Northern Mariana Islands - Economic Indicators

Economic Overview

The Northern Mariana Islands' economy benefits substantially from financial assistance from the US. In fiscal year 2013, federal grants accounted for 35.4% of the Commonwealth’s total revenues. A small agriculture sector consists of cattle ranches and small farms producing coconuts, breadfruit, tomatoes, and melons. The Commonwealth’s economy continued to recover in 2013. Real GDP increased 4.4%, following a 2.1% gain in 2012. Economic growth in 2013 reflected increases in consumer spending and exports of services, mainly spending by foreign tourists. Tourism...

Continue reading View Factbook for Northern Mariana Islands


Factbook

Background

Background:
Under US administration as part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific, the people of the Northern Mariana Islands decided in the 1970s not to seek independence but instead to forge closer links with the US. Negotiations for territorial status began in 1972. A covenant to establish a commonwealth in political union with the US was approved in 1975, and came into force on 24 March 1976. A new government and constitution went into effect in 1978.

Geography

Location:
Oceania, islands in the North Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines
Geographic coordinates:
15 12 N, 145 45 E
Map references:
Oceania
Area:
total: 464 sq km
land: 464 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: consists of 14 islands including Saipan, Rota, and Tinian
country comparison to the world: 197
Area - comparative:
2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
Coastline:
1,482 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
tropical marine; moderated by northeast trade winds, little seasonal temperature variation; dry season December to June, rainy season July to October
Terrain:
the southern islands in this north-south trending archipelago are limestone, with fringing coral reefs; the northern islands are volcanic, with active volcanoes on several islands
Elevation:
mean elevation: NA
elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed elevation on Agrihan 965 m
Natural resources:
arable land, fish
Land use:
agricultural land: 6.6%
arable land 2.2%; permanent crops 2.2%; permanent pasture 2.2%
forest: 65.5%
other: 27.9% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land:
1 sq km (2012)
Population - distribution:
approximately 90% of the population lives on the island of Saipan
Natural hazards:
active volcanoes on Pagan and Agrihan; typhoons (especially August to November)
Environment - current issues:
contamination of groundwater on Saipan may contribute to disease; clean-up of landfill; protection of endangered species conflicts with development
Geography - note:
strategic location in the North Pacific Ocean

People & Society

Population:
52,263 (July 2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 209
Nationality:
noun: NA (US citizens)
adjective: NA
Ethnic groups:
Asian 50% (includes Filipino 35.3%, Chinese 6.8%, Korean 4.2%, and other Asian 3.7%), Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 34.9% (includes Chamorro 23.9%, Carolinian 4.6%, and other Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 6.4%), other 2.5%, two or more ethnicities or races 12.7% (2010 est.)
Languages:
Philippine languages 32.8%, Chamorro (official) 24.1%, English (official) 17%, other Pacific island languages 10.1%, Chinese 6.8%, other Asian languages 7.3%, other 1.9% (2010 est.)
Religions:
Christian (Roman Catholic majority, although traditional beliefs and taboos may still be found)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 26.63% (male 7,536/female 6,384)
15-24 years: 15.59% (male 4,343/female 3,807)
25-54 years: 39.96% (male 10,834/female 10,049)
55-64 years: 12.37% (male 3,548/female 2,919)
65 years and over: 5.44% (male 1,539/female 1,304) (2017 est.)
population pyramid:
Median age:
total: 33.6 years
male: 32.8 years
female: 34.4 years (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 93
Population growth rate:
-0.51% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 223
Birth rate:
15 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130
Death rate:
4.8 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 199
Net migration rate:
-15.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 217
Population distribution:
approximately 90% of the population lives on the island of Saipan
Urbanization:
urban population: 89.2% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 0.29% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population:
SAIPAN (capital) 49,000 (2014)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.28 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.73 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.14 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female
total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 12.7 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 15.1 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 9.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.4 years
male: 73.4 years
female: 77.8 years (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107
Total fertility rate:
2.8 children born/woman (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61
Physicians density:
0.36 physicians/1,000 population (2008)
Drinking water source:
improved:
urban: 97.5% of population
rural: 97.5% of population
total: 97.5% of population
unimproved:
urban: 2.5% of population
rural: 2.5% of population
total: 2.5% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access:
improved:
urban: 79.7% of population
rural: 79.7% of population
total: 79.7% of population
unimproved:
urban: 20.3% of population
rural: 20.3% of population
total: 20.3% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA

Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
conventional short form: Northern Mariana Islands
abbreviation: CNMI
former: Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Mariana Islands District
etymology: formally claimed and named by Spain in 1667 in honor of the Spanish Queen, MARIANA of Austria
Dependency status:
commonwealth in political union with the US; federal funds to the Commonwealth administered by the US Department of the Interior, Office of Insular Affairs
Government type:
presidential democracy; a commonwealth in political union with the US
Capital:
name: Saipan
geographic coordinates: 15 12 N, 145 45 E
time difference: UTC+10 (15 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
none (commonwealth in political union with the US); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 4 municipalities at the second order: Northern Islands, Rota, Saipan, Tinian
Independence:
none (commonwealth in political union with the US)
National holiday:
Commonwealth Day, 8 January (1978)
Constitution:
partially effective 9 January 1978 (Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands); fully effective 4 November 1986 (Covenant Agreement); amended several times, last in 2012 (2016)
Legal system:
US system applies, except for customs, wages, immigration laws, and taxation
Citizenship:
see United States
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal; note - indigenous inhabitants are US citizens but do not vote in US presidential elections
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Donald J. TRUMP (since 20 January 2017); Vice President Michael R. PENCE (since 20 January 2017)
head of government: Governor Eloy S. INOS (since 20 February 2013); Lieutenant Governor Ralph TORRES (since 20 February 2013)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate
elections/appointments: president and vice president indirectly elected on the same ballot by an Electoral College of 'electors' chosen from each state; president and vice president serve a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); under the US Constitution, residents of the Northern Mariana Islands do not vote in elections for US president and vice president; however, they may vote in Democratic and Republican party presidential primary elections; governor directly elected by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed; election last held on 4 November 2014 with a runoff on 21 November 2014 (next to be held in 2018)
election results: Eloy S. INOS reelected governor; percent of vote in runoff - Eloy S. INOS (Republican) 57%, Heinz HOFSCHNEIDER (Republican) 43%; Ralph TORRES (Republican) reelected lieutenant governor
note: Benigno R. FITIAL was impeached by House of Representatives on 11-12 February 2013 and resigned on 20 February 2013; Eloy INOS sworn in as governor the same day
Legislative branch:
description: bicameral Northern Mariana Commonwealth Legislature consists of the Senate (9 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms) and the House of Representatives (20 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 2-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 8 November 2016 (next to be held in November 2020); House of Representatives - last held on 8 November 2016 (next to be held in November 2018)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Covenant Party 3, Republican Party 3, Democratic Party 1, independent 2; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Republican Party 14, independent 6
note: the Northern Mariana Islands directly elects 1 member by simple majority vote to serve a 2-year term as a delegate to the US House of Representatives; the delegate can vote when serving on a committee and when the House meets as the Committee of the Whole House but not when legislation is submitted for a “full floor” House vote; election of delegate last held on 4 November 2016 (next to be held in November 2018)
Judicial branch:
highest court(s): Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or CNMI (consists of the chief justice and 2 associate justices); US Federal District Court (consists of 1 judge); note - US Federal District Court jurisdiction limited to US federal laws; appeals beyond the Northern Mariana Islands Supreme Court are referred to the US Supreme Court
judge selection and term of office: judges of the Supreme Court of the CNMI appointed by the governor and confirmed by the CNMI Senate; judges appointed for 8-year terms and can serve another term if approved through voter election; US Federal District Court judges appointed by the US president and confirmed by the US Senate; judges appointed for renewable 10-year terms
subordinate courts: Superior Court
Political parties and leaders:
Covenant Party [Benigno R. FITIAL]
Democratic Party [Dr. Carlos S. CAMACHO]
Republican Party [Juan S. REYES]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA
International organization participation:
PIF (observer), SPC, UPU
Flag description:
blue with a white, five-pointed star superimposed on a gray latte stone (the traditional foundation stone used in building) in the center, surrounded by a wreath; blue symbolizes the Pacific Ocean, the star represents the Commonwealth; the latte stone and the floral head wreath display elements of the native Chamorro culture
National symbol(s):
latte stone; national colors: blue, white
National anthem:
name: "Gi Talo Gi Halom Tasi" (In the Middle of the Sea)
lyrics/music: Jose S. PANGELINAN [Chamoru], David PETER [Carolinian]/Wilhelm GANZHORN
note: adopted 1996; the Carolinian version of the song is known as "Satil Matawal Pacifico;" as a commonwealth of the US, in addition to the local anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner" is official (see United States)

Economy

Economy - overview:
The Northern Mariana Islands' economy benefits substantially from financial assistance from the US. In fiscal year 2013, federal grants accounted for 35.4% of the Commonwealth’s total revenues. A small agriculture sector consists of cattle ranches and small farms producing coconuts, breadfruit, tomatoes, and melons.
The Commonwealth’s economy continued to recover in 2013. Real GDP increased 4.4%, following a 2.1% gain in 2012. Economic growth in 2013 reflected increases in consumer spending and exports of services, mainly spending by foreign tourists.
Tourism continued to grow in 2013, after posting double-digit growth in 2012. The tourist industry employs approximately a quarter of the work force and accounts for roughly one-fourth of GDP. The Commonwealth is making a concerted effort to broaden its tourism by extending casino gambling from the small Islands of Tinian and Rota to the main Island of Saipan, its political and commercial center.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$682 million (2013 est.)
$665 million (2012)
$649 million (2011)
note: GDP estimate includes US subsidy; data are in 2013 dollars
country comparison to the world: 208
GDP (official exchange rate):
$1.232 billion (2013 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
4.5% (2013)
2.1% (2012)
-6.8% (2011)
country comparison to the world: 47
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$13,300 (2013 est.)
$12,900 (2012)
$12,400 (2011)
country comparison to the world: 116
GDP - composition, by end use:
household consumption: 91.3%
government consumption: 51.5%
investment in fixed assets: 3.8%
investements in inventories: NA%
exports of goods and services: 42.2%
imports of goods and services: -88.9% (2013)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 1.7%
industry: 2.9%
services: 95.4% (2012)
Agriculture - products:
vegetables and melons, fruits and nuts; ornamental plants; livestock, poultry, eggs; fish and aquaculture products
Industries:
tourism, banking, construction, fishing, handicrafts, other services
Industrial production growth rate:
NA%
Labor force:
27,970
note: includes foreign workers (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 207
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 1.9%
industry: 10%
services: 88.1% (2010 est.)
Unemployment rate:
11.2% (2010 est.)
8% (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143
Population below poverty line:
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budget:
revenues: $246.4 million
expenditures: $249.8 million (2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues:
20% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-0.3% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49
Fiscal year:
1 October - 30 September
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
-2.5% (2013 est.)
1.1% (2012)
country comparison to the world: 3
Exports:
$288 million (2013)
$268 million (2012)
country comparison to the world: 181
Exports - commodities:
garments
Imports:
$606 million (2013)
$531 million (2012)
country comparison to the world: 187
Imports - commodities:
food, construction equipment and materials, petroleum products
Debt - external:
$NA
Exchange rates:
the US dollar is used

Energy

Electricity - production:
60,600 kWh (January 2009)
country comparison to the world: 218
Electricity - consumption:
48,300 kWh (January 2009)
country comparison to the world: 217
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136

Communications

Telephone system:
general assessment: digital fiber-optic cables and satellites connect the islands to worldwide networks
domestic: wide variety of services available including dial-up and broadband Internet, mobile cellular, international private lines, payphones, phone cards, voicemail, and automatic call distribution systems
international: country code - 1-670; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2015)
Broadcast media:
1 TV broadcast station on Saipan; multi-channel cable TV services are available on Saipan; 9 licensed radio broadcast stations (2009)
Internet country code:
.mp
Internet users:
total: 16,000
percent of population: 30.6% (July 2016 est.)

Transportation

Airports:
5 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 180
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
Heliports:
1 (2013)
Roadways:
total: 536 km (2008)
country comparison to the world: 195
Ports and terminals:
major seaport(s): Saipan, Tinian, Rota

Military & Security

Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of the US

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:
none

Economic Indicators for Northern Mariana Islands including actual values, historical data, and latest data updates for the Northern Mariana Islands economy.