Asia

Northern Mariana Islands territory profile

  • 25 November 2016
  • From the section Asia
Map of Northern Marianas Islands

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or CNMI, is a chain of 14 islands in the north-west Pacific.

A self-governing commonwealth of the United States since 1976, the islands lie just 1,500 miles south of the Japanese coast.

Those born on the islands are US citizens but not eligible to vote in US presidential elections. The territory receives millions of dollars in aid from Washington.

Most of the population live on the island of Saipan and only four other islands are populated. Native Micronesians outnumber the indigenous Chamorro and Carolinian populations.

FACTS

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Capital: Saipan

  • Population 63,500

  • Area 457 sq km (176 sq miles)

  • Major languages English, Chamarro, Carolinian

  • Major religion Christianity

  • Life expectancy 74 years (men), 80 years (women)

  • Currency US dollar

LEADERS

Head of State: Barack Obama

Head of government: Ralph Torres

Ralph Torres was sworn in as governor of the Northern Marianas in December 2015 following the sudden death of his predecessor Eloy Inos.

At 36, he became the youngest governor in Northern Marianas history.

During his inaugural speech, Mr Torres pledged "to do what's right".

The Northern Marianas government has sought to rebuild public trust since former governor Benigno Fitial was convicted of corruption in 2015.

MEDIA

Broadcasting is regulated by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

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