Carolinian language

Carolinian is an Austronesian language originating in the Caroline Islands, but spoken in the Northern Mariana Islands. It is an official language (as well as English) by the Carolinian people.[3] Carolinian is a threatened language according to the Catalogue of Endangered Languages (ELCat), but available data is scarce. There are approximately 3,100 native speakers in the world.[4] Carolinian has 95% lexical similarity with Satawalese, 88% with Woleaian and Puluwatese; 81% with Mortlockese; 78% with Chuukese, 74% with Ulithian.[5]

Native toNorthern Mariana Islands
RegionSaipan, Anatahan, and Agrihan islands, Marianas.
Native speakers
3,100 (2000)[1]
Official status
Official language in
 Northern Mariana Islands
Language codes
ISO 639-3cal


The Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas occupies a chain of 14 islands in the Pacific, approximately 1,300 miles southeast of Japan. The total land areas are 183.5 square miles, and some islands are unpopulated. Most Carolinians live on Saipan, the largest island, though a very small island. Agrigan, is reported to be populated solely by Carolinians speaking Carolinian language.[6]

Carolinian language is more usually known as Saipan Carolinian, it was born from several languages in the Carolinian language continuum, due to a century of migration from the west Carolinian atolls to the Northern Marianas island of Saipan in 1815. Spoken mostly by the Carolinian people, Carolinian is the most closely related dialect to Satawalese, Woleaian, and Puluwatese languages. Nowadays, Carolinian is changing quickly due to English, which has dominated Micronesia since World War II. There are only a small percentage of Carolinian children left on Saipan who can confidently speak the traditional form of Carolinian.[5]


Early history

Carolinian language comes from closely related languages and dialects. It is a member of the family of Austronesian language. The first residents were the Austronesians, who came from Taiwan. In 1652, Europeans started to live on the Carolinian islands and spoke the language. Later, people communicated with Europeans in the main linguistic areas of the Carolinian language at the end of the 1600s. Between 1795 and 1797, a Spanish official, who was Don Luis de Torres on Guam, began to study the Carolinian and discovered its continuum. During the 1700s, there were more than two Carolinian drift voyages to the Philippines and more than four drift voyages to Guam. The voyages spread a lot of information on Carolinian culture and language from outside islands during the same period.[5]

During the 1800s, there was a range of reasons for the maintenance of inter-island travel, and thus supporting the Carolinian language continuum. Besides the necessity to survive, it also had many benefits to communicate, trade, and family relations. The evolution of Carolinian language would have changed once the Carolinian people moved to Saipan under Chamorros occupation. However, Saipan was abandoned in approximately 1815. Due to the Spanish, Carolinians had a beautiful undisturbed frontier all to themselves. The original Carolinian speaking group to live on Saipan would be the first speaker of Saipan Carolinian. Also, every migration from additional atolls would have added many complex languages through that time. It would be good to tell the stages of speaking evolution on Saipan, based on the continued layers of “blending” from the beginning period until today.[5]

For that to happen, it would require among other things, which were detailed information on all migrations from 1815 until modern times. Nonetheless, the historical records of movements to Saipan conflict with each other at certain points along the way, and it is sometimes hard to know which group preceded which one. One thing that is the certainty is that the form of speaking on Saipan did not have an opportunity to specify during the 19th century. Some speakers coming and going between Saipan and the atolls indicated that the language was in a constant state of changing.[5]

Late history

When immigrations came from atolls east of Satawal, the population of Carolinians in the Northern Marianas began to have a huge change after the 1850s. From 1865 to 1868, an English entrepreneur, who was H. G. Johnson, moved about 1,500 Carolinians to the Marianas, to help running his plantations on Guam, Rota, and Tinian. This number population included Carolinians from Pollan is uncertain. Following the pathway of those 1,500 Carolinians from their first islands to the island of the first assignment in 1865 to 1869, and then on to their last destination by the end of the 1900s century, had so many challengings. The Spanish stone-walled until the Tinian Carolinian moved to Saipan.[5]

When the Americans took over Guam in 1898, the Carolinians of the Maria Cristina village were still there. Also, the Americans tried to require the Carolinians in Guam to give their customary dress up. That was not going too well, and the Carolinians still wore their dress. Almost all of the migrations that led to populating the Carolinian community on Saipan had happened in 1911. Additionally, any voyages had no memory existing after about 1905. Specifically, it was the biggest influx of outer island Carolinians to Saipan during 1905 and 1907. Especially when German ships using moved hundreds of Mortlockese and other atoll dwellers to Saipan because of the typhoon devastation on the outer islands in 1907. There was not any huge impact on the language traits that Carolinian language was utilized. This stems from the fact that the migrations were directed into areas of Saipan away from the established villages. Many islanders returned to their original island homes as soon as the crop on the outer islands could recover from the 1907 typhoon, which was a crucial movement for the Carolinian history to influence the language changes. Only a few people who shared from these forced migrations remained on Saipan.[5]

Today, both northern and southern Saipan Carolinians have spread throughout populated areas of Saipan, include the new Kagman homestead areas, which built by the government on the eastern shore. Two events began the process on Saipan whereby the Saipan Carolinians began to reconnect with their outer-island roots in the 1970s. The first one was that a navigator made a voyage from the outer islands to Saipan in 1969 when after a lapse of 60 or 70 years. Saipan Carolinians were in the overpowering current of U.S., and global influence in a new political reality meant for them. The impact of radio, printed matter, and the addition of TVs, video players, video games to virtually every Carolinian home would ensure that nowadays would never subside. While it is true to say that a certain amount of authentic and entrenched aspects of Carolinian language and culture would persist far in the future, the new arrangement would have an enormous impact on the language. There was still genuine interest in preserving the native languages. However, the reality is different from what people plan.[5]


According to the history of the language, it is critical to show respect to the Carolinian culture, in particular for older people. First, Carolinian women must use precise words when they are speaking to their brothers and other male relatives. In addition, another way that a woman should show respect to her brothers or male relatives is when the brothers are sitting, and she needs to get up to do something, she must bend her back while walking past him, and her head should not be higher than the man. This is the norm in the Carolinian culture. Also, it is not good to go to the front of the brothers when the sisters pass; she should go around the back of them.

Second, in the Carolinian culture, dishes cannot be shared between sister and brother. Dishes used by males must not be used by females except by the mother of the man. This is their custom. Additionally, female's bedrooms are restricted. For example, brothers and male relatives must not enter their sister's or female relative's bedroom. Girls should be careful about their personal things, like underwear, which should not be seen by their brothers, after washing clothes they should hang them to dry in a separate place. Females cannot slap her brother, comb his hair, scratch his back and touch his face.

Third, there is a certain age when a girl must be doing these things. As soon as she gets her menstrual period, this is the starting age. In the outer island of the Carolines, when a girl reaches her period, she is placed in a particular house, where she is taken care of by the grandmother or old women. Her face is colored with orange coloring, and the whole community knows that she has got out of age. In Saipan, people stopped the practice of a special house and coloring the face during the Second World War. Many of Carolinians still practice all of the ways to show respect even today.

Last, there is respect shown between older men and younger men. For instance, the younger men must not give their opinion in a meeting unless they are invited to do so by the older men. Younger men should respect the older men and keep quiet before they do. Usually there is a world leader, who must be respected and his decision followed. Also, a husband must respect his wife's brothers and male relatives. When they need something, if the husband should have sex with his wife, he should in return help her brothers. He should make his plans fit into their plans. For instance, when they go to his car he should let them use. He should bring local food to the family party.[7]



Consonant Phonemes Table[8][9]
Labial Alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Stops plain p pː t tː
labial/voiced bʷˠ, (pʷˠ) d ɡ
Affricate ʈ͡ʂːʲ
Fricatives f fː s sː ʂ x h
Nasals plain m mː n ŋ ŋː
labial mʷˠ mʷˠː
Liquids l lː, r ɻ
Glides w j

The table shows that alveolar ridge receives tongue-blade contact while the tongue tip makes contact at some place on the teeth.[10]

Vowel Phonemes Table[8]
Front Central Back Diphthongs
High i ʉ u iu, eu, æu, ɐu
Mid e ɵ o ou, ɒu, ei, æi
Low æ ɐ ɒ ɐi, ui, oi, ɒi

All of the consonants may appear initially, medially, and finally. In the final position, all the obstruents are obligatorily released. All consonants except / Ç / are unaspirated, and all stops and / x / are lenis. The consonants / bw / and / mw / have coarticulated labial closure and rounding with a raising of the back of the tongue toward the velum. the / bw / is usually spirantized to / βw/ medially. The / r / is a trill, which is voiceless word-finally. Moreover, all of the following single consonants may also be geminate initially, medially and in their abstract representation, finally: / p, t, bw, f, s, m, mw, ŋ, l /. Geminate / bw / is devoiced. in addition, Carolinian has geminate but not single / kk /. There are the five consonants / ş, x, r, w, y /, which may be geminated medially in productive reduplication. Geminate obstruents are tense and often give the impression of aspiration.

In addition to its native vocabulary, Carolinian has borrowed considerable vocabulary from Chamorro, English, and Japanese. Understandably, this has led to the borrowing of some phonemes from these languages as well. Although these phonemes appear only in borrowed words, many of these words undergo regular Carolinian phonological rules, and the international segments are assigned in the same way as native speakers. For example, the Japanese word / dzori / means slipper is borrowed into Carolinian and may be reduplicated. So / dzodzdzoori / means to be wearing slippers.[10]

Syllable structure

The classic form of Carolinian syllables is either CV, CVC, CVVC, or CCVC.[10]


Source Reduplication Gloss
loka e lollokka she is wearing sandals
xasulis e xaxxasulis He is wearing pants
tou e tottou He is stabbing him
siliila e sissiliils She is wearing a dress
sooŋ e sossoŋ He is (being) angry
mwuŋo e mwumwmwuŋo He is eating

Simple sentence structure

Carolinian simple sentences contain two major constituents, which are the Subject Noun Phrase and the Predicate Phrase. The word order of Carolinian language is Subject-Verb-Object. The following are some example simple sentences.[10]

Subject Noun Phrase Predicate Phrase
1. Wan e seng
John he cries
John is crying
2. Wan e dokto
John he doctor
John is a doctor
3. e bwel le-mwungo
he aspectual at-eat
he begins to eat
4. E-sáál mwungo
he-not yet eaten
he hasn't eaten yet
5. I e-bwe mwungo
he he-will eat


Some researchers indicate that Carolinian language with the western half of the continuum. In either case, the next sister of Carolinian is invariably described as Satawalese. Carolinian gets a little more in common with Woleaian- Mortlockese than it does either Polowat-Pulusuk or Satawalese, but with Polowat-Pulusuk showing slightly more influence than Satawalese. The lexical stock is one domain in Chuukic languages that can contribute substantially to the quest to find how Carolinian is put in order to its source languages since there is a significant amount of diversity among the languages’ lexicons. That is quite true even though each Chuukic language has close to a very high 50% lexical similarity with all the other members of the Continuum. Nonetheless, that still leaves the remaining 50% in which to find differences among languages, and this will prove to be enough to refine in on Carolinian lines of lexical inheritance.[5]

Past orthographies

1. Most Saipan Carolinians are bilingual or trilingual. Their writing has reflected many foreign language orthographic systems. Despite the perfection of Carolinian writing, the following generalizations can be made. First, the vulgarized consonants / bw, mw, pw / were often written as digraphs when the following vowels are unrounded. However, / w / or / u / was virtually never indicated before rounded vowels or word finally. This phenomenon can be traced to Chamorro writing, there is a rounded velar glide that occurs only after consonants and only before unrounded vowels. The Carolinians seem to have interpreted their vulgarized consonants as plain consonants followed by glides, like the Chamorro phones. For instance, libual means hole of for / libwal /, but lib means hole for / liibw / the form imual for / imwal / means his house, but imom / imwɔmw/ means your house, puel for / pwpwel / means dirt, but po for / pwo / means pound.

2. The geminate consonants were not represented as it initially and finally, though some people wrote geminate consonants medially. This is almost surely a result of Chamorro influence. The only geminates in Chamorro are medial and as a consequence only these geminates are reflected in writing. For example, pi / ppii / means sand, lepi, leppi for / leppi / means beach, sand, mile, mille for / mille / means this one. lol for / llɔl / means in it.

3. Carolinian are used to the 5 vowel symbols of the Roman alphabet. These were used to identify the 9 distinctive vowels of the Carolinian language.

4. Long vowels were not represented maybe due to Chamorro impact, as there are no distinctive long vowels in that language. For example, fi / fii / means star, set / sææt / means sea, il for / iil / means mother.

5. In writing morphophonemic regularities such as the predictable vowel qualities before possessive suffixes, the Carolinian paid no attention to the underlying regulations. On the order hand, they focus totally on the surface phones. This is the same as Chamorro practice as well as to most of other Micronesian orthographies.

6. Directional suffixes were usually attached to the preceding verbs. For instance, muatiu / mɔɔttiu / means sit down, mela / mæællɔ / means die, touo / towou / means get out.

7. The subject pronoun was almost invariably attached to whichever part of the verb phrase immediately was following. For example, the negative marker, the aspect marker, an aspectual adverb, or the verb itself. ese / e se / means he not, ebue / e bwe / means he will, eke, eghal / e kke, e ghal / means he progressive, and emuel / e mwmwel / means he can.

8. When the determines were singular, they were usually connected to the preceding noun. For example, mualue /mwææl-we/ means that man, mualie /mwææl-ie/ means this man. Plural determiners, which were generally written separated. For example, mual kal /mwææl + kkaal/ means these men, mual kelal /mwææl kke + laal/ means those men, mual keue /mwææl kke + we/ means those men in the past.

9. The longer object pronouns were sometimes separated from the preceding verb stem, while the shorter pronouns are identical attached. For example, e weriei means he sees me, versus e uri ghisch means he sees us.

10. Sometimes morphemes were not written if they were phonologically assimilated to other morphemes. For example, ito for / i + itto / means I come.[10]

Saipan Carolinian Orthography Committee

A preliminary meeting was called at the Headquarters Education Department conference room on July 21, 1976. The site was decided on in part since it was about equidistant from both the northern and southern Carolinian communities. The meeting was to review the initial steps for setting up an orthography acceptable to both communities and to select the members of the orthography committee. The official orthography conference was held from July 26 to August 4, 1976. The meeting opened with an address by the Director of Education for the Marianas. Mr. Jesus M. Conception, representatives from the Marianas Education Department and the Chamorro Orthography Committee also attacked the convention on an irregular basis. This is the first decided that no dialect would be chosen as the official dialect for school and government documents, In other words, the committee agreed to pick a standard system of presenting the pronunciations of all three dialects, and Carolinians should use that system to reflect the specific dialect pronunciations. So school teachers would not enforce the unique forms of one dialect but instead, allow students to use the spelling correctly for the dialect they speak.[10]


There were 28 letters in 1977 and they were expanded to 33 letters in 2004.[10]

Letter Phoneme Name of Letter
a / a / aa
á / æ / áá
e / e / ee
ė / ʌ / ėė
i / i / ii
o / o / oo
ó / ɔ / óó
u / u / uu
ú / ɨɨ / úú
f / f / fii
h / h / hii
s / s / sii
sch / ṣ / schii
gh / x / ghii
k / kk / kkii
l / l / lii
m / m / mii
mw / mw / mwii
n / n / nii
ng / ŋ / ngii
p / p / pii
pw / pw / pwii
bw / bw / bwii
r / r / rii
rh / ŗ / rhii
tch / ç / tchii
t / t / tii
w / w / wii
b / b / bii
d / d / dii
g / g / gii
y / y / yii
z / z / zii

Writing system

The Carolinians use a wide range of experiences in selecting the alphabetic system they use. For example, many of the older Carolinians are at least familiar with German from the German occupation. Depending on these, people would often use umlaut diacritics for the writing some vowels. A German influence could also be detected in the writing of the coronal spirant /s/ as /sch/. However, other speakers use their knowledge of Chamorro orthography to write Carolinian. As Chamorro has three fewer phonemic vowels than Carolinian and does not include Carolinians distinctive vowel length, initial consonant gemination, or velarized labials, individual systems based on Chamorro contained many double meanings. However, other Carolinians based their spelling in English, no individual writer could make use of the system.[10]


  1. ^ Carolinian at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Carolinian". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ "Carolinian Language". Ethnologue. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  4. ^ "Carolinian". The Endangered Language Project. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Ellis, S. James (December 2012). "Saipan Carolinian, One Chuukic Language Blended From Many" (PDF).
  6. ^ Elameto, Jesus Mareham (1977). Linguistic Dimensions of Vernacular Education for Saipan Carolinians. University of Hawaii.
  7. ^ Warakal, Rosa Roppul; Limes, Jose T. (1980). Respect in the Carolinian Culture on Saipan. Saipan: Department of Education, Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands.
  8. ^ a b Ellis, S. James (2012). Saipan Carolinian, One Chuukic Language Blended from Many. University of Hawai'i at Mānoa.
  9. ^ Jackson, Frederick H. (1983). The Internal and External Relationships of Trukic Languages of Micronesia. University of Hawaii, Manoa.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Elameto, Jesus Mareham (1977). Linguistic Dimensions of Vernacular Education for Saipan Carolinians. University of Hawaii.
Austronesian languages

The Austronesian languages are a language family that is widely dispersed throughout Maritime Southeast Asia, Madagascar and the islands of the Pacific Ocean, with a few members in continental Asia. Austronesian languages are spoken by about 386 million people (4.9%), making it the fifth-largest language family by number of speakers. Major Austronesian languages with the highest number of speakers are Malay (Indonesian and Malaysian), Javanese, and Filipino (Tagalog). The family contains 1,257 languages, which is the second most of any language family.Similarities between the languages spoken in the Malay Archipelago and the Pacific Ocean were first observed in 1706 by the Dutch scholar Adriaan Reland. In the 19th century, researchers (e.g. Wilhelm von Humboldt, Herman van der Tuuk)

started to apply the comparative method to the Austronesian languages, but the first comprehensive and extensive study on the phonological history of the Austronesian language family including a reconstruction of Proto-Austronesian lexicon was made by the German linguist Otto Dempwolff. The term Austronesian itself was coined by Wilhelm Schmidt (German austronesisch, based on Latin auster "south wind" and Greek νῆσος "island"). The family is aptly named, as the vast majority of Austronesian languages are spoken on islands: only a few languages, such as Malay and the Chamic languages, are indigenous to mainland Asia. Many Austronesian languages have very few speakers, but the major Austronesian languages are spoken by tens of millions of people and one Austronesian language, Malay (including both Indonesian and Malaysian variants), is spoken by 250 million people, making it the 8th most spoken language in the world. Approximately twenty Austronesian languages are official in their respective countries (see the list of major and official Austronesian languages).

Different sources count languages differently, but Austronesian and Niger–Congo are the two largest language families in the world by the number of languages they contain, each having roughly one-fifth of the total languages counted in the world. The geographical span of Austronesian was the largest of any language family before the spread of Indo-European in the colonial period, ranging from Madagascar off the southeastern coast of Africa to Easter Island in the eastern Pacific. Hawaiian, Rapa Nui, and Malagasy (spoken on Madagascar) are the geographic outliers of the Austronesian family.

According to Robert Blust (1999), Austronesian is divided in several primary branches, all but one of which are found exclusively on Taiwan. The Formosan languages of Taiwan are grouped into as many as nine first-order subgroups of Austronesian. All Austronesian languages spoken outside Taiwan (including its offshore Yami language) belong to the Malayo-Polynesian branch, sometimes called Extra-Formosan.

Most Austronesian languages lack a long history of written attestation, making the feat of reconstructing earlier stages – up to distant Proto-Austronesian – all the more remarkable. The oldest inscription in the Cham language, the Đông Yên Châu inscription, but with the influence of Indo-European languages, dated to the mid-6th century AD at the latest, is also the first attestation of any Austronesian language.


Carolinian may refer to:

Something from or related to the Caroline Islands, an archipelago of tiny islands in the Pacific Ocean

Carolinian language, an Austronesian language spoken in the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific Ocean

Carolinian people, an Austronesian ethnic group which originates from the Caroline Islands

Something or someone from, or related to, The Carolinas, a region in the United States

Carolinian forest, a life zone in eastern North America

Carolinian (train), a daily passenger train operated by Amtrak in the eastern United States

USS Carolinian (ID-1445), a United States Navy cargo ship in commission from 1918 to 1919

M/S Carolinian, the first all-welded merchant ship in the world, completed 1930

The Carolinian (play) (also known as The Rattlesnake), a 1922 play by Rafael Sabatini and J. E. Harold Terry.

The Carolinian (novel), a 1924 novel by Rafael Sabatini based on the 1922 play

The Carolinian (newspaper), an African-American newspaper from Raleigh, North Carolina

The Carolinian (student newspaper), a student newspaper from University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Carolinian people

The Carolinian, or Refaluwasch (Pronounced Ri-fa-lu-wash) people are an Austronesian ethnic group who originated in Oceania, in the eastern Caroline Islands, with a total population of around 8,500 people. They are also known as Remathau (Pronounced Ray-ma-thow) in the Yap's outer islands. The Carolinian word means "People of the Deep Sea." The people It is thought that their ancestors may have originally immigrated from Asia and Indonesia to Micronesia around 2,000 years ago. Their primary language is Carolinian, called Refaluwasch by native speakers, which has a total of about 5,700 speakers. The Carolinians have a matriarchal society in which respect is a very important factor in their daily lives, especially toward the matriarchs. Most Carolinians are of the Roman Catholic faith.

The immigration of Carolinians to Saipan began in the early 19th century, after the Spanish killed most of the local population of Chamorro natives, reducing them to just 3,700. They began to immigrate mostly sailing from small canoes from other islands, which a typhoon previously devastated. The Carolinians have a much darker complexion than the native Chamorros.

Index of Northern Mariana Islands-related articles

The following is an alphabetical list of articles related to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Mariana fruit dove

The Mariana fruit dove (Ptilinopus roseicapilla), also known as mwee’mwe in the Carolinian language, totot on Guam or Paluman totut in Northern Marianas Islands, is a small, up to 24 cm long, green fruit dove native and endemic to Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands in the Pacific. It has a red forehead; greyish head, back and breast; and yellow belly patch and undertail coverts.

The female lays a single white egg. The chick and egg are tended to by both parents. Its diet consists mainly of fruits.

Culturally, the Mariana fruit dove is a very important symbol of the region. This species is the official bird of the Northern Marianas Islands.[1]. In 2005, the Mariana fruit dove was originally chosen as the official mascot of the 2006 Micronesian Games in Saipan.[2] However, the official website for the games shows a tropicbird as the official symbol instead of the Mariana fruit dove.[3]

The species faces extinction due to habitat loss throughout its range. A larger threat to the Mariana fruit dove has been the accidental introduction of the Brown tree snake to Guam during World War II. The snakes decimated the native bird populations of the island, which were unaccustomed to predators. They are extinct on Guam since 1984 and the Mariana fruit dove is highly endangered on other islands in its range. The spread of the snakes to the Northern Marianas Islands could be devastating. Several zoos have started captive breeding programs. The St. Louis Zoo, in St. Louis, Missouri, has one of the most successful captive breeding programs. The program began in 1993.[4]

Due to ongoing habitat loss, limited range, small population size and invasive alien species, the Mariana fruit dove is evaluated as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Northern Mariana Islands

The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI; Chamorro: Sankattan Siha Na Islas Mariånas; Refaluwasch or Carolinian: Commonwealth Téél Falúw kka Efáng llól Marianas), is an insular area and commonwealth of the United States consisting of 14 islands in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. The CNMI includes the 14 northernmost islands in the Mariana Archipelago except the southernmost island of the chain, Guam, which is a separate U.S. territory. The CNMI and Guam are the westernmost point (in terms of jurisdiction) and territory of the United States.

The United States Department of the Interior cites a landmass of 183.5 square miles (475.26 km2). According to the 2010 United States Census, 53,883 people were living in the CNMI at that time. The vast majority of the population resides on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. The other islands of the Northern Marianas are sparsely inhabited; the most notable among these is Pågan, which for various reasons over the centuries has experienced major population flux, but formerly had residents numbering in the thousands.The administrative center is Capitol Hill, a village in northwestern Saipan. However, most publications consider Saipan to be the capital because the island is governed as a single municipality.

Outline of the Northern Mariana Islands

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the Northern Mariana Islands:

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is an island country in the western North Pacific Ocean that maintains a political union with the United States. The Northern Mariana Islands comprise 15 islands about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines, at 15°1′2″N 145°4′5″E. The United States Census Bureau reports the total land area of all islands as 179.01 sq mi (463.63 km²).

The Northern Mariana Islands has a population of 80,362 (2005 estimate). The official 2000 census count was 69,221. The Northern Mariana Islands have the lowest male to female sex ratio in the world: 76 men to every 100 women, due to a large number of female foreign workers, especially in the garment industry.


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