Capital city: Majuro
Currency: United States Dollar (USD)
Language: Marshallese and English
GDP: USD$115 million
GDP per capita: USD$2,163
The Marshall Islands are an island country located near the equator in the Pacific Ocean and are comprised of 29 coral atolls and 1,156 individual islands. The islands are named after the British explorer John Marshall who visited in 1788. The islands were historically known by the inhabitants as ‘jolet jen Anij’, Gifts from God.
From 1946 to 1958, the United States tested 67 nuclear weapons at its Pacific Proving Grounds located in the Marshall Islands. This included ‘Castle Bravo’, the largest atmospheric nuclear test ever conducted by the U.S. (with a total yield of 108,496 kilotons—over 7,200 times more powerful than the atomic weapons used during World War II). In the 1952 test of the first U.S. hydrogen bomb (known as ‘Ivy Mike’), the island of Elugelab in the Enewetak atoll was destroyed.
In 2011, Marshall Islands declared 2 million km of its territory (oceans) to be reserved as a shark sanctuary. This is the world's largest shark sanctuary, and in these protected waters all shark fishing is banned and all by-catch must be released.
The Marshall Islands taxes individuals at the rate of 8% or 12% of taxable incomes. Resident companies are taxed at the rate of 3% of revenue. Non-resident companies are exempt from tax.
"You’d be stupid not to try to cut your tax bill and those that don’t are stupid in business"
- Bono: U2