macrohistory & world report

Northern Mariana Islands

Northern Mariana Islands

Northern Mariana Islands, Saipan the capital (136 miles northeast of Guam, 3,625 miles west of Honolulu, 1,490 miles south of Tokyo)

World Factbook as of November 2014: "The Northern Mariana Islands' economy benefits substantially from financial assistance from the US. The tourist industry employs approximately a quarter of the work force and accounts for roughly one-fourth of GDP. As a share of total arrivals, the number of Japanese tourists has dropped recently to less than half, while Korean visitors account for roughly one-third. Annual tourist arrivals have remained below 400,000 since 2007. Other services such as trade are also important to the local economy. The small agriculture sector is made up of cattle ranches and small farms producing coconuts, breadfruit, tomatoes, and melons."

Estimated per capita GDP
2010: $13,600.

banking, construction, fishing, garment, tourism, handicrafts

Infant mortality (deaths before the age of one year per 1,000 live births)
2011: 5.79 (a little better than that of the United States)
2010: 5.89
2009: 6.0
2008: 6.72
2007: 7.11

Average life expectancy at birth
2010: 76.9 years
2009: 76.7 years
2008: 76.5
2005: 75.88


July 2011: 46,050

Living in an urban area
2010: 91% (2008). This urban area is the island of Saipan.

Net migration rate
2011: A net loss of 57.46 per 1,000 population.
2010: A net loss of 73.56 per 1,000 population.
2009: A net loss of 89.7 per 1,000 population.

Density estimated for 2005: 168.5 persons per square kilometer. Per square kilometer of arable land: 1,292 people.

2000 census: Asian 56.3%, Pacific islander 36.3%, Caucasian 1.8%, other 0.8%, mixed 4.8%. (Eighty-six percent speak other than English at home.)


Oceania, islands in the North Pacific Ocean, north of Australia and west of the Hawaiian Islands.


Chief of state: President of the United States.

A commonwealth with a locally elected governor, lieutenant governor, and legislature. The legislature is bicameral: the Senate has 9 seats with members elected to four-year terms, the House of Representatives has 20 seats, its members elected by popular vote to two-year terms.

Recent History

By the 18th century, 90 to 95 percent of the islanders had died from diseases brought by the Spaniards. Settlers primarily from the Philippines and the Caroline Islands repopulated the islands.

Occupied by the Japanese after 1941 until June 1944.

Wikipedia: "A covenant to establish a commonwealth in political union with the US was approved in 1975. A new government and constitution went into effect in 1978. Similar to other US territories, the islands do not have representation in the US Senate, but are represented in the US House of Representatives by a delegate...who may vote in committee but not on the House floor."

Wikipedia: "In 1999, Sweatshop Watch, Global Exchange, Asian Law Caucus, Unite, and the garment workers themselves filed three separate lawsuits in class-action suits on behalf of roughly 30,000 garment workers in Saipan. The defendants included 27 US retailers and 23 Saipan garment factories. By 2004, they had won a 20 million dollar settlement against all but one of the defendants."

The World Factbook

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.