Location: the Marshall Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean, about halfway between Australia and Hawaii
Size: 181 sq km -- about the size of Washington, D.C. and slightly larger than the island of Aruba in the Caribbean
Coastline: 230 miles
Climate: Tropical, hot and humid with a rainy season May through Nov.
Capital: Majuro - 30,000 (2009)
Government: Constitutional government in free association with the United States; Compact of Free Association agreed upon in October 1986 and amended in 2004
President Christopher J. Loeak (took office in 2012, serves 4 year term)
Average Life Expectancy: Male - 69.92, Female 74.25
Religion: majority Protestant
Literacy Rate: 93.7
Economy: U.S. assistance, subsistence agriculture; commercial crops: coconuts and breadfruit
Airports: 4 with paved runways, 11 with unpaved runways
TV: no broadcast stations, but cable network available on Majuro with taped programming and satellite replay
Internet users: 2,200 (2009)
Military: none; defense is responsibility of U.S. government; the islands of Bikini and Enewetak are former U.S. nuclear test sites. The RMI hosts the U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll (USAKA) Reagan Missile Test Site, a portion of the U.S. missile defense system.
U.S. nuclear testing conducted from 1947-1962 (other sources define nuclear test period as between 1946-1958). Nuclear fallout has rendered many of the islands uninhabitable.
Current Environmental issues: inadequate supplies of drinking water, Majuro (capital city) lagoon pollution
Information provided by the CIA World Factbook website: