Photos of Marshall Islands



Humans arrived in the Marshall Islands in the first millennium B.C. and gradually created permanent settlements on the various atolls. The early inhabitants were skilled navigators who frequently traveled between atolls using stick charts to map the islands. Society became organized under two paramount chiefs, one each for the Ratak (Sunrise) Chain and the Ralik (Sunset) Chain. The traditional hierarchy continued even after contact with Europeans in the early 1500s. Spain formally claimed the islands in 1592, but few other Europeans passed by the islands in the next two centuries. In 1788, British sea captain John MARSHALL undertook an exploratory voyage, and the islands were mapped in the early 1800s by Russian explorers. In the 1850s, US Protestant missionaries began arriving on the islands. Germany established a supply station on Jaluit Atoll and bought the islands from Spain in 1884, although paramount chiefs continued to rule.

Japan seized the Marshall Islands in 1914 and was granted a League of Nations Mandate to administer the islands in 1920. Japan built large military bases throughout the Marshall Islands, and during World War II, the US captured the bases on Kwajalein, Enewetak, and Majuro Atolls in Operations Flintlock and Catchpole. The Marshall Islands came under US administration as part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI) in 1947. Between 1946 and 1958, the US resettled populations from Bikini and Enewetak Atolls and conducted 67 nuclear tests; people from Ailinginae and Rongelap Atolls were also evacuated because of nuclear fallout, and all four atolls remain largely uninhabited. In 1979, the Marshall Islands drafted a constitution separate from the rest of the TTPI and declared independence under President Amata KABUA, a paramount chief. In 2000, Kessai NOTE became the first commoner elected president. In 2016, Hilda HEINE was the first woman elected president.

In 1982, the Marshall Islands signed a Compact of Free Association (COFA) with the US, which granted the Marshall Islands financial assistance and access to many US domestic programs in exchange for exclusive US military access and defense responsibilities; the COFA entered into force in 1986 and its funding was renewed in 2003. 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)).

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.



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


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

comparison ranking: total 216

Area - comparative

about the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries

total: 0 km


370.4 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


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


low coral limestone and sand islands


highest point: East-central Airik Island, Maloelap Atoll 14 m

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

mean elevation: 2 m

Natural resources

coconut products, marine products, deep seabed minerals

Land use

agricultural land: 50.7% (2018 est.)

arable land: 7.8% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 31.2% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 11.7% (2018 est.)

forest: 49.3% (2018 est.)

other: 0% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

0 sq km (2022)

Population distribution

most people live in urban clusters found on many of the country's islands; more than two-thirds of the population lives on the atolls of Majuro and Ebeye

Natural hazards

infrequent typhoons

Geography - note

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

People and Society


80,966 (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 200


noun: Marshallese (singular and plural)

adjective: Marshallese

Ethnic groups

Marshallese 95.6%, Filipino 1.1%, other 3.3% (2021 est.)


Marshallese (official) 98.2%, other languages 1.8% (1999 est.)

major-language sample(s):

Bok eo an Lalin kin Melele ko Rejimwe ej jikin ebōk melele ko raurōk. (Marshallese)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

note: English (official), widely spoken as a second language


Protestant 79.3% (United Church of Christ 47.9%, Assembly of God 14.1%, Full Gospel 5%, Bukot Nan Jesus 3%, Salvation Army 2.3%, Reformed Congressional Church 2.2%, Seventh Day Adventist 1.7%, New Beginning Church 1.4%, other Protestant 1.6%), Roman Catholic 9.3%, Church of Jesus Christ 5.7%, Jehovah's Witness 1.3%, other 3.3%, none 1.1% (2021 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 30.65% (male 12,642/female 12,175)

15-64 years: 63.83% (male 26,237/female 25,445)

65 years and over: 5.52% (2023 est.) (male 2,187/female 2,280)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 59.9

youth dependency ratio: 53

elderly dependency ratio: 6.8

potential support ratio: 14.7 (2021)

Median age

total: 23.8 years

male: 23.6 years

female: 23.9 years (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 173

Population growth rate

1.3% (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 72

Birth rate

21.61 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 60

Death rate

4.3 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 209

Net migration rate

-4.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 196

Population distribution

most people live in urban clusters found on many of the country's islands; more than two-thirds of the population lives on the atolls of Majuro and Ebeye


urban population: 78.9% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.61% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

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

15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.96 male(s)/female

total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 21.13 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 24.56 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 17.54 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: total 77

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 74.92 years

male: 72.68 years

female: 77.26 years (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: total population 134

Total fertility rate

2.72 children born/woman (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 58

Gross reproduction rate

1.33 (2023 est.)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 99.8% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 0.2% of population

total: 0% of population (2020 est.)

Physicians density

0.42 physicians/1,000 population (2012)

Hospital bed density

2.7 beds/1,000 population

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 96.6% of population

rural: 65.4% of population

total: 89.7% of population

unimproved: urban: 3.4% of population

rural: 34.6% of population

total: 10.3% of population (2020 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

52.9% (2016)

comparison ranking: 4

Tobacco use

total: 28.5% (2020 est.)

male: 48.7% (2020 est.)

female: 8.3% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 36

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

11.9% (2017)

comparison ranking: 48

Education expenditures

13.6% of GDP (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 1


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 98.3%

male: 98.3%

female: 98.2% (2011)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 10 years

male: 10 years

female: 10 years (2019)

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 26%

male: 31%

female: 14.2% (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 60


Environment - current issues

inadequate supplies of potable water; pollution of Majuro lagoon from household waste and discharges from fishing vessels; sea level rise

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Protocol, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


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

Land use

agricultural land: 50.7% (2018 est.)

arable land: 7.8% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 31.2% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 11.7% (2018 est.)

forest: 49.3% (2018 est.)

other: 0% (2018 est.)


urban population: 78.9% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.61% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Revenue from forest resources

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 187

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 9.43 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 0.14 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 0.03 megatons (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 8,614 tons (2013 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 2,653 tons (2007 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 30.8% (2007 est.)

Total renewable water resources

0 cubic meters (2017 est.)


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

mixed presidential-parliamentary system in free association with the US


name: Majuro; note - the capital is an atoll of 64 islands; governmental buildings are housed on three fused islands on the eastern side of the atoll: 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)

etymology: Majuro means "two openings" or "two eyes" and refers to the two major northern passages through the atoll into the Majuro lagoon

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


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

National holiday

Constitution Day, 1 May (1979)


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 2018

Legal system

mixed legal system of US and English common law, customary law, and local statutes

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of the Marshall Islands

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President David KABUA (since 13 January 2020); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President David KABUA (since 13 January 2020)

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 6 January 2020 (next to be held in 2024)

election results: David KABUA elected president; National Parliament vote - David KABUA 20, Hilda C. HEINE 12

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Parliament consists of:
Nitijela (33 seats; members in 19 single- and 5 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); members appointed to serve 1-year terms

elections: last held on 18 November 2019 (next to be held by 11 November 2023)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - independent 33; composition - men 31, women 2, percent of women 6.1%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and 2 associate justices)

judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the Cabinet upon the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission (consists of the chief justice of the High Court, the attorney general and a private citizen selected by the Cabinet) and upon approval of the Nitijela; the current chief justice, appointed in 2013, serves for 10 years; Marshallese citizens appointed as justices serve until retirement 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

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Gerald M. ZACKIOS (since 16 September 2016)

chancery: 2433 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 234-5414

FAX: [1] (202) 232-3236

email address and website:

consulate(s) general: Honolulu, Springdale (AR)

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Lance POSEY (since 18 August 2023)

embassy: Mejen Weto, Ocean Side, Majuro

mailing address: 4380 Majuro Place, Washington DC  20521-4380

telephone: [692] 247-4011

FAX: [692] 247-4012

email address and website:

Flag description

blue with two stripes radiating from the lower hoist-side corner - orange (top) and white; a white star with four large rays and 20 small rays appears on the hoist side above the two stripes; blue represents the Pacific Ocean, the orange stripe signifies the Ralik Chain or sunset and courage, while the white stripe signifies the Ratak Chain or sunrise and peace; the star symbolizes the cross of Christianity, each of the 24 rays designates one of the electoral districts in the country and the four larger rays highlight the principal cultural centers of Majuro, Jaluit, Wotje, and Ebeye; the rising diagonal band can also be interpreted as representing the equator, with the star showing the archipelago's position just to the north

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

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 1 (cultural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Bikini Atoll Nuclear Test Site


Economic overview

upper middle-income Pacific island economy; US aid reliance; large public sector; coconut oil production as diesel fuel substitute; growing offshore banking locale; fishing rights seller; import-dependent

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$250.694 million (2021 est.)
$247.93 million (2020 est.)
$252.582 million (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 218

Real GDP growth rate

1.11% (2021 est.)
-1.84% (2020 est.)
10.84% (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 181

Real GDP per capita

$6,000 (2021 est.) note: data are in 2017 dollars
$5,700 (2020 est.) note: data are in 2017 dollars
$5,600 (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 164

GDP (official exchange rate)

$222 million (2017 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

0% (2017 est.)
-1.5% (2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 215

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 4.4% (2013 est.)

industry: 9.9% (2013 est.)

services: 85.7% (2013 est.)

comparison rankings: services 18; industry 207; agriculture 132

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.)


copra, tuna processing, tourism, craft items (from seashells, wood, and pearls)

Industrial production growth rate

-3.66% (2021 est.) NA

comparison ranking: 182

Labor force

10,670 (2013 est.)

comparison ranking: 217

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 11%

industry: 16.3%

services: 72.7% (2011 est.)

Unemployment rate

36% (2006 est.)
30.9% (2000 est.)

comparison ranking: 1

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 26%

male: 31%

female: 14.2% (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 60


revenues: $148 million (2019 est.)

expenditures: $153 million (2019 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

1.3% (of GDP) (2013 est.)

comparison ranking: 27

Public debt

41.71% of GDP (2019 est.)
44.14% of GDP (2018 est.)
47.95% of GDP (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 132

Taxes and other revenues

17.16% (of GDP) (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 118

Fiscal year

1 October - 30 September

Current account balance

-$1.182 million (2020 est.)
$56.998 million (2019 est.)
$53.031 million (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 79


$1.37 billion (2021 est.)
$773 million (2020 est.)
$1.17 billion (2019 est.)

note: data are in current year dollars

comparison ranking: 168

Exports - partners

Denmark 33%, South Korea 20%, Germany 15%, Poland 9%, Cyprus 4% (2021)

Exports - commodities

ships, recreational boats, skipjack, tuna, refined petroleum, broadcasting equipment (2021)


$10.7 billion (2021 est.)
$12 billion (2020 est.)
$9.1 billion (2019 est.)

note: data are in current year dollars

comparison ranking: 110

Imports - partners

South Korea 33%, China 30%, Japan 11%, Greece 3%, Cyprus 3% (2021)

Imports - commodities

ships, refined petroleum, centrifuges, recreational boats, boat propellers (2019)

Debt - external

$97.96 million (2013 est.)
$87 million (2008 est.)

comparison ranking: 193

Exchange rates

the US dollar is used


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 99.7% (2021)

electrification - urban areas: 96% (2021)

electrification - rural areas: 92% (2020)

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 134

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 186

Refined petroleum products - imports

2,060 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 190

Carbon dioxide emissions

293,700 metric tonnes of CO2 (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 197


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 2,361 (2014 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 5 (2014 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 214

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 16,000 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 38 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 218

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: the National Telecommunications Act, through Bill No. 66, ushered in a new era in telecommunications in the Marshall Islands; this will enable an open, competitive market for telecommunications that is regulated by a Telecommunications Commissioner; telecom officials announced that they would be able to offer satellite internet services beginning in mid-2023; the World Bank has been promoting telecommunications reform here for a decade and has a multi-million-dollar telecommunications reform grant program in progress (2022)

domestic: fixed-line roughly 5 per 100 persons and mobile-cellular is nearly 38 per 100 persons (2021)

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 users

total: 16,254 (2021 est.)

percent of population: 38.7% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 214

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 1,000 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 207

Communications - note

Kwajalein 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))


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 1 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 3

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 24,313 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 130,000 (2018) mt-km


15 (2021)

comparison ranking: total 147

Airports - with paved runways


note: paved runways have a concrete or asphalt surface but not all have facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control; the length of a runway required for aircraft to safely operate depends on a number of factors including the type of aircraft, the takeoff weight (including passengers, cargo, and fuel), engine types, flap settings, landing speed, elevation of the airport, and average maximum daily air temperature; paved runways can reach a length of 5,000 m (16,000 ft.), but the “typical” length of a commercial airline runway is between 2,500-4,000 m (8,000-13,000 ft.)

Airports - with unpaved runways


note: unpaved runways have a surface composition such as grass or packed earth and are most suited to the operation of light aircraft; unpaved runways are usually short, often less than 1,000 m (3,280 ft.) in length; airports with unpaved runways often lack facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control


total: 2,028 km (2007)

paved: 75 km (2007)

unpaved: 1,953 km

comparison ranking: total 171

Merchant marine

total: 4,042

by type: bulk carrier 1,879 container ship 276, general cargo 62, oil tanker 1023, other 802 (2022)

comparison ranking: total 6

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Enitwetak Island, Kwajalein, Majuro

Military and Security

Military and security forces

no regular military forces; the national police (Marshall Islands Police Department, MIPD), local police forces, and the Sea Patrol (maritime police) maintain internal security; the MIPD and Sea Patrol report to the Ministry of Justice; local police report to their respective local government councils (2023)

Military - note

defense is the responsibility of the US

the Marshall Islands have a "shiprider" agreement with the US, which allows local maritime law enforcement officers to embark on US Coast Guard (USCG) and US Navy (USN) vessels, including to board and search vessels suspected of violating laws or regulations within its designated exclusive economic zone (EEZ) or on the high seas; "shiprider" agreements also enable USCG personnel and USN vessels with embarked USCG law enforcement personnel to work with host nations to protect critical regional resources (2023)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Marshall Islands-US: claims US territory of Wake Island; the Marshall Islands put its claim on record with the UN in 2016


Trafficking in persons

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Marshall Islands does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; officials identified a labor trafficking victim, conducted awareness-raising activities, and continued to investigate a government official allegedly complicit in trafficking; however, the government did not demonstrate overall increasing efforts, compared with the previous reporting period, to expand its anti-trafficking capacity; the government did not prosecute any traffickers for the third consecutive year and has not convicted any traffickers since 2011; officials did not use standard operating procedures to identify trafficking victims and penalized victims for immigration offenses committed as a direct result of being trafficked; law enforcement officials, who have a limited understanding of trafficking, did not receive anti-trafficking training, nor did the government provide adequate financial and technical resources for anti-trafficking efforts; therefore, Marshall Islands was downgraded to Tier 2 Watch List (2023)

trafficking profile: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in the Marshall lslands, as well as Marshallese victims abroad; traffickers, including hotel and bar staff and family members, recruit and transport Marshallese and East Asian women and girls and exploit them in sex trafficking in the Marshall Islands with foreign construction workers and crew members of foreign fishing and commercial ships; traffickers exploit some foreign fishermen under conditions indicative of forced labor on ships in Marshallese waters; foreign women, including some Chinese nationals, are recruited with promises of work, are forced into commercial sex in establishments frequented by crew members of China-affiliated and other foreign fishing vessels; traffickers exploit Chinese nationals in Chinese-owned businesses; some wealthier or more powerful family members use traditional cultural practices to exploit impoverished Marshallese from outer Islands to serve as indentured labor; limited reports indicate some Marshallese searching for work in the US experience indicators of trafficking, such as passport confiscation, excessive work hours, and fraudulent recruitment, while some Marshallese children are transported to the US and exploited in situations of sexual abuse with indicators of sex trafficking (2023)