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The World Factbook 2002

         
  Marshall Islands  
Flag of Marshall Islands
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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
  Government
  Economy
  Communications
  Transportation
  Military
  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.


This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


Map of Marshall Islands

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Marshall Islands
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 have been home to the US Army Base Kwajalein (USAKA) since 1964.
   Geography    Marshall Islands
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Oceania, group of atolls and reefs 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
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:
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
contiguous zone: 24 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
wet season from May to November; hot and humid; 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: 17%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 83% (1998 est.)
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, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
73,630 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
3.89% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
44.98 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
6.07 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
38.68 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 66.18 years
female: 68.09 years (2002 est.)
male: 64.35 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
6.49 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Marshallese (singular and plural)
adjective: Marshallese
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Micronesian
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Christian (mostly Protestant)
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
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 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
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
constitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force 21 October 1986
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 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: Cabinet selected by the president from among the members of Parliament
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:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court; High 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 - Kabua Party [Imata 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, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFC, IMF, IMO, Interpol, ITU, OPCW (signatory), Sparteca, SPC, SPF, 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
consulate(s) general: Honolulu
FAX: [1] (202) 232-3236
telephone: [1] (202) 234-5414
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Michael J. SENKO
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
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $115 million (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $1,600 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 14%
industry: 16%
services: 70% (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
1.9% (1999 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
28,698
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 21.4%, industry 20.9%, services 57.7%
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
30.9% (1999 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $42 million
expenditures: $40 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1999)
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
copra, fish, tourism, craft items from shell, wood, and pearls
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 99%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 1% (solar)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
coconuts, tomatoes, melons, taro, breadfruit, fruits; pigs, chickens
Exports:
Definition Field Listing
$9 million (f.o.b., 2000)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
copra cake, coconut oil, handicrafts
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US, Japan, Australia
Imports:
Definition Field Listing
$54 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
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$86.5 million (FY99/00 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
approximately $39 million annually from the US
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
US dollar (USD)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
USD
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
the US dollar is used
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 October - 30 September
   Communications    Marshall Islands
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
4,186 (2001)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
489 (2001)
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 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:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
2 (both are US military stations) (2002)
Televisions:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.mh
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
1 (2002)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
537 (2001)
   Transportation    Marshall Islands
Railways:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Highways:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
none
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Majuro
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
17 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2001)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 10
under 914 m: 3 (2001)
   Military    Marshall Islands
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
no regular military forces; Police Force
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Military - note:
Definition Field Listing
defense is the responsibility of the US
   Transnational Issues    Marshall Islands
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
claims US territory of Wake Island

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


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