Geography of the Marshall Islands

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The Marshalls consist of 29 atolls and five isolated islands, which form two parallel groups--the "Ratak" (sunrise) chain and the "Ralik" (sunset) chain. The Marshalls share maritime boundaries with Micronesia and Kiribati. Two-thirds of the nation's population lives in Majuro and Ebeye. The outer islands are sparsely populated due to lack of employment opportunities and economic development.

Location: Oceania, group of atolls and reefs in the North Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to Papua New Guinea

Geographic coordinates: 9°00′N 168°00′E / 9°N 168°E / 9; 168

Map references: Oceania

total: 181.3 km²
land: 181.3 km²
water: 0 km²
note: includes the atolls of Bikini, Enewetak, and Kwajalein

Area - comparative: about the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 370.4 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Maritime boundaries:

Climate: wet season from May to November; hot and humid; islands border typhoon belt

Terrain: low coral limestone and sand islands

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 meters
highest point: unnamed location on Likiep 10 meters / 33 feet above sea level

Natural resources: phosphate deposits, marine products, deep seabed minerals

Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 60%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 0%
other: 40%

Irrigated land: NA km²

Natural hazards: occasional typhoons

Environment - current issues: inadequate supplies of potable water

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

Geography - note: two archipelagic island chains of 30 atolls and 1,152 islands; Bikini and Enewetak are former US nuclear test sites; Kwajalein, the famous World War II battleground, is now used as a US missile test range

Extreme points

This is a list of the extreme points of the Marshall Islands, the points that are farther north, south, east or west than any other location.

  • Note: the government of the Marshall Islands claims Wake Island, currently under US administration. If this is considered part of the Marshall Islands than Toki Point on Peale Island, Wake Island is the northern-most point of the Marshall Islands

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