Quick Facts

  • Officially known as the Republic of the Marshall Islands
  • Gained independence from the United States on October 21, 1986 under a Compact of Free Association (COFA). For almost 4 decades, the Marshall Islands were under U.S. administration as the easternmost part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.
  • Location: Oceania, two archipelagic island chains of 29 atolls, each made up of many smaller islets, and 5 single islands in the North Pacific Ocean, about 1/2 way between Hawaii and Australia
  • Area: 70 sq. miles (about the size of Washington, D.C.)
  • Population: 72,191
  • Capital: Majuro (pop. 31,000)
  • Climate: tropical; hot and humid; wet season May-Nov., islands border typhoon belt
  • Terrain: low coral limestone and sand islands
  • Nationality: Marshallese
  • Official languages:  Marshallese, English
  • Major religion: Christianity
  • Literacy: 93.6%
  • Economy: U.S. government assistance is the mainstay of this island. The U.S. provides defense, grants, and access to social services. Most farming is subsistence farming. The most important commercial crops are coconuts and breadfruits.
  • Current weather conditions: www.weather.com
  • Tips for travel in country: www.travel.state.gov
  • Currency exchange rates: www.xe.com

Government in Power

  • The Marshall Islands has a constitutional government in free association with the United States; the Compact of Free Association (COFA) 1986, the Amended Compact in 2004
  • Chief of state and head of government: President Hilda C. Heine (since 2016) – president elected by the legislature from among its members who are elected by popular vote


Healthcare Statistics

  • Infant mortality rate: 20.66/1,000
  • Life expectancy: 72.84 years
  • Health expenditures: 16.5% of GDP
  • Physicians density: 0.44 physicians/1,000 population
  • Hospital bed density: 2.7 beds/1,000 population
  • Obesity: 42.3%
  • Infectious disease updates: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm

Images From the Field

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Area Agencies

Field Stories

Translators in the Field: Providing aid in many countries will require translators. Often your group is fortunate to have one or several individuals who speak the native dialect. This is a definite plus. A couple points to be aware of with the use of translators: You may notice, as I often have, when using translators […]


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