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Marshall Islands Marshall Islands

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Marshall Islands – Quick View
ECR score4.21 (Mar 2011)
ECR rank185 (Mar 2011)
GDPUSD 0.17 billion
GNI per capita PPPNA
FDI inflowUSD 8 million
Central bank assetsUSD 98.3 million
Unemployment rate30.9%
Government deficitUSD 1 million
Tax revenueUSD 24.7 million
Government typeDemocratic
Recent political crisisNA
Economic freedom scoreNA
Freedom of information scoreNA
Corruption perception indexNA
Birth rate35 per '000
Population balanceUnder 14 - 41.8%
Population balanceOver 60 - Females-4.2%
Population balanceOver 60 - Males - 3.8%
Life expectancy yearsMale 64 years
Life expectancy yearsFemale 67 years
Mortality rate6.4 per '000
Literacy rate93.7%
Internet access3.55%

[Top] Economic Overview

The Marshall Islands is a poor country and is dependent upon foreign assistance for its revenue. The Marshall Islands has a limited manufacturing base, small scale agricultural production and no major natural resources.

Gross domestic product (GDP)

The GDP in 2008 was estimated at USD 0.17 billion compared to USD 0.16 billion in the previous year.

(Source: spc.int)

Marshall Islands GDP and GDP growth


(Source: spc.int)

The GDP at constant prices in 2008 was USD 0.14 billion compared to USD 0.13 the previous year.

The real GDP growth rate in 2008 was 1.5% compared to 1.3% in 2007.

(Source: spc.int)

The GDP per capita at constant prices in 2008 was USD 2,554  compared to USD 2,551 in 2007.

(Source: spc.int)

Gross national income (GNI)

The GNI in 2009 amounted to USD 0.19 billion and the GNI per capita was USD 3,060.

(Source: World Bank)


Tax rates

Tax on individual income in the Marshall Islands is levied at 8% on the first USD 10,400 and then at 12% on the rest of the income. (Source: carloscevola)

Corporate tax

The corporate tax rate levied at local companies is 11.5% while foreign companies are exempt from paying of taxes.

(Source: carloscevola)

Inflation rate

The inflation rate in 2007 was 2% compared to 4.3% in the previous year.

Marshall Islands Inflation rate



FDI Inflow

In 2009, FDI inflow was USD 8 million which increased over the previous year from USD 6 million. (Source: unctad.org)

Banking sector assets

Total assets of the banking sector in 2006 were USD 98.3 million compared to USD 95.6 million in 2005.


Marshall Islands Assets

(Source: spc.int)

[Top] Financial Indicators & Government Financial

Consumer Price Index

The consumer price index in September 2008 was 151.40 as compared to 116.41 in September 2007.

Marshall Islands CPI

Interest rates






Savings Deposits (%)

Savings accounts




Time Deposits (%)

Three months




Six months




One year or more





(Source: spc.int)

Government Expenditure

The government expenditure in 2007 was estimated at USD 99.9 million as compared to USD 93.5 million in 2006.

Government Expenditure (USD million)


2007 (E)


Current expenditure



Capital expenditure



Total expenditure



(Source: spc.int)


Public debt

The country’s external debt as a percentage of GDP was 68% in 2006 as compared to 66% in 2005.

Marshall Islands External debt


(Source: spc.int)

Official exchange rate

Marshall Islands Exchange rate




Government Financial well-being

Fiscal balance

The overall deficit in 2007 was estimated at USD 1 million as compared to a surplus of USD 1.3 million in 2006.

Marshall Islands Fiscal balance


(Source: spc.int)

Total Revenue

Total revenue in the year 2007 was estimated at USD 36 million which decreased from USD 36.4 million of the previous year.

Marshall Islands Total revenue


(Source: spc.int)


Tax revenue

Tax revenues of Marshall Islands were estimated to be USD 24.7 million in 2007 as compared to USD 25.1 million in the previous year.

(Source: spc.int)

Total Grants

Marshall Island received grants amounting to USD 62.9 million in 2007 as compared to 2006 when it received USD 58.5 million.

(Source: spc.int)

Current Account Balance

Marshall Islands Current account balance


(Source: World Bank)

Balance of Payments

Balance of Payments (USD million)




Exports of goods and services



Imports of goods and services



Resource balance



Net income



Current account balance



Financing items (net)



Changes in net reserves




(Source: World Bank)

[Top] Labour Force and Employment Overview

In 1999, the working age population was 28,698 people, of which 14,677 were economically active and 14,015 were economically inactive.

(Source: spc.int)

Unemployment rate

The unemployment rate in the Marshall Islands was 30.9% in 1999.

(Source: spc.int)

Minimum wage

The minimum wage in the Marshall Islands is USD 2 per hour for government and private sector employees.

(Source: estandarsforum.org)

Level of unionisation

Workers have the freedom and are allowed to form and join trade unions. The first trade union was formed in January 2009 by public school teachers and has approximately 110 members.

(Source: estandarsforum.org)

[Top] Political Stability

The Marshall Islands has a democratic form of government. The president is the head of state and the head of government. The president is elected by parliament for a term of four years.

The parliament of the Marshall Islands, known as Nitijela, is unicameral in nature. The Nitijela has a statutory requirement to have 33 members, who are directly elected for a four year term.

The main political parties in the Marshall Islands include:

  • Aelon Kein Ad
  • United Democratic Party
  • United People's Party

(Source: estandardsforum.org, IPU, state.gov)

Regulatory environment

The Marshall Islands is not included in the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom.


Corruption perception

The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is a survey to measure the perceived level of corruption across countries worldwide.

 The Marshall Islands is not included in the 2010 index.


Freedom of information

The media in the Marshall Islands is free and the government generally respects the freedom of the press and media.

(Source: BBC)

The Marshall Islands is not included in the 2010 Press Freedom Index. (Source: rsf.org)


  • Marshall Islands Journal
  • Marshall Islands Gazette

(Source: BBC)

Judicial system

The judicial system is independent and includes –

  • Supreme Court
  • High Court
  • District and community courts
  • Traditional rights court

The Supreme Court is the apex court and is the final authority to adjudicate all cases. The High Court is a superior constitutional court and adjudicates in cases of law. The District Court is a statutory court of record and the Traditional Rights Court is a constitutional court of record.

(Source: paclii.org, state.gov)

[Top] Demographic Overview

The total population of the Marshall Islands in 2009 was 61,026, increasing at a rate of approximately 2.3% over the previous year.

(Source: World Bank, World Bank)

Marshall Islands population by gender

The gender ratio in the Marshall Islands is unbalanced i.e. there are approximately 105.3 men for every 100 women in the country.

(Source: UN)

Individuals below 14 years of age made up 41.8% of the total population (in 2009). In 2009, 4.2% women and 3.8% men (% of total population) were above the age of 60.

The mortality rate of infants (per thousand live births) was registered at 37 between 2005 and 2010. The crude birth rate in 2007 was recorded at 35 births (per thousand). The crude death rate was 6.4 (per thousands).


The average life expectancy in the Marshall Islands for men was 64.0 years and 67.0 years for women between 2005 and 2010.

(Source: UN, World Bank)

The international migrant stock till mid 2010 was recorded at 1,700 people. This was approximately 2.7% of the total population.

The urban population growth rate between 2005 and 2010 was 2.7% compared to the rural population growth rate of 1.0%.

(Source: UN)

Ethnic groups in the Marshall Islands include:

  • Marshallese
  •  Filipino
  • Chinese
  • New Zealander
  • Australian
  • Micronesian (FSM)
  • Kiribati
  • Korean
  • Fijian

A large proportion of population in the Marshall Islands are Christians.

(Source: state.gov)

The Marshall Islands is not included in the Human Development Index 2010, conducted by the United Nations. The HDI provides a composite measure of three dimensions of human development: living a long and healthy life (measured by life expectancy), being educated (measured by adult literacy and gross enrolment in education) and having a decent standard of living (measured by purchasing power parity, PPP, income).

(Source: UNDP)

[Top] Soft Infrastructure


The adult literacy rate in the Marshall Islands is estimated at 93.7%.

The education system in the Marshall Islands consists of primary and secondary education. Education is compulsory between 4 and 18 years of age.

Primary schooling starts at the age of 6 and lasts for 6 years and secondary education starts at the age of 12 and lasts for another 6 years. The University of South Pacific provides secondary education in Majuro through extension programs.

The number of existing schools is inadequate to cater for the number of eligible school children. There are approximately 17 students for every teacher.

Various factors including lack of adequate infrastructure, shortage of transportation facilities and poverty has affected the development of the education system.

(Source: estandardsforum.org)

Health care

The Ministry of Health is responsible for the supervision of the health care system in the Marshall Islands. Health care services are provided through two hospitals in Majuro and Ebeye and 61 health centres.

In 2007, the total health expenditure amounted to USD 22 million, which included a 97.4% contribution from the government and 2.6% contribution from the private sector.

The majority of the health care expenditure in the Marshall Islands is funded through external aid or grants, including United States Federal Health Grants and grants under the Compact of Free Association between the Marshall Islands and the United States of America.

In 2008, the health care workforce consisted of 38 physicians, 7 dentists, 2 pharmacists and 172 nurses.

(Source: WHO)

[Top] Hard Infrastructure

Mass public transit

The main mode of public transport is primarily road travel. The Marshall Islands has no railway system.


The road network in the Marshall Islands includes approximately 64 km of sealed roads and 60 km of unsealed roads.

(Source: estandardsforum.org)

Ports:  The major ports in the Marshall Islands are - Port of Kwajalein and Port of Majuro.

(Source:world port source)


Marshall Islands International airport is the only international airport.



Airport name

Runway length (Ft.)

Enewetak Atoll

Enewetak Aux Af


Jabor Jaluit Atoll



Kwajalein Atoll

Bucholz Aaf


Majuro Atoll

Marshall Is Intl


(Source: Air charter world)

Telecommunications networks

In 2009, the number of fixed telephone lines users was 4,400 or 7.9 (per 100). Total mobile phone subscriptions in the same year were 3,000 or 4.84 (per 100).

The internet penetration in 2009 was 3.55 (per 100 inhabitants).

Marshall Islands Internet users


(Source: ITU)

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