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Northern Mariana Islands

The Northern Mariana Islands officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), is a commonwealth in political union with the United States, occupying a strategic region of the western Pacific Ocean. It consists of fifteen islands about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines, at 151′2″N 1454′5″E. The United States Census Bureau reports the total land area of all islands as 179.01 square miles (463.63 km2).

The Northern Mariana Islands has a population of 80,362 (2005 estimate). The official 2000 census count was 69,221. More than 90% of the Commonwealth's population lives on the island of Saipan. Of the fourteen other islands, only two, Tinian and Rota, have a significant population. The islands of Agrihan and Alamagan have fewer than ten residents, and the remaining ten islands are unpopulated. The Northern Mariana Islands have the lowest male to female sex ratio in the world with an average of 76 men to every 100 women. That is due to the overwhelming female majority of foreign workers, especially in the garment industry.

The Commonwealth's center of government is located in the village of Capitol Hill on the island of Saipan. As the island is governed as a single municipality, most publications term "Saipan" as the Commonwealth's capital.


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