Skip to main content
Rural Health Information Hub

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 2020 Census, 46.6% of the population is Asian, 43.7% is native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 2.1% white, 0.1% African-American/Black, 1.2% Hispanic or Latino, and 0.1% 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 use services. Health centers provide healthcare 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 2019 was $31,362. Data from the 2020 Census finds that 40.2% of residents completed high school. Approximately 61.7% of the population 16 years and older is part of the labor force, 8.7% 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