Marshall Islands

Region: Oceania-Micronesia

Capital: Majuro

Population: 68,480 (July 2011 CIA est.)

Surface area: 181.3 sq km

Currency: US dollar (USD)

GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity US $2,500 (2008 CIA est.)

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.

Economy – Overview:
US Government assistance is the mainstay of this tiny island economy. The Marshall Islands received more than $1 billion in aid from the US from 1986-2002. Agricultural production, primarily subsistence, 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 Amended Compact of Free Association, the US will provide millions of dollars per year to the Marshall Islands (RMI) through 2023, at which time a Trust Fund made up of US and RMI contributions will begin perpetual annual payouts. Government downsizing, drought, a drop in construction, the decline in tourism, and less income from the renewal of fishing vessel licenses have held GDP growth to an average of 1% over the past decade.
(CIA, 2012)

Major Export Commodities: copra cake, coconut oil, handicrafts, fish

Remittances: Not Available

Human Development Index 2011 ranking: Not ranked

Official Development Assistance and Major Development Partners: Net ODA US $91 million 

Major development partners are: the United States, Japan, and Australia(OECD 2010).

Total External Debt: US $87 million (2008 CIA est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth:72.0 years (UNDP 2011)

Environmental Indicators:

                                              Endangered Species (as a % of all species): 12

                                              Forested Area (percentage of land area): 70.2

                                              CO2 Emissions (tonnes per capita): 1.6

                                              (Data Source: UNDP 2011)

United Nations Membership date: 17 September 1991

New York Mission:
Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Marshall Islands to the United Nations
800 Second Avenue, 18th Floor
New York, N.Y.10017USA
Telephone: 212-983-3040
Fax: 212-983-3202.


CIA World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.

World Development Indicators. World Bank

Development, Recipient Aid Charts. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Human Development Report 2011.United Nations Development Programme.


Updated July 2012