Republic of the Marshall Islands
Political Status: Sovereign state in free association with the United States (which retains authority with regard to defense) since October 21, 1986.
Area: 70 sq. mi. (181 sq. km.).
Population: 50, 848 (1999C); 54, 000 (2010E).
Major Urban Center (2005E): DALAP-ULIGA-DARRIT (Majuro Atoll; 26, 000).
Official Languages: English, Marshallese.
Monetary Unit: U.S. Dollar (see U.S. article for principal exchange rates).
President: Jurelang ZEDKAIA (Our Islands); elected by the House of Representatives on October 26, 2009, and inaugurated on November 2 to succeed Ruben ZACKHRAS (Our Islands), who had been named acting president following the defeat of Litokwa TOMEING (Our Islands) in a nonconfidence vote on October 21.
The Marshalls consist of a double chain of coral atolls, encompassing 33 islands and more than 850 reefs, within the ...