The Marshall Islands

Political Status

The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) was a district of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI) which the United States administered on behalf of the United Nations from 1947 until 1978.  The RMI came into being as a sovereign country in 1979 and entered into a Compact of Free Association with the United States in 1986.  The first financial package of the Compact lasted 15 years, from 1986 to 2003.  By the provisions of the Compact, the United States and the RMI negotiated a new financial package in 2003, covering 2003-2023.    Under the Compact, the United States provides economic and financial aid and defends the RMI's territorial integrity.  In return, the RMI provides the Untied States with unlimited and exclusive access to its land and waterways for strategic purposes. A Trust Fund was also created to contribute to the long-term budgetary self-reliance of the RMI when the financial provisions of the Compact expire in 2023. The close ties between the United States and the RMI that go back to the end of World War II are also reflected in the fact that the RMI uses the U.S. dollar as its currency.  Strategically, the RMI hosts the U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll (USAKA) Reagan Missile Test Site, a key installation in the U.S. missile defense network.

Immigration & Employment Status of Citizens of the RMI in the U.S.

Citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Palau Are Eligible to Work in the United States Indefinitely. Citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), and Palau are admitted to the United States as nonimmigrants when admitted under the terms of those nations' respective Compacts of Free Association with the United States. These three countries are sometimes referred to collectively as the "Freely Associated States."   more

The United Nations and Bilateral Relations

On September 17, 1991, the Marshall Islands became a full-fledged member of the United Nations.  The Marshall Islands is a close voting ally of the U.S. and Israel at the UN.  The Marshall Islands has established bilateral relations with 72 countries which includes the USA, Taiwan, Israel, France and the Holy See.  For a complete list of countries with which the RMI has relations,
click here.

Distances from places

Washington DC: 7,060 miles
Honolulu: 2,500 miles
Tokyo: 2,800miles
Guam: 1,860 miles

Population & Demography

Total population: 53,952 (2015)
Majuro: 27,797 (2011)
Ebeye: 9,614
Other atolls: 15,747
Marshallese: 92.1%
Mixed Marshallese: 5.9%
Others: 2.0%

Labor Force & Employment

Total payroll employment: 10,576
Private sector employment: 4,203
Government employment: 6,374

Economy & Income Sources

GDP: $179.4 million (2015)
Per capita GDP: $ 3,325
U.S. per capita GDP: $56,276

USAKA Reagan Missile Test Site
Kwajalein's only major income source
USAKA employment: 920 (8.7% of total employment)

Visitors to Majuro: 5,725 (2015)
Business visitors: 2,362
Holiday visitors: 1,908
Transit & stopover: 586
Tourists from the U.S., Canada & other Americas: 2,047
Other Pacific islands: 1,757
Japan: 401

Government services
Hotels and restaurants
Other services

Government Finances

Total government revenues: $116.7 million (2015)
Total government spending: $113.9 million
Federal grants: $67.7 million

Kwajalein Missile Range 

At home in the largest lagoon in the world, is the U.S. Kwajalein Missile Range.  A major subsidiary agreement of the Compact with the Marshall Islands allows the United States continued use in Kwajalein Atoll of the U.S. Army missile test range for up to thirty years. Kwajalein consists of some ninety islands surrounding the largest lagoon in the world. Under a lease agreement with Marshall Islands Government, the U.S. Department of Defense uses the atoll and controls some of its islands.

Nuclear Issues

Section 177 of the Compact with the Marshall Islands provided for settlement of all claims arising out of the nuclear testing programs which the United States conducted at Bikini and Enewetak Atolls from l946 to l958. Under Section 177, the US Government has made payments of over $500M which included $135M for Bikini and Rongelap resettlements.

OIA Contacts

Joseph McDermott
Desk Officer for the Marshall Islands
Office of Insular Affairs
Washington, DC 20240
(202) 219-0037

Fred Nysta
Field Officer – DOI Insular Affairs
C/O American Embassy
P.O. Box 1379
Majuro, MH 96960
011 (692) 247-4011
011 (691) 247-5371 Fax
EST + 17 hours DST + 16 hrs

Republic of the Marshall Islands Leadership

Hilda Heine
President of the Marshall Islands

Office of the President
P.O. Box 2
Majuro, MH 96960

011 (692) 625-3445/3660
011 (692) 625-4021/3649 Fax

Gerald Zackios

Embassy of the Marshall Islands
2433 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

(202) 234-5414
(202) 232-3236 Fax


U.S. Embassy in the Republic of the Marshall Islands

Karen Stewart


U.S. Embassy
Post Office Box 680
Majuro, MH 96960

011 (692) 247-4011
011 (692) 247-4012 Fax