Marshall Islands Geography

The Marshall Islands are located about 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii, half way between Hawaii and NE Australia. They are just north of the equator and west of the International Date Line. It is part of Micronesia, a sub-region of Oceania. It is distinct from the other two sub-regions of Oceania,  Melanesia to the South and Polynesia to the East.

Oceania – sub-regions

The Marshall Islands consist of two archipelagic island chains of 29 atolls (24 are inhabited). The Ratak Chain (sunrise chain) is in the east and the Ralik Chain (sunset chain) is in the west.

Marshall Islands

Each atoll is made up of many islands (aka islets). There are a total of 1225 islands in the Marshall Islands. The width of each atoll / island is commonly less than a couple hundred yards. The average elevation of the country is 7 feet and the highest point is 18 feet.

The combined land surface area of all of the Marshall Islands is 70 square miles. This is less than the city of Washington, D.C. or Duluth, MN. However, this land is spread over an area of over 180,000 square miles of ocean (about the size of Mexico or 3 times the size of Texas).

It is about 500 miles between the most northern and southern atolls and 350 miles between the most eastern and western atoll.