General Information

The Marshall Islands are a sprawling chain of volcanic islands and coral atolls in the central Pacific Ocean, between Hawaii and the Philippines. In the northwest, Bikini Atoll’s largely undisturbed waters, used as a ship graveyard after World War II, are now a popular wreck dive site. Near Majuro Atoll, which holds the islands’ capital and largest settlement, the coral reef at Kalalin Pass teems with marine life.

Population

Marshall Islands has a population of 53,376

Political Structure

The government of the Marshall Islands operates under a mixed parliamentary-presidential system as set forth in its Constitution. Elections are held every four years in universal suffrage (for all citizens above 18), with each of the twenty-four constituencies (see below) electing one or more representatives (senators) to the lower house of RMI’s unicameral legislature, the Nitijela. (Majuro, the capital atoll, elects five senators.) The President, who is head of state as well as head of government, is elected by the 33 senators of the Nitijela. Four of the five Marshallese presidents who have been elected since the Constitution was adopted in 1979 have been traditional paramount chiefs.

Infrastructure and Economy

The islands have few natural resources, and their imports far exceed exports. The income tax has two brackets, with rates of 8% and 12%. The corporate tax is 3% of revenue. Agricultural production is concentrated on small farms. Small-scale industry is limited to handicrafts, fish processing, and copra. Fishing has been critical to the economy of this island nation since its settlement.

Languages

Marshall Islands’ official languages are: Marshallese and English

Currency

United States Dollar

Exchange Controls

Marshall Islands does not have exchange controls

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