The climate is hot and
humid, with a wet season from May to November. The islands occasionally
suffer from typhoons. Many Pacific typhoons start in the Marshall
Islands region and grow stronger as they move west toward the Mariana
Islands and the Philippines.
Both Marshallese and
English are the official languages of the Marshall Islands. Marshallese
belongs to the Austronesian Language Family, the most geographically
widespread language family in the world. Of the Austronesian languages,
Marshallese is a member of the Malayo Polynesian group, a group which
contains 880 different languages. In the Marshalls, two major dialects
have emerged, one in the Ralik chain and one in the Ratak chain of
atolls. The differences between the two dialects is minor.
The Marshall Islands use the U.S. dollar as their currency. This has the
advantages of not having the expense of running a central bank, the
currency is completely convertible, and price stability is reasonably
well ensured as the Marshallese do not have the ability to print
population of Marshall Islands in 2003 was estimated by the United
Nations at 55, 000, which placed it as number 185 in population among
the 193 nations of the world. In that year approximately 2% of the
population was over 65 years of age, with another 49% of the population
under 15 years of age.
Majuro is a large coral atoll of 64 islands in the Pacific Ocean, and
forms a legislative district of the Ratak Chain of the Marshall Islands.