Flag of Northern Mariana Islands

Northern Mariana Islands Economy Profile

Home > Factbook > Countries > Northern Mariana Islands

Economy - overview

The economy of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands(CNMI) has been on the rebound in the last few years, mainly on the strength of its tourism industry. In 2016, the CNMI’s real GDP increased 28.6% over the previous year, following two years of relatively rapid growth in 2014 and 2015. Chinese and Korean tourists have supplanted Japanese tourists in the last few years. The Commonwealth is making a concerted effort to broaden its tourism by extending casino gambling from the small Islands of Tinian and Rota to the main Island of Saipan, its political and commercial center. Investment is concentrated on hotels and casinos in Saipan, the CNMI’s largest island and home to about 90% of its population.

Federal grants have also contributed to economic growth and stability. In 2016, federal grants amounted to $101.4 billion which made up 26% of the CNMI government’s total revenues. A small agriculture sector consists of cattle ranches and small farms producing coconuts, breadfruit, tomatoes, and melons.

Legislation is pending in the US Congress to extend the transition period to allow foreign workers to work in the CNMI on temporary visas.

GDP (purchasing power parity)$1.242 billion (2016 est.)

$933 million (2015 est.)

$845 million (2014 est.)

note: GDP estimate includes US subsidy; data are in 2013 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$1.242 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate28.6% (2016 est.)

3.8% (2015 est.)

3.5% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$24,500 (2016 est.)

$18,400 (2015 est.)

$16,600 (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 43.1% (2016 est.)

government consumption: 28.9% (2016 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 26.3% (2016 est.)

investment in inventories: NA (2016 est.)

exports of goods and services: 73.6% (2016 est.)

imports of goods and services: -71.9% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 1.7% (2016)

industry: 58.1% (2016 est.)

services: 40.2% (2016)
Population below poverty lineNA
Labor force27,970 (2010 est.)

note: includes foreign workers
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 1.9%

industry: 10%

services: 88.1% (2010 est.)
Unemployment rate11.2% (2010 est.)

8% (2005 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA

highest 10%: NA
Budgetrevenues: 389.6 million (2016 est.)

expenditures: 344 million (2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues31.4% (of GDP) (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)3.7% (of GDP) (2016 est.)
Public debt7.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)0.3% (2016 est.)

0.1% (2015 est.)
Agriculture - productsvegetables and melons, fruits and nuts; ornamental plants; livestock, poultry, eggs; fish and aquaculture products
Industriestourism, banking, construction, fishing, handicrafts, other services
Industrial production growth rateNA
Exports$914 million (2016 est.)

$520 million (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesscrap iron, scrap copper, scrap aluminum, computers, laboratory diagnostic equipment (2019)
Exports - partnersSouth Korea 73%, Peru 5% (2019)
Imports$893 million (2016 est.)

$638 million (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesrefined petroleum, trunks/cases, cars, watches, jewelry (2019)
Imports - partnersHong Kong 29%, Japan 29%, Singapore 16%, South Korea 9% (2019)
Debt - external


Exchange rates

the US dollar is used

Fiscal year1 October - 30 September

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on September 18, 2021