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Since the Commonwealth Agreement began, the Northern Mariana Islands have received millions of dollars from the United States for, among other things, capital investments and various economic projects. The government is also the largest employer in the Northern Mariana Islands. The gross national product per capita is approximately $24,500 (2016). Unemployment and poverty among the Chamorro population is highest because 90% of the workforce in the private sector is occupied by low-paid foreign workers. The textile industry is booming with about 12,000 Chinese workers. Approximately 50% of the labour force currently works in the tourism industry.

Continental Airlines flies between Guam and Saipan, and Freedom Air flies between Guam, Saipan, Tinian and Rota. A large catamaran sails several times a day between Saipan and Tinian.

Agriculture includes the cultivation of maize, sweet potato, tomatoes, melons, bananas, cassava, citrus fruits and coconuts for home consumption. There is also some cattle farming and sea fishing.


Galbraith, K. / Micronesia
Lonely Planet

Levy, N. / Micronesia handbook

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
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