Northern Mariana Islands

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is a commonwealth in political union with the United States of America at a strategic location in the West Pacific Ocean. It consists of 14 islands about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines, at Template:Coor dms.

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
Flag of the Northern Mariana Islands Missing image
Coat of arms of Northern Mariana Islands

(In Detail) (In Detail)
National motto:
Official languagesEnglish, Chamorro, Carolinian
Chief of stateGeorge W. Bush
GovernorJuan N. Babauta
Resident RepresentativePedro Agulto Tenorio
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 230th
477 km²
 - Total (2003)
 - Density
Ranked N/A
80,006 (July 2003 est.)
Independence none (in political union with the USA)
CurrencyUS dollar (USD)
Time zoneUTC+10
National anthemGi Talo Gi Halom Tase
Calling Code+1 670

The islands total some 477 square kilometers. An overview is presented next, with the individual islands from North to South:

Saipan, Tinian, and Rota have the only ports and harbors, and are the only permanently populated islands.


Climate and Geography

Missing image
Current Northern Mariana Islands license plate.

The islands have a tropical marine climate moderated by seasonal northeast trade winds. There is little seasonal temperature variation; the dry season runs from December to June, the rainy season from July to October can include typhoons. The southern islands are limestone with level terraces and fringing coral reefs; the northern islands are volcanic, with active volcanoes on Anatahan, Pagan and Agrihan. (The volcano on Agrihan is the highest elevation in the islands at 965 meters (3,165 feet)). About one-fifth of the land is arable, another tenth is permanent pasture. The primary natural resource is fish, which causes conflict with the protection of endangered species. Past development has created landfills that must be cleaned up and has caused contamination of groundwater on Saipan, which may contribute to disease.

The islands have over 350 kilometers of highways, three airports with paved runways (one some 3,000 meters (9,840 feet) long, two around 2,000 (6560 feet) meters), three airports with unpaved runways (one about 3,000 meters long, two under 1,000 (3280 feet) meters), and one heliport.

Anatahan Volcano is a small volcanic island located 120 km (80 miles) north of Saipan Island and 320 km (200 miles) north of Guam. The island is about 9 km (5.6 miles) long and 3 km (2 miles) wide. Anatahan began erupting suddenly from its east crater at about 5:00 p.m. on May 10, 2003.

Missing image
Map of the Northern Mariana Islands
Since then it has continued to alternate between eruptive and calm periods. On April 6, 2005, approximately 50,000 cubic meters of ash and rock were ejected, causing a large, black cloud to drift southward over Saipan and Tinian. Recent eruptions have caused some commercial flights to re-route.

The Northern Mariana Islands' primary export is textiles, which are made in sub-standard working conditions. The labor laws of the United States of America do not apply in this commenwealth. The strongest reason for this popularity in textile exports is that the label can say 'Made In The USA' without maintaining labor standards.


The first European in these waters was Ferdinand Magellan in 1521, who landed on nearby Guam and claimed the islands for Spain. Angry at larcenous natives, he first dubbed the islands "Las Islas de los Ladrones", (The Islands of the Thieves), but in 1668 their name was changed to Las Marianas after Mariana of Austria, widow of Spain's Philip IV. Nearly all of the islands' native population died out during Spanish rule, but new settlers from modern-day Micronesia repopulated them to some extent. Sold to Germany in 1899, the Japanese took over in 1914 and turned the island into a military garrison. On June 15, 1944, during World War II, U.S. Marines landed on the islands and eventually won the bitterly fought three-week Battle of Saipan.

After Japan's defeat, the islands were administered by the United States as part of the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands; thus, defense and foreign affairs are the responsibility of the U.S. The people of the Northern Mariana Islands decided in the 1970s not to seek independence, but instead to forge closer links with the U.S. Negotiations for territorial status began in 1972. A covenant to establish a commonwealth in political union with the U.S. was approved in 1975. A new government and constitution went into effect in 1978.

On September 23, 2004 Congressman Richard Pombo of California introduced H.R. 5135 - the Northern Mariana Islands Delegate Act. The bill, had it become law, would have allowed CNMI to elect a non-voting delegate to the United States House of Representatives starting with the 2006 election. The bill died at the end of the 108th Congress. But, on February 18, 2005, the Delegate Act was reintroduced by Pombo with a new number, H.R. 873. [1] (

No. Island Area (km2) Population Height (m) Highest Peak Location
1 Farallon de Pajaros (Uracas) 2.0 uninhabited 319 Template:Coor dm
2 Maug Islands 2.0 occupied 1939-1944 227 (North Island) Template:Coor dm
3 Asuncion 7.4 uninhabited 891 Template:Coor dm
4 Agrihan (Agrigan) 40.0 evacuated 1990 965 Mount Tapochao Template:Coor dm
5 Pagan 46.6 small 579 Mount Pagan Template:Coor dm
6 Alamagan 11.0 small 744 Bandeera Template:Coor dm
7 Guguan 4.0 uninhabited 301 Template:Coor dm
8 Zealandia Bank >0.0 uninhabited >0 Template:Coor dm
9 Sarigan 4.9 formerly inhabitated 549 Template:Coor dm
10 Anatahan 30.8 evacuated 1990 787 Template:Coor dm
11 Farallon de Medinilla 0.9 uninhabited 81 Template:Coor dm
12 Saipan 122.9 ... 474 Mount Tagpochau Template:Coor dm
13 Tinian 102.0 ... 170 Kastiyu (Lasso Hill) Template:Coor dm
14 Aguijan (Agiguan) 7.0 uninhabited 157 Template:Coor dm
15 Rota 95.7 ... 491 Sabana Template:Coor dm
NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS 477.2 ... 965 Mount Tapochao 1408' to 2033'N,
14454 to 14604'W
From the CIA World Factbook 2000. Little Wikification.

See also

External links

Template:Northern Mariana Islands

Political divisions of the United States Flag of the United States
States Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming
Federal district District of Columbia
Insular areas American Samoa | Baker Island | Guam | Howland Island | Jarvis Island | Johnston Atoll | Kingman Reef | Midway Atoll | Navassa Island | Northern Mariana Islands | Palmyra Atoll | Puerto Rico | Virgin Islands | Wake Island

Template:Pacific Islandsca:Illes Mariannes Septentrionals da:Nordmarianerne de:Nrdliche Marianen et:Phja-Mariaanid es:Islas Marianas del Norte eo:Nord-Marianoj fr:les Mariannes du Nord he:איי מריאנה הצפוניים id:Kepulauan Mariana Utara nl:Noordelijke Marianen ja:北マリアナ諸島 pl:Mariany Płnocne pt:Marianas Setentrionais sl:Severni Marianski otoki fi:Pohjois-Mariaanit sv:Nordmarianerna zh:北马里亚纳群岛 zh-min-nan:Pak Mariana Kn-t


  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools