2022 population pyramid



Under US administration as part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific, the people of the Northern Mariana Islands decided in the 1970s not to seek independence but instead to forge closer links with the US. A covenant to establish a commonwealth in political union with the US was approved in 1975, and came into force on 24 March 1976. A new constitution went into effect in 1978.



total: 464 sq km
land: 464 sq km
water: 0 sq km


tropical marine; moderated by northeast trade winds, little seasonal temperature variation; dry season December to June, rainy season July to October

Natural resources

arable land, fish

People and Society


51,295 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

Asian 50% (includes Filipino 35.3%, Chinese 6.8%, Korean 4.2%, and other Asian 3.7%), Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 34.9% (includes Chamorro 23.9%, Carolinian 4.6%, and other Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 6.4%), other 2.5%, two or more ethnicities or races 12.7% (2010 est.)


Philippine languages 32.8%, Chamorro (official) 24.1%, English (official) 17%, other Pacific island languages 10.1% (includes Carolinian (official), Chinese 6.8%, other Asian languages 7.3%, other 1.9% (2010 est.)


Christian (Roman Catholic majority, although traditional beliefs and taboos may still be found)

Population growth rate

-0.35% (2023 est.)


Government type

a commonwealth in political union with and under the sovereignty of the US; republican form of government with separate executive, legislative, and judicial branches


name: Saipan

Executive branch

chief of state: President Joseph R. BIDEN Jr. (since 20 January 2021); Vice President Kamala D. HARRIS (since 20 January 2021)
head of government: Governor Arnold PALACIOS (since 9 January 2023); Lieutenant Governor David APATANG (since 9 January 2023)

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Northern Marianas Commonwealth Legislature consists of:
Senate (9 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms)
House of Representatives (20 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 2-year terms)

the Northern Mariana Islands directly elects 1 delegate to the US House of Representatives by simple majority vote to serve a 2-year term


Economic overview

US Pacific island commonwealth economy; growing Chinese and Korean tourist destination; hit hard by 2018 typhoon; dependent on energy imports; exempt from some US labor and immigration laws; longstanding garment production

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$1.242 billion (2016 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$24,500 (2016 est.)

Agricultural products

vegetables and melons, fruits and nuts; ornamental plants; livestock, poultry, eggs; fish and aquaculture products


tourism, banking, construction, fishing, handicrafts, other services


$914 million (2016 est.)

Exports - partners

South Korea 73%, Peru 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

scrap iron, scrap copper, scrap aluminum, computers, laboratory diagnostic equipment (2019)


$893 million (2016 est.)

Imports - partners

Hong Kong 29%, Japan 29%, Singapore 16%, South Korea 9% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, trunks/cases, cars, watches, jewelry (2019)

Page last updated: Wednesday, February 22, 2023