Marshall Islands

Region: Oceania-Micronesia

Capital: Majuro

Population: 70,983 (July 2014 CIA est.)

Surface area: 181.3 sq km

Currency: US dollar (USD)

GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity US $8,700 (2013 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 assistance and lease payments for the use of Kwajalein Atoll as a US military base are the mainstay of this small island country. The Marshall Islands received roughly $1 billion in aid from the US during 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, from 2004 to 2024. Under the amended Compact, the Marshall Islands will receive roughly $1.5 billion in direct US assistance. 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. Under the amended Compact, the US is also funding, jointly with the Marshall Islands, a Trust Fund for the people of the Marshall Islands that will provide an income stream beyond 2024 when direct Compact aid is to end. (CIA, 2014)

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

Remittances: Not Available

Human Development Index 2013 ranking: Not ranked

Official Development Assistance and Major Development Partners:
Net ODA US $76,010,000.
Major development partners are: the United States, Japan, and Australia (OECD 2012).

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

Life Expectancy at Birth: 72.58 years (CIA 2014)

Environmental Indicators:
Endangered Species (as a % of all species): 11.0
Forested Area (percentage of land area): 70.2
CO2 Emissions (tonnes per capita): 1.9
(UNDP 2013)

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.10017 USA
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 2013.United Nations Development Programme.

Updated January 2015