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After almost four decades under US administration as the easternmost part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the Marshall Islands attained independence in 1986 under a Compact of Free Association. Compensation claims continue as a result of US nuclear testing on some of the atolls between 1947 and 1962. The Marshall Islands hosts the US Army Kwajalein Atoll (USAKA) Reagan Missile Test Site, a key installation in the US missile defense network.


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Economy - overview
US Government assistance is the mainstay of this tiny island economy. The Marshall Islands received more than $1 billion in aid from the US from 1986-2002. Agricultural production, primarily subsistence, is concentrated on small farms; the most important commercial crops are coconuts and breadfruit. Small-scale industry is limited to handicrafts, tuna processing, and copra. The tourist industry, now a small source of foreign exchange employing less than 10% of the labor force, remains the best hope for future added income. The islands have few natural resources, and imports far exceed exports. Under the terms of the Amended Compact of Free Association, the US will provide millions of dollars per year to the Marshall Islands (RMI) through 2023, at which time a Trust Fund made up of US and RMI contributions will begin perpetual annual payouts. Government downsizing, drought, a drop in construction, the decline in tourism, and less income from the renewal of fishing vessel licenses have held GDP growth to an average of 1% over the past decade.

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 219
$133.5 million (2008 est.)
$115 million (2001 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$161.7 million (2008 est.)

Gdp - real growth rate World Ranking: 199
-0.3% (2008 est.)
3.5% (2005 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 180
$2,500 (2008 est.)
$2,900 (2005 est.)

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 31.7%
Industry 14.9%
Services 53.4% (2004 est.)

Labor force World Ranking: 212
14,680 (2000)

Labor force - by occupation
Agriculture 21.4%
Industry 20.9%
Services 57.7% (2000)

Unemployment rate World Ranking: 183
36% (2006 est.)
30.9% (2000 est.)

Population below poverty line

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10% NA%
Highest 10% NA%

Revenues $123.3 million
Expenditures $NA (2008)

Taxes and other revenues World Ranking: 2
76.3% of GDP (2008)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
NA% of GDP (2008)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 203
12.9% (2008 est.)
3% (2005 est.)

Agriculture - products
Coconuts, tomatoes, melons, taro, breadfruit, fruits; pigs, chickens

Copra, tuna processing, tourism, craft items (from seashells, wood, and pearls)

Industrial production growth rate

Exports World Ranking: 205
$19.4 million (2008 est.)
$9.1 million (2000 est.)

Exports - commodities
Copra cake, coconut oil, handicrafts, fish

Imports World Ranking: 213
$79.4 million (2008 est.)
$54.7 million (2000 est.)

Imports - commodities
Foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, fuels, beverages and tobacco

Debt - external World Ranking: 188
$87 million (2008 est.)
$86.5 million (FY99/00 est.)

Exchange rates
The US dollar is used

Fiscal year
1 October - 30 September


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