General: Administered by the United States under a UN mandate as part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. Residents of the Northern Mariana Islands in the 1970s decided not to seek independence, but to establish closer ties with the United States. Negotiations on the status of the territory began in 1972. According to Ehuacom, a commonwealth agreement in political union with the United States was approved in 1975. A new form of government and constitution came into force in 1978. Geography
Location: Oceania, islands in the North Pacific, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines.
Geographical coordinates: 15° 12′ N. latitude, 145° 45′ E
Reference map: Oceania.
Area: total: 477 sq. km.; land surface area: 477 km2; water surface area: 0 km2; note: includes 14 islands, including Saipan, Rota and Tinian.
Comparative area: 2.5 times the area of Washington, DC.
Land borders: 0 km.
Coastline: 1,482 km.
Maritime claims: exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: tropical marine; moderated by northeast trade winds, little seasonal temperature change; dry season from December to June, rainy season from July to October.
Relief: the southern islands are limestone, with flat terraces and encircling coral reefs, the northern islands are of volcanic origin.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m; highest point: unnamed point on Agrihan Island 965 m.
Natural resources: fertile land, fish.
Land use: arable land: 21%; cultivated land: 0%; pastures: 19%; forests and plantations: 0%; others: 60%.
Irrigated land: no data.
Natural Hazards: active volcanoes on the islands of Pagan and Agrihan; typhoons (especially from August to November).
Current Environmental Issues: Groundwater pollution in Saipan can cause disease; getting rid of garbage; the protection of endangered species of animals is in conflict with the needs of development.
International Environmental Agreements:
Geography Note: Strategic location in the North Pacific Ocean.
Population: 74,612 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 23.55% (male 8,929; female 8,639); 15 to 64 years old: 74.72% (men 26,242; women 29,509); over 65: 1.73% (male 639; female 654) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 3.62% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 20.6 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 2.4 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 18 people /1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male/female; up to 15 years: 1.03 male/female; from 15 to 64 years old: 0.89 male/female; over 65: 0.98 male/female; for the general population: 0.92 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 5.7 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 75.74 years; men: 72.65 years; women: 79.02 years (2001 est.).
Total fertility rate: 1.76 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of the adult population infected with HIV: no data available.
Number of people infected with HIV: no data.
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: no data; adjective: no data.
Ethnic groups: Chamorros, Carolinians and other Micronesians, whites, Japanese, Chinese, Koreans.
Believers: Christians (majority Catholic, although traditional beliefs and taboos still exist).
Languages): English, Chamorro, Carolina; note: 86% of the population uses languages other than English in everyday life.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 97%; men: 97%; women: 96% (1980 est.).
Common long form: Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands;
Common short form: Northern Mariana Islands. Dependency status: commonwealth in political alliance with the US; Federal property in the Commonwealth is administered by the US Department of the Interior through the Office of Insular Affairs.
State structure: commonwealth; self-government with a local elected governor, deputy governor and legislature.
Administrative division: no (commonwealth in political union with the US); note – there are no first-order administrative divisions according to the classification adopted by the US government, but there are 4 districts, second-order administrative divisions: Northern Islands, Rota, Saipan, Tinian.
Independence: none (commonwealth in political union with the United States).
National holiday: Commonwealth Day, 8 January (1978).
Constitution: treaty with the United States entered into force on November 4, 1986, the Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands entered into force on January 1, 1978.
Legal system: based on the legal system of the United States, except for customs, wages, immigration rules and taxation.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal; local residents are US citizens but do not vote in presidential elections.
chief of state: US President George W. BUSH (since January 20, 2001); Vice President Richard B. CHENEY (since January 20, 2001);
head of government: Governor Pedro P. TENORIO (since January 1998) and Deputy Governor Jesus R. SABLAN (since January 1998);
government: no data; elections: the president and vice president of the United States are elected on a single list for 4 years; the governor and deputy governor are elected according to a single list by universal suffrage for 4 years; elections last held in November 1997 (next to be held in November 2001); election results: Pedro TENORIO elected governor; Percentage of the vote: Pedro TENORIO (Republican Party) 47%.
Legislature: bicameral Legislative Assembly, consisting of the Senate (9 seats; members are elected by popular vote for 4 years; in elections held every two years, a part of the senators are elected) and the House of Representatives (18 seats; members are elected by popular vote for 2 years); elections: Senate – last held 9 November 1999 (next to be held November 2001); House of Representatives – last held 9 November 1999 (next to be held November 2001); election results: Senate, distribution of votes between parties: NA; distribution of seats among parties: Republican Party 6, Democratic Party 2, Reform Party 1; House of Representatives, distribution of votes between parties: no data; distribution of seats among parties: Republican Party 10, Democratic Party 8; note: The Commonwealth has no voting representatives in the US Congress; however, the Commonwealth has an elected official (“Resident Representative”) in Washington, D.C.; distribution of seats among parties: Republican Party 1 (Juan N. BABAUTA).
Judiciary: Commonwealth Supreme Court; Supreme Court; Federal District Court.
Political parties and leaders: Democratic Party (Carlos CAMACHO [Dr. Carlos S. CAMASNO]); Republican Party (Benigno R. FITIAL).
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: ESCAP (associate), Interpol (subbureau), SPC.
Mission: US Mission:
Flag Description: Blue with a white five-pointed star set against a gray silhouette of a latte stone (a traditional foundation stone) in the center, surrounded by a wreath.
Economy Overview: The economy receives substantial subsidies from the US. The amount of funding is decreasing as local budget revenues are growing. The key tourism industry now employs about 50% of the workforce and accounts for about a quarter of GDP. Among the tourists dominated by the Japanese. The annual flow of tourists in recent years has exceeded half a million people, but the financial difficulties experienced by Japan have led to a temporary decline. The agricultural sector includes raising cattle on ranches and coconuts, breadfruit, tomatoes and melons on small farms. In industry, the fastest growing sector is the clothing manufacturing sector, which employs 12,000 mostly Chinese workers. 11gdp: at purchasing power parity – $900 million (2000 est.); note: GDP figures include US receipts.
Rate of real GDP growth: no data available.
GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity – $12,500 (2000 est.).
Composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: no data; industry: no data; service sector: no data.
Proportion of population below the poverty line: n.a.
Percentage distribution of household income or consumption: per 10% of the poorest families: n.a.; by top 10% of households: no data.
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 1.2% (1997 est.).
Labor force: 6,006 local workers; 2,699 unemployed; 28,717 foreign workers (1995).
Employment structure: no data.
Unemployment rate: no data.
Budget: revenues: $221 million; expenses: $213 million, including capital investments – $17.7 million (1996).
Spheres of economy: tourism, construction, production of clothing, handicrafts.
Growth in industrial production: no data available.
Electricity production: no data.
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 100%; hydropower: 0%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 0%.
Electricity consumption: no data.
Export of electricity: no data.
Electricity import: no data.
Agricultural products: coconuts, fruits, vegetables; cattle.
Export: no data.
Export articles: clothing.
Export partners: US.
Import: no data.
Import articles: foodstuffs, construction equipment and materials, oil products.
Import partners: USA, Japan.
External debt: no data. Recipient of economic assistance: large-scale assistance from the United States.
Economic aid donor:
Currency: US dollar.
Currency code: USD.
Exchange rate: US dollar is used.
Fiscal year: October 1-September 30.
Telecommunications Telephone lines: 21,000 (1996).
Mobile cellular telephones: 1,200 (1995).
Telephone system: internal: no data; international: satellite earth stations – 2 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean).
Broadcast stations: AM – 2, FM – 3, shortwave – 1 (1098).
Radio receivers: no data.
Television broadcast stations: 1 (on Saipan, 1 station planned on Rota Island; also 2 cable networks on Saipan provide various satellite network programs) (1997).
TVs: no data.
Internet country code: mp
Internet service providers: 1 (2000).
Number of users: no data.
Transport Railways: 0 km.
Roads: total: 362 km (1991 est.); coated: no data; uncoated: no data.
Ports and harbors: Saipan, Tinian.
Merchant fleet: none (2000 est.).
Airports: 6 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 3; from 2438 to 3047 m:1; from 1524 to 2437 m: 2 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 3; from 2438 to 3047 m:1; less than 914 m: 2 (2000 est.). Helipads: 1 (2000 est.).