Marshall Islands


Marshall Islands
This map is an approximation of actual country borders.

The Republic of the Marshall Islands covers an area of 181 square kilometres and comprises 29 atolls and five major islands that form two parallel groups: the Ratak (sunrise) chain and the Ralik (sunset) chain. The Marshallese are of Micronesian origin. The matrilineal culture revolves around a complex system of clans and lineages tied to land ownership. The last census took place in 1999 and the next is currently under way. Available demographic data are, therefore, either from the 1999 census or are estimates derived from it. The estimated population in 2010 was 54 440.

In May 1953, the Marshall Islands was assigned to the Western Pacific Region by the Sixth World Health Assembly ''without prejudice to any questions regarding sovereignty'' as an area. It joined WHO on 5 June 1991 as a Member State. Prior to joining WHO in 1991, the Republic was a member of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands dominated by the United States of America until the Office of the High Commissioner determined to end its existence on 10 July 1987. Thus all functions were transferred to individual governments including Marshall Islands

The Marshall Islands was initially covered by the WHO Representative Office in Singapore, then by the WHO Representative Office in Taipei, China (Taiwan) from 1959 to 30 June 1972. In the same year, the responsibility for the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands was transferred to the Regional Office. In 1976, it was decided that the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands was to come under the WHO Representative Office in the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji. In August 2010, the WHO Country Liaison Office in the Federated States of Micronesia was established to cover Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands.

Acting WHO Country Liaison Officer in Northern Micronesia : Ko, Dr Eunyoung

WHO Country Office

Office address:

Department of Health and Social Affairs 1/F Mogethin Building, National Capital Complex Palikir

Postal address:

Department of Health and Social Affairs Mogethin Building, 1st Floor National Capital Complex PO BOX PS70 Palikir, FM 96941

Telephone number:

(691) 320 2619

Fax number:

(001) 866 868 3940

Office hours:

09.00 - 17.00 hours (Monday to Friday)



Ministry of Health


P.O. Box 16, Majuro, Marshall Islands

Telephone number:

+ (692) 625 7246 / 5660 / 5661

Fax number:

+ (692) 625 3432 / 4543 / 4372



Additional information



Population (in thousands) ( 2010 ) 54.439
Population aged 5-14 years (%) ( 2010 ) 27
Life expectancy at birth (years) ( 2009 ) 59
Under-five mortality rate (per 1000 live births) ( 2010 ) 28
Total health expenditure as % of GDP ( 2009 ) 16.5
General government health expenditure as % of total government expenditure ( 2009 ) 20.1
Human development index ( 1998 ) 0.56
Per capita GDP at current market prices (US$) ( 2007 ) 2851
Population below national poverty line (%) not available
Literacy rate among adults aged >= 15 years (%) ( 1999 ) 97
Maternal mortality ratio (per 100 000 live births) ( 2010 ) 143
Proportion of the population using improved drinking water source ( 2008 ) 94
Population using improved sanitation facilities (%) ( 2008 ) 73