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Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is a group of 14 islands in the North Pacific Ocean. It is a self-governing Commonwealth of the United States, and its residents are U.S. citizens. Saipan, the capital, is located on the main island of Saipan. CNMI has a landmass of 464 square kilometers and a population of 51,994 (CIA, 2018).

According to the 2010 Census, 49.9% of the population is Asian, 34.9% is native Pacific Islander, 2.1% white, 0.1% African-American/Black, 0.1% Hispanic or Latino, and 0.7% other. While many residents speak English, most speak another language as well, with the Philippine languages, Asian languages, and Chamorro being the most common.

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands has one hospital, the Commonwealth Health Center, an 86-bed Medicare-certified hospital, located on the island of Saipan. The Community Guidance Center, also on Saipan, provides mental health and substance abuse services. Health centers provide health care services on the neighboring islands of Rota and Tinian. According to the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office, in 1999 the CNMI was served by 31 physicians, 3 dentists, 4 pharmacists, and 123 nurses.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income for CNMI residents in 2009 was $19,958. Data from the 2010 Census finds that 82.4% of residents completed high school. Approximately 72.3% of the population 16 years and older is part of the labor force, 8.1% are unemployed.

For additional resources and information, see Pacific Territories, Commonwealth, and Freely Associated States.

Data Sources
CIA World Fact Book: Northern Mariana Islands; U.S. Census 2020; U.S. Affiliated Pacific Basin Jurisdictions: Legal, Geographic and Demographic Information

Last Reviewed: 12/9/2021