Marshall Islands Economy, GDP, Budget, Industry and Agriculture


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Marshall Islands Economy

View the information below regarding the economy of Marshall Islands. The summary and statistics contains gdp, industry, agriculture and more for Marshall Islands. If you need other information please visit the Marshall Islands Country Page.

  • Marshall Islands Government
  • Marshall Islands People
  • Marshall Islands Geography
  • Marshall Islands History

    GDP (current market prices, 2000): $99 million est.
    Natural resources: Marine resources, including mariculture and possible deep seabed minerals.
    Agriculture: Products--Copra (dried coconut meat); taro and breadfruit are subsistence crops.
    Industry: Types--Copra processing, tuna loining.
    Trade: Major trading partners--U.S., Japan, Australia, China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Taiwan.
    Official currency: U.S. dollar.

    Economy of the Marshall Islands
    The government is the largest employer, employing 64% of the salaried work force. GDP is derived mainly from payments made by the United States under the terms of the Compact of Free Association. Direct U.S. aid accounted for 55% of the Marshalls' $98.5 million budget for fiscal year 2003.

    The economy combines a small subsistence sector and a modern urban sector. In short, fishing and breadfruit, banana, taro, and pandanus cultivation constitute the subsistence sector. On the outer islands, production of copra and handicrafts provides some cash income. The modern service-oriented economy is located in Majuro and Ebeye. It is sustained by government expenditures and the U.S. Army installation at Kwajalein Atoll. The airfield there also serves as a second national hub for international flights.

    The modern sector consists of wholesale and retail trade; restaurants; banking and insurance; construction, repair, and professional services; and copra processing. Copra cake and oil are by far the nation's largest exports. A tuna loining plant employs 580 workers, mostly women, starting at $1.50 per hour. Copra production, the most important single commercial activity for the past 100 years, now depends on government subsidies. The subsidies, more a social policy than an economic strategy, help reduce migration from outer atolls to densely populated Majuro and Ebeye.

    Marine resources, including fishing, aquaculture, tourism development, and agriculture, are top government development priorities. The Marshall Islands sells fishing rights to other nations as a source of income. Since 1990, the Marshall Islands has offered ship registrations under the Marshall Islands flag. It now registers over 600 vessels, the ninth largest fleet in the world, and receives an income of approximately a million dollars annually. As a small nation, the Marshall Islands must import a wide variety of goods, including foodstuffs, consumer goods, machinery, and petroleum products.


  • Marshall Islands Government
  • Marshall Islands People
  • Marshall Islands Geography
  • Marshall Islands History