Kessai H. Note

Marshall Islands

(pronounced "KESS-eye NOTE")

"We will restructure, rebuild, and restore the integrity of the country's institutions. We will advocate discipline and transparency in all sectors of government."

The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) comprises 29 coral atolls (19 inhabited) and five coral pinnacles (four inhabited). These islands form two roughly parallel chains called Ratak (Sunrise) and Ralik (Sunset), located between 160º and 173º east longitude, and between 4º and 20º north latitude. Though the islands of RMI spread over 1.95 million sq km (718,000 sq mi) of the eastern Pacific Ocean, the combined land mass is just under 180 sq km (69.5 sq mi). Typhoons are not uncommon during the winter months and can wreak havoc on these low islands.

The population was estimated at 73,630 in 2002, with heavy concentrations in the capital, Majuro, and on Ebeye in Kwajalein Atoll. Under the Compact of Free Association (CFA), concluded in 1986, Marshallese have free entry to the United States and small communities are to be found there, especially in Hawaii and California where young Marshallese may pursue higher education. The Marshallese language is part of the Micronesian family of Oceanic Austronesian languages. There were probably a number of distinct dialects in the past, but only two (Ratak and Ralik) were still spoken as of 2003. English is the official language of government and commerce. Three centuries of contact with the outside world have produced notable ethnic mixing, which continues to the present.


Kessai Note
Capitol Building
Majuro, MH 96960
Republic of the Marshall Islands

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