Marshall Islands Geography and Climate

By | August 27, 2021

Marshall Islands geography

As a country located in Oceania defined by, the Republic of the Marshall Islands is an island nation in the western Pacific Ocean. It consists of an archipelago belonging to eastern Micronesia, which is made up of over 1,100 islands, which are scattered in a lake area of ​​1.9 million square kilometers. The territory of the Marshall Islands extends to 181 square kilometers with a population of about 64,000 people. The capital of the Marshall Islands is Delap-Uliga-Darrit, or simply Majuro, on the island of Majuro.

The almost 1,200 islands and atolls of the Marshall Islands are spread over two rows of atolls: the eastern group of the Ratak Islands, which consists of 16 atolls(Sunrise Islands) with the main atoll Majuro and the western Ralik group (Sunset Islands), which includes 18 atolls. The atoll Kwajalein, which belongs to the last group, encloses one of the largest lagoons on earth with around 90 islands. The atolls Bikini and Eniwetok also belong to the Ralik group. Of the flat islands seen from a bird’s eye view, most are just atolls, and only 25 of them are inhabited. Half of the residents of the Marshall Islands live on the islands of the main atoll Majuro, which is also an American air force base which is an additional source of income for the population. The widest island is Wotje, which measures less than 1.6 kilometers in diameter. The highest point of the Marshall Islands is on the island of Likiep and reaches a full 10.2 meters.

Marshall Islands climate

Because of the proximity to the equator, the Marshall Islands always have a warm and humid climate. As usual in the tropics, the humidity is also quite high and is 85%.
The temperatures vary only slightly in the course of the day and the year. Only the northeast trade winds provide some cooling from January to March. The lowest temperatures are usually measured during the day during heavy rains. The thermometer drops slightly from south to north. An average of 28 ° C is reached on the atolls in the south; It is still 26 ° C on the more northerly islands.

The water temperatures are also tropical. They move all year round at a warm 28 to 30 ° C and are therefore always ideal for swimming, diving or sailing.

In the humid climate of the Marshall Islands you always have to reckon with sometimes heavy, but usually only short rain showers. More rain falls from May to November than between December and April. But even in the wetter season, the sun quickly comes out from behind the clouds after the rains.

Due to the large north-south expansion of the country, the precipitation varies greatly from region to region. They increase significantly from 500-800 mm on the northern islands to 4,000 mm on the coral atolls near the equator in the south. Despite the sometimes large amounts of precipitation, droughts occur again and again, especially on the northern islands. Because the Marshall Islands consist mainly of lime, the rainwater from the ground cannot be stored and drains away again very quickly.
The Marshall Islands are rarely hit by cyclones, as they are fortunately on the edge of the typhoon zone. The Marshall Islands only fall victim to devastating storms between September and November in exceptional cases.

Best time to travel to the Marshall Islands

Experts agree that December through March is the ideal time to travel to the Marshall Islands. During this time it is warm and the rainfall during this dry season is low, so that you can almost always enjoy the blue sky, the almost permanent sunshine and the warm sea.

On the other hand, the rainy season prevails from April / May to November. One or the other shower can fall on the dreamy, palm-fringed sandy beaches and spoil the holiday pleasure.

Marshall Islands – key data

Area: 181 km²

67,182 residents (July 2011 estimate, CIA). Marshallese 92.1%, Marshallese with mixed roots 5.9%, Other 2% (2006)

Population density: 371 residents per km²

Population growth:
1.954% per year (2011, CIA)

Capital: Majuro (25,400 residents, 2004)

Highest point:
unnamed point on Likiep, 10 m

Lowest point: Pacific Ocean, 0 m

Form of government: The Marshall Islands have been a republic since 1990, the constitution dates from 1979, the last constitutional amendment was made in 1990. The Parliament (Nitijela) consists of 33 members, the Council of Tribal Leaders (Council of Iroij) consists of 12 leaders. Until 1979, the Marhall Islands belonged to the US Pacific Islands Trust Territory on behalf of the UN. That year, the United States and the Marshall Islands signed an Association Agreement that came into force in 1986. In 1990 the US protection mandate ended and the Marshall Islands became independent. However, the US is still responsible for the defense policy of the Marshall Islands to this day.

Administrative division: 33 municipalities: Ailinginae, Ailinglaplap, Ailuk, Arno, Aur, Bikar, Bikini, Bokak, Ebon, Enewetak, Erikub, Jabat, Jaluit, Jemo, Kili, Kwajalein, Lae, Lib, Likiep, Majuro, Maloelap, Mejit, Mili, Namorik, Namu, Rongelap, Rongrik, Toke, Ujae, Ujelang, Utirik, Wotho and Wotje

Head of State and Government: President Christopher Loaek, since January 10, 2012

Language: The official languages ​​in the Marshall Islands are Marshallese (98.2%) and English. Other languages ​​1.8%). English is widely used as a second language.

Religion: Protestants 54.8%, Assembly of God 25.8%, Roman Catholic 8.4%, Bukot nan Jesus 2.8%, Mormons 2.1%, other Christians 3.6%, others 1%, none Religion 1.5% (1999 census)

Local time: CET + 11 h
On the Marshall Islands there is no change between summer and winter time.
The time difference to Central Europe is + 11 h in winter and + 10 h in summer.

International phone code: + 692


Mains voltage: 110/120 V, 60 Hz

Marshall Islands Geography