Your guide to being an expatriate in Northern Mariana Islands

Caffeinate Your Northern Mariana Islands Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

The Northern Mariana Islands, also known as the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, is a U.S. Territory located in the western Pacific Ocean. The Islands play a significant role in the history of the Pacific region as they served as a Spanish colony for over 200 years before becoming a U.S. Territory in 1976. Today, the islands have a rich culture, stunning beaches and lush forests attracting tourists worldwide.

Northern Mariana Islands

Expat destinations in Northern Mariana Islands

Demographics of Northern Mariana Islands:

Ethnic groups

Asians: 14.9%

Palauan: 3.4%

Chamorro: 33.0%

Filipino: 26.5%

Carolinian: 5.2%

Other Pacific Islanders: 6.9%


English: 96.7% claim English as their second language

Chamorro: 98.4% are native speakers

Filipino: 28.2% speak Filipino

Other languages: 0.7%

Religion Overview

The majority of the population in the Northern Mariana Islands is Christian. According to recent statistics, 82% of the population identify as Roman Catholic, with Protestant denominations accounting for the remaining 18%.

Major Religions


The Northern Mariana Islands have a tropical climate, characterized by high temperatures and humidity. The average annual temperature ranges from 26 to 28°C, and rainfall averages around 2,000 millimeters annually.

Economy Overview

The economy of the Northern Mariana Islands is primarily dependent on tourism, government services, and remittances. In recent years, the territory has faced economic challenges, including a deteriorating budgetary situation and small business closures. However, efforts are underway to attract foreign investment and diversify the economy.

Key Industries

  • Tourism
  • Government Services
  • Remittances

Major Companies

  • Calvo Enterprises
  • Chamorro Land Trust Commission
  • Northern Marianas College

Culture and Language Overview

The Northern Mariana Islands boast a vibrant and unique culture. The indigenous population, known as the Chamorro and Carolinian, have a rich tradition of music, dance, and arts that are an essential part of the islands' identity. English is the official language in the territory, but Chamorro and several other Pacific islander languages are spoken.

Cultural Highlights

  • Music and Dance - The Chamorro culture is renowned for its traditional music and dance, including the fandango and hula loco.
  • Crafts - Chamorro crafts are famous for their intricate carvings, woven textiles, and pottery.
  • Food - Northern Mariana Islands cuisine is a fusion of American and Pacific Islander flavours, including tropic delicacies such as coconut crab and octopus salad.

Geography and Landmarks Overview

The Northern Mariana Islands archipelago is composed of 14 islands, with Saipan, Tinian, and Rota being the main islands. The islands' topography features stunning beaches, crystal clear lagoons, and lush forests. The surrounding ocean is rich in marine life and attracts diving enthusiasts worldwide.

Notable Landmarks

  • Grotto Mall - This is Saipan's largest shopping complex, offering a variety of international and local brands.
  • Garapan Beach - This is Saipan's most popular beach and offers various water sports and activities.
  • Nakpamal Gigoto Chamorro Cultural Historical Land Mark - Located in Rota, this landmark depicts the area's traditional Chamorro lifestyle and culture.

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Three King's Day (January 6)
  • President's Day (third Monday of February)
  • Good Friday
  • Liberation Day (July 21)
  • Constitution Day (August 1)
  • Labor Day (first Monday of September)
  • Columbus Day (second Monday of October)
  • All Saints' Day (November 1)
  • Veterans Day (November 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday of November)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)
  • Boxing Day (December 26)

Political Stability

The Northern Mariana Islands are a part of the U.S. National government system, and the islands' political structure reflects that of the United States. The President of the United States serves as the territory's head of state, and the Governor serves as the head of government. Elections are held every four years for the Governor, who serves a four-year term. The territory faces political challenges relating to environmental protection, economic sustainability, and social welfare.

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