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Marshall Islands

Background

Marshall Islands

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.

About

The Marshall Islands are a group of atolls and reefs in the Pacific Ocean, about half-way between Hawaii and Australia.

Read more about Marshall Islands in our Marshall Islands travel guide »

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Marshall Islands

Full name
Republic of the Marshall Islands
Capital
Uliga
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

Geographic coordinates

9 00 N, 168 00 E

Area comparative

about the size of Washington, DC

Coastline

370.4 km

Climate

tropical; hot and humid; wet season May to November; islands border typhoon belt

Terrain

low coral limestone and sand islands

Lowest point

Pacific Ocean 0 m

Highest point

unnamed location on Likiep 10 m

Natural resources

coconut products, marine products, deep seabed minerals

Population

65,859 (July 2010 est.)

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)

Government type

constitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force on 21 October 1986 and the Amended Compact entered into force in May 2004

Independence

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

National holiday

Constitution Day, 1 May (1979)

Chief of state

President Jurelang ZEDKAIA (since 2 November 2009); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

Head of government

President Jurelang ZEDKAIA (since 2 November 2009)

Internet country code

.mh

Internet users

2,200 (2009)

Airports

15 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Enitwetak Island, Kwajalein, Majuro

Other countries in the region