Area: 472 sq km
Population: 55 023 inhab. (estimate 2016)
Density: 116.57 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 21° - 13° N; long. 140° - 157° E
Capital: Capitol Hill (on Saipan) (chief town) 1 028 inhab. (2010);
Currency: US dollar (100 cents)
Governor: Ralph Torres (Republican), since 29 December 2015
Internet: www.census.gov (U.S. Census Bureau)
Member of SPC
Northern Mariana Islands
Northern Mariana Islands, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana IslandsUseful informationGMT
not appliedPolitics and current affairs
An archipelago in the western Pacific Ocean (in Micronesia), made up of 14 islands aligned from north to south, with the deepest submarine trench to the south-east. Some of the islands are volcanic, with just a few hundred metres of their tips emerging from the sea. The largest islands are Saipan (120 km²), Tinian (109 km²) and Rota (85 km²). They have a tropical climate with very heavy rains.
Formerly (from 1947) a UN Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, since 9 January 1978, the Northern Mariana Islands (except Guam) are a Commonwealth in union with the USA. This status only received international approval in 1990, when the UN ended the US trusteeship. The Governor is elected directly, as is the House of Representatives (20 members elected for two years) and the Senate (9 members elected for two or four years). Since 1989 its inhabitants have been US citizens.