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The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) consists entirely of low-lying coral atolls, evolutionary remnants, of the more commonly known and visited high volcanic islands. There are 29 separate atolls in the Marshalls, containing a total of 1,225 islands, 870 reef systems, and 160 species of coral. The Marshalls is one of only four atoll nations in the world and is also one of the world's youngest nations, independent since just 1986.

The Marshall Islands adopted its constitution in 1979, and signed the Compact of Free Association with the United States in 1986. The Marshall Islands became a member of the United Nations in 1991.


Location: Micronesia (literally, "small islands"), a group of coral atolls and islands in the North Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way between Hawaii and Australia
Area: total area is 181. sq km, inclusive of all the islands in the archipelago
Climate: tropical; hot and humid; average temperature is 81 degrees Fahrenheit; wet season from May to November; islands border typhoon belt, but such storms are rare
Terrain: low coral limestone and sand islands
Major cities: Majuro (capital)
Major airports: NA
Major tourist attractions: world-class reef and WWII wreck scuba diving; snorkeling; big game fishing; fly fishing; WWII historic sightseeing and hundreds of uninhabited islands with pristine ecosystems and clean white beaches


Population: 69,747 (July 2013 est.)
Nationality: noun: Marshallese (singular and plural) adjective: Marshallese
Ethnic groups: Micronesian
Languages: both Marshallese (which has two dialects) and English are recognized as the nation's official languages
Religions: predominantly Protestant; but there is also a strong Catholic and Mormon presence as well as a Bahai center


Type: constitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force 21 October 1986. The Compact was extended for another 20 years in January 2004.
Independence: 21 October 1986 (from the US-administered UN trusteeship)
National holiday: Constitution Day, 1 May (1979)
Constitution adopted: 1 May 1979
Legal system: based on adapted Trust Territory laws, acts of the legislature, municipal, common, and customary laws
Head of Government: Chief of State: H.E. President Litokwa Tomeing (the president is both the chief of state and head of government)
Structure: executive (president is elected by Parliament from among its own members for a four-year term); legislative (unicameral Parliament or Nitijela; 33 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year term);and judicial branches
Joined United Nations: 17 September 1991


Currency: US dollar (USD)
Labor force: 10,480 (2011 est.)
Labor force by occupation: agriculture 11%, industry 16.3%, services 72.7% (2011 est.)
Major industries: copra (dried coconut meat), fish, tourism, craft items from shell, wood, and pearls
Major agriculture products: coconuts, tomatoes, melons, taro, breadfruit, fruits; pigs, chickens
Natural resources: coconut products, marine products, deep seabed minerals
Exports:  $50.14 million (2011 est.)
Exports – commodities: copra cake, coconut oil, handicrafts, fish
Imports: $118.7 million (2011 est.)
Imports – commodities: foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, fuels, beverages and tobacco