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.

Population:  68,480 

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 Loeak

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: