The Economy of Marshall Islands

The Economy of Marshall Islands

Marshallese Economy

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 - real growth rate: -0.3% (2008 est.) 3.5% (2005 est.)

GDP - per capita:

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 31.7% industry: 14.9% services: 53.4% (2004 est.)

Population below poverty line:

Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA% highest 10%: NA%

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

Labor force: 14,680 (2000)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 21.4% industry: 20.9% services: 57.7% (2000)

Unemployment rate: 36% (2006 est.)

Budget: revenues: $123.3 million expenditures: $1.213 billion (2008)

Industries: copra, tuna processing, tourism, craft items (from seashells, wood, and pearls)

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - production:

Electricity - production by source:

Electricity - consumption:

Electricity - exports:

Electricity - imports:

Oil - production:

Oil - consumption:

Oil - exports:

Oil - imports:

Oil - proved reserves:

Natural gas - production:

Natural gas - consumption:

Natural gas - exports:

Natural gas - imports:

Natural gas - proved reserves:

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

Exports: $19.4 million f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Exports - commodities: copra cake, coconut oil, handicrafts, fish

Exports - partners:

Imports: $79.4 million f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, fuels, beverages and tobacco

Imports - partners:

Debt - external: $87 million (2008 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:


Currency code:

Exchange rates: the US dollar is used

Fiscal year:

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