|Plants and Environments of the Marshall Islands An easy to read description of the plants and vegetation zones of the Marshall Islands. Lots of pictures.|
|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 islands between 1947 and 1962.
Government type: constitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force 21 October 1986
Currency: 1 United States dollar (US$) = 100 cents
Geography of the Marshall Islands
Location: Oceania, group of atolls and reefs in the North Pacific Ocean, about
one-half of the way from Hawaii to Papua New Guinea
People of the Marshall Islands
Two-thirds of the nation's population lives in Majuro and Ebeye. The outer islands are sparsely populated due to lack of employment opportunities and economic development.
The Marshallese are of Micronesian origin, which is traced to a combination of peoples who emigrated from Southeast Asia in the remote past. The matrilineal Marshallese culture revolves around a complex system of clans and lineages tied to land ownership.
Virtually all Marshallese are Christian, most of them Protestant. Other Christian denominations include Roman Catholic, Seventh-day Adventist, Mormon, Salvation Army, and Jehovah's Witness. A small Bahai community also exists.
Both Marshallese and English are official languages. English is spoken by most of the urban population. However, both the Nitijela (parliament) and national radio use Marshallese.
The public school system provides education through grade 12, although admission to secondary school is selective. The elementary program employs a bilingual/bicultural curriculum. English is introduced in the fourth grade. There is one post-secondary institution in the Marshall Islands--the College of the Marshall Islands.
Population: 59,071 (July 2005 est.)
SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State
Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Marshall Islands > Map Economy