World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide

Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of Countries
Map of Australia and South Pacific

Marshall Islands
Travelling Guide
Marshall Islands Travelling Guide

General background: After almost four decades under US administration as the easternmost part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the Marshall Islands attained independence in 1986 under a Compact of Free Association. Compensation claims continue as a result of US nuclear testing on some of the atolls between 1947 and 1962. The Marshall Islands have been home to the US Army Base Kwajalein (USAKA) since 1964.

Area comparative: About the size of Washington, DC

Climate: Wet season from May to November; hot and humid; islands border typhoon belt

Terrain: Low coral limestone and sand islands

Population: 73,630 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: Micronesian

Religions: Christian (mostly Protestant)

Language: English (widely spoken as a second language, both English and Marshallese are official languages), two major Marshallese dialects from the Malayo-Polynesian family, Japanese.

Government type: Constitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force 21 October 1986.

Capital: Majuro

Legal system: Based on adapted Trust Territory laws, acts of the legislature, municipal, common, and customary laws.

Economic overview: US Government assistance is the mainstay of this tiny island economy. Agricultural production is primarily subsistence and is concentrated on small farms; the most important commercial crops are coconuts and breadfruit. Small-scale industry is limited to handicrafts, tuna processing, and copra. The tourist industry, now a small source of foreign exchange employing less than 10% of the labour force, remains the best hope for future added income. The islands have few natural resources, and imports far exceed exports. Under the terms of the Compact of Free Association, the US provides roughly $39 million in annual aid. Negotiations have continued for an extended agreement. Government downsizing, drought, a drop in construction, the decline in tourism and foreign investment due to the Asian financial difficulties, and less income from the renewal of fishing vessel licenses have held GDP growth to an average of 1% over the past decade.

Communication/Telephone system:
Digital switching equipment; modern services include telex, cellular, internet, international calling, caller ID, and leased data circuits.

Places of interest: With over a thousand flat coral islands of white sand beaches and turquoise lagoons, the Marshall Islands beckon visitors with all the promise of a tropical paradise.

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