 est.)
total: 76.9% of population (2015 est.)

unimproved:
urban: 15.5% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 43.8% of population (2015 est.)
total: 23.1% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: n/a
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: n/a
HIV/AIDS - deaths: n/a
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 52.9% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 11.9% (2017)
Education expenditures: n/a
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2011 est.)
total population: 98.3%
male: 98.3%
female: 98.2% (2011 est.) 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
former: Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Marshall Islands District
abbreviation: RMI
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, Namorik, Namu, Rongelap, Ujae, Utrik, Wotho, Wotje
Independence: 21 October 1986 (from the US-administered UN trusteeship)
National holiday: Constitution Day, 1 May (1979)
Constitution: history: effective 1 May 1979 amendments: proposed by the National Parliament or by a constitutional convention; passage by Parliament requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the total membership in each of two readings and approval by a majority of votes in a referendum; amendments submitted by a constitutional convention require approval of at least two-thirds of votes in a referendum; amended several times, last in 1995 (2018)
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; Parliament vote - Hilda C. HEINE 24 votes, she was the only candidate

note: Hilda C. HEINE is the first female elected head of state of any Pacific island nation
Legislative branch: description: unicameral National Parliament or Nitijela (33 seats; members in single- and multi-seat constituencies directly elected by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms); note - the Council of Iroij, a 12-member group of tribal leaders advises the Presidential Cabinet and reviews legislation affecting customary law or any traditional practice)

elections: last held on 16 November 2015 (next to be held by November 2019)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - independent 33; composition - men 28, women 5, percent of women 15.2%
Judicial branch: highest courts: 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 upon 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 [Imata KABUA] and United Democratic Party or UDP [Litokwa TOMEING]
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 Karen Brevard STEWART (since 25 July 2016)
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 the period 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, 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): $196 million (2017 est.) $191.3 million (2016 est.) $184.6 million (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $222 million (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 2.5% (2017 est.) 3.6% (2016 est.) 2% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $3,600 (2017 est.) $3,500 (2016 est.) $3,400 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars GDP - composition, by end use: government consumption: 50% (2016 est.) investment in fixed capital: 17.8% (2016 est.) investment in inventories: 0.2% (2016 est.) exports of goods and services: 52.9% (2016 est.) imports of goods and services: -102.3% (2016 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 4.4% (2013 est.) industry: 9.9% (2013 est.) services: 85.7% (2013 est.)
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: n/a
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: n/a
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: n/a
highest 10%: n/a
Budget: revenues: 116.7 million (2013 est.)
expenditures: 113.9 million (2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 52.6% (of GDP) (2013 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): 1.3% (of GDP) (2013 est.)
Public debt: 25.5% of GDP (2017 est.) 30% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: 1 October - 30 September
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0% (2017 est.) -1.5% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: -$1 million (2017 est.) $15 million (2016 est.)
Exports: $0 (2013 est.)
Exports - commodities: copra cake, coconut oil, handicrafts, fish
Imports: $103.8 million (2016 est.) $133.7 million (2013 est.)
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: 650 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 604.5 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 52,000 kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 81% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 19% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 2,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 2,060 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 293,700 Mt (2017 est.)
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 Communications
Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 16,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 21 (July 2016 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: some telecom infrastructure improvements made in recent years; modern services include fiber optic cable service, cellular, Internet, international calling, caller ID, and leased data circuits;  the US Government, World Bank, UN and International Telecommunication Union (ITU),  have aided in improvements and monetary aid to the islands telecom; mobile penetrations is around 30%; radio communication is especially vital to remote islands  (2018)

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; fixed-line 3 per 100 persons and mobile-cellular is 21 per 100 persons (2018)

international: country code - 692; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean); US Government satellite communications system on Kwajalein
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 service to Kwajalein Atoll (2019)
Internet country code: .mh
Internet users: total: 21,857
percent of population: 29.8% (July 2016 est.)
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 Transportation
Airports: 15 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 4
(2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2017)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 11
(2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 10 (2013)
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
Roadways: total 2,028 km
(2007) paved: 75 km (2007)
unpaved: 1,953 km
Merchant marine: total 3,419

by type: bulk carrier 1437, container ship 256, general cargo 68, oil tanker 837, other 821 (2018)
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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