The traditional, highly hierarchical
community life in the Marshall Islands is still there,
but is increasingly being suppressed by a more modern
lifestyle. Modernization has created some social
problems, such as drug abuse and increased crime.
Traditional societies constitute a complicated system
of matrilinear clans, that is, large families within
which land and titles are inherited on the mother's
side. However, the transition to monetary economics has
meant that women have gradually lost control of the
earth. The traditional chieftains still have a
significant influence in society.
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Marshall Islands, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
The Marshall Islands are a relatively poor and
undeveloped country, but with assistance from the United
States a relatively well-functioning health care system
has nevertheless been expanded. New eating habits have
led to common diseases of welfare, such as obesity,
diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Smoking and
alcoholism are also widespread health risks.
Several studies have shown an increased number of
cancer cases in the islands as a result of the US
nuclear tests during the 1940s and 1950s (see Modern
History). It has also been revealed that the United
States conducted medical experiments by deliberately
exposing residents to radioactivity.
Almost all residents have access to clean drinking
water, while almost four out of five have access to
Violence against women is a widespread problem. In a
2016 report by a state women's rights organization,
Women United Together Marshall Islands, over half of the
women surveyed had been subjected to domestic violence.
Women's participation in political life is limited. The
reason is that traditional values disadvantage women
in this context.
Child labor is not reported to occur in a formal
sense, that is, children do not have wage labor.
However, it is common for children to help at home and
in agriculture or fishing. Child abuse is prohibited.
The Marshall Islands have been accused by the US
Department of Foreign Affairs of being a target for
so-called sex trafficking, that is, trafficking in women
and children mainly for the purpose of exploiting them
for prostitution. The victims of human smuggling are
mainly women from East Asia. The United States has
accused the government of the Marshall Islands of not
taking adequate action against the smuggling and of not
providing assistance to the victims. In 2013, the US
Department of State put the Marshall Islands on an
international Tier 2 Watch List of countries that act in
this way. In 2015, the Marshall Islands were moved to
another list (Tier 3 Watch List), which means that the
situation has improved but that the problem remains. In
2016, the country remained on the latter list.
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
27 per 1000 births (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
78.2 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
83.5 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
22.1 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
US $ 851 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
9 percent (2018)