A Guam Business series for 2018 providing assets and data for Micronesia
The Northern Mariana Islands is a 300-mile archipelago comprised of 22 islands and islets. The most populous islands are Saipan, Rota and Tinian. The largest northern — and mostly uninhabited — islands are Farallon de Medinilla, Anatahan, Sariguan, Gudgeon, Alamagan, Pagan, Agrihan, Asuncion, Maug Islands and Farallon de Pajaro.
The NMI adopted its constitution in 1977 and its first constitutional government took office in 1978. It is one of two commonwealths of the United States as defined by the Office of Insular Affairs, with the other being Puerto Rico. The Philippine Islands were also a commonwealth under the same definition until the United States recognized its independence in 1946. The NMI came under federal minimum wage regulations in 2007 and immigration law in 2008.
December 2017 marked 21 consecutive months of growth in visitor arrivals to the NMI and recovery of the tourism industry. A total of 659,741 visitors came to Saipan, Tinian and Rota in 2017, a 24.3% increase over calendar 2016.