According to franciscogardening, the Marshall Islands are a chain of volcanic islands and coral atolls located in the central Pacific Ocean, about halfway between Hawaii and Australia. The total land area is 181 km2 and the population is approximately 53,000. The official languages are English and Marshallese, but English is more commonly spoken. The climate is tropical with high temperatures all year round and heavy rainfall during the wet season from May to October. The Marshall Islands were first settled by Micronesians around 2000 BC and later colonized by Spain in the 17th century. In 1886 they became part of the German Empire before being occupied by Japan during World War II. After the war they became a United Nations trust territory administered by the United States until 1986 when they finally achieved independence. Today, tourism, fishing, subsistence agriculture and remittances from abroad are some of the main sources of income for Marshall Islanders.
According to Countryaah, Marshall Islands has a rapidly growing population; over the last 20 years, the population has doubled. About 2/3 of the population is concentrated on the Majuro and Kwajalein atolls. Sections of the population are still affected by the effects of the test blasts on the Bikini and Enewetak atolls, which among other things resulted in radioactive fallout over the residents of adjacent atolls.
The majority language is Marshallese, an Austronesian (Micronesian) language, which is also the official language along with English.
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Over 60% belongs to the Congregationalist church United Church of Christ, which came to the country through Hawaiian missionaries around 1860. This has from the beginning contributed to the church having a distinctly indigenous character. The church structure was built around the existing chiefdoms, but with deacons as leaders. The Marshall Islands were thus pacified through the expansion of the church. Through the matrilineal lineage, women play an important role in society, and they have also been included in the church and influence its work. A few percent belong to the Roman Catholic Church, which came to the country in 1889. There is also a smaller group of Mormons. 25% of the population today consider themselves non-religious.