Demographics of the Marshall Islands

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This article is about the demographic features of the population of the Marshall Islands, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

The people of the Marshall Islands are of Micronesian origin, which is traced to a combination of peoples who emigrated from Southeast Asia in the remote past. The matrilineal Marshallese culture revolves around a complex system of clans and lineages tied to land ownership.

Virtually all Marshallese are Christian, most of them Protestant (see Religion in the Marshall Islands). Other Christian denominations include Roman Catholicism, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), Salvation Army, and Jehovah's Witness. There is also a small presence of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and the Bahá'í Faith.

Both Marshallese and English are official languages. Marshallese is spoken by most of the urban population. Both the Nitijela (parliament) and national radio use Marshallese.

The public school system provides education through grade 12, although admission to secondary school is selective. The elementary program employs a bilingual/bicultural curriculum. English is introduced in the first grade. There is one post-secondary institution in the Marshall Islands—the College of the Marshall Islands.

CIA World Factbook demographic statistics

Demographics of the Marshall Islands, Data of FAO, year 2005 ; Number of inhabitants in thousands.

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.


70,983 (July 2014 est.)

Age structure

0–14 years: 36.6% (male 13,244/female 12,741)

15–24 years: 17.5% (male 6,305/female 6,087)

25–54 years: 36.9% (male 13,308/female 12,856)

55–64 years: 5.7% (male 2,078/female 1,938)

65 years and over: 3.3% (male 1,187/female 1,239) (2014 est.)

Population growth rate

1.72% (2014 est.)

Birth rate

26.36 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Death rate

4.24 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Net migration rate

-4.92 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Sex ratio

At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0–14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15–24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

25–54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

55–64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.95 male(s)/female

Total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2014 est.)

Infant mortality rate

Total: 21.39 deaths/1,000 live births

Country comparison to the world: 85

Male: 24.09 deaths/1,000 live births

Female: 18.55 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

Total population: 72.58 years

Country comparison to the world: 133

Male: 70.42 years

Female: 74.84 years (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate

3.22 children born/woman (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 51


noun: Marshallese (singular and plural)
adjective: Marshallese

Ethnic groups

Marshallese 92.1%, mixed Marshallese 5.9%, other 2% (2006)


Protestant 54.8%, Assembly of God 25.8%, Roman Catholic 8.4%, Bukot nan Jesus 2.8%, Mormon 2.1%, other Christian 3.6%, other 1%, none 1.5% (1999 census) (see Religion in the Marshall Islands)


Marshallese (official) 98.2%, other languages 1.8% (1999 census)
English (official), widely spoken as a second language


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.7%
male: 93.6%
female: 93.7% (1999)

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the CIA World Factbook.