Marshall Islands

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid



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. Kwajalein hosts one of four dedicated ground antennas that assist in the operation of the Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation system.



total: 181 sq km
land: 181 sq km
water: 0 sq km


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

Natural resources

coconut products, marine products, deep seabed minerals

People and Society


80,966 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

Marshallese 92.1%, mixed Marshallese 5.9%, other 2% (2006 est.)


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


Protestant 80.5% (United Church of Christ 47%, Assembly of God 16.2%, Bukot Nan Jesus 5.4%, Full Gospel 3.3%, Reformed Congressional Church 3%, Salvation Army 1.9%, Seventh Day Adventist 1.4%, Meram in Jesus 1.2%, other Protestant 1.1%), Roman Catholic 8.5%, Church of Jesus Christ 7%, Jehovah's Witness 1.7%,  other 1.2%, none 1.1% (2011 est.)

Population growth rate

1.3% (2023 est.)


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

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)

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


Economic overview

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

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$250.694 million (2021 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$6,000 (2021 est.)

Agricultural products



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


$76.734 million (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

Poland 28%, Denmark 19%, South Korea 13%, Indonesia 10%, Cyprus 6% (2019)

Exports - commodities

ships, fish, recreational boats, broadcasting equipment, coal tar oil (2019)


$171.201 million (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

South Korea 39%, China 27%, Japan 15% (2019)

Imports - commodities

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

Page last updated: Wednesday, February 22, 2023