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Marshall Islands

Country of Marshall Islands Flag

Capital: Majuro

Population: 58,791

Brief History of Marshall Islands:

The Marshall Islands is a small island nation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The islands were first inhabited by migratory people from Southeast Asia. The first European to arrive was Spanish explorer de Sasvedra who landed in 1529. In 1799, English explorer John Marshall visited. The islands were named after John Marshal.

Spain was the first to claim the islands in 1874. Not long after that in 1884, they were purchased from Spain by Germany. During World War I, Japan took control of the islands until late in World War II when the United States expelled the Japanese. The islands would be a US territory until 1979 when they became an independent nation. Today the Marshall Islands hosts the US Army Reagan Missile Test Site, an important installation in the US missile defense network.

Country of Marshall Islands Map

The Geography of Marshall Islands

Total Size: 11,854 square km

Size Comparison: about the size of Washington, DC

Geographical Coordinates: 9 00 N, 168 00 E

World Region or Continent: Oceania

General Terrain: low coral limestone and sand islands

Geographical Low Point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

Geographical High Point: unnamed location on Likiep 10 m

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

Major cities: MAJURO (capital) 30,000 (2009)

The People of Marshall Islands

Type of Government: constitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force 21 October 1986 and the Amended Compact entered into force in May 2004

Languages Spoken: Marshallese 98.2%, other languages 1.8% (1999 census)

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

National Holiday: Constitution Day, 1 May (1979)

Nationality: Marshallese (singular and plural)

Religions: Protestant 54.8%, Assembly of God 25.8%, Roman Catholic 8.4%, Bukot nan Jesus 2.8%, Mormon 2.1%, other Christian 3.6%, other 1%, none 1.5% (1999 census)

National Symbol:

National Anthem or Song:

Economy of Marshall Islands

Major Industries: copra, tuna processing, tourism, craft items from seashells, wood, and pearls

Agricultural Products: coconuts, tomatoes, melons, taro, breadfruit, fruits; pigs, chickens

Natural Resources: coconut products, marine products, deep seabed minerals

Major Exports: copra cake, coconut oil, handicrafts, fish

Major Imports: foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, fuels, beverages and tobacco

Currency: US dollar (USD)

National GDP: $133,500,000

** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.

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