Northern Mariana Islands – 19 Facts, History, and More

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is located north of Guam in the Micronesian Region of the Pacific Ocean. Three of the 15 islands in the country are inhabited: Saipan Rota Tinian. The Northern Islands Municipality is home to the 12 remaining islands. The United States has two commonwealths, Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands. Due to its colonial history and current relationship with America, the CNMI has a diverse culture. Two indigenous groups are also found in the Northern Mariana Islands, the Chamorros (and the Carolinians). International visitors can experience these cultures through festivals, markets, and food, as well as historical sites and historical sites that are scattered throughout the islands.


Experts believe that the Northern Mariana Islands were founded by settlers who arrived from Southeast Asia around 4,000 years ago. Guam and the 14 islands that make up the Northern Mariana Islands share many. Both Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands are home to the Chamorro, an Indigenous people.

Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer, arrived in the area in 1521. The chain of islands was named Islas de Los Ladrones, which means “Islands of Thieves” (Spanish translation). This is because islanders used a small boat to get from the arriving fleet. Magellan only stayed three days but was able to kill several Chamorro civilians.

Over the next 100 years, European explorers traded and negotiated with locals during their stops in Asia. Diseases brought by traders also killed many Indigenous people. These islands, including Guam, were colonized by the Spanish in 1667. They were named Las Marianas after Queen Mariana of Spain.

The United States took control of Guam after Spain lost the Spanish-American War. Spain then sold the remaining islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, to Germany. The Japanese navy took over the islands during World War I, 1914. In June 1944, during World War II, the US military invaded Mariana Island of Saipan in a bloody battle called the Battle of Saipan. Since then, the United States has been a part of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Cultural Life

Since the mid-20th century, the Northern Marianas have seen a rapid increase in cultural diversity. Despite having limited representation in the political process, there is growing Filipino, Chinese and Korean communities. The legislature is home to the Carolinian community, residing on Saipan since the 19th century. With its long tradition of extended family members, the Chamorro community is dominant in all aspects of political, economic, and cultural affairs. There are small museums and libraries, as well as a local arts council that promotes folk arts and cultural events.

Tourists love to dive into the public beaches and preserves. There are many national and local holidays in the United States. Guam’s daily newspaper provides local coverage and supplements the two weekly papers. All are in English. Although there are many television and radio stations, mobile phone usage is rising in the 21st century.

Sport & Recreation

Americans love sports, and not just football and baseball. This part of American culture can be seen by participating in or watching a favorite US sport or other recreational activity. American soldiers introduced baseball to the Northern Mariana Islands during World War II. It is now the most-loved sport in the country. Follow the Saipan Major League Baseball Association via the Baseball Oceania website. The NMI Football Association is a football association that focuses on soccer (soccer) for children, young adults, and adult leagues. For more information about upcoming events and schedules, visit the website. Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the Northern Mariana Islands via the Saipan Tribune website.

Festivals In the Local Area

Festivals and events in the vicinity of your cultural exchange program are a great way to get a local view of American culture. These events offer a unique way to meet locals and learn about American culture firsthand. Flame Tree Arts Festival is a celebration of local culture, food, and artists. The event is held in April at the American Memorial Park on Saipan. It lasts for three days. Participants can enjoy local art, dancing, music, and other special activities.

The Autumn Festival on Saipan celebrates fall and Japanese culture in October. This event includes music, food, and dancing to celebrate Japan’s relationship with the Northern Mariana Islands. For more information on each event, see the calendar of events.


The United Nations granted the United States the islands after World War II. However, it wasn’t until 1975 that the islands were made an official United States territory. Two years later, the Northern Marianas Islands adopted a constitution and local government, with separate executive, legislative and judicial branches, making it a commonwealth. A representative from the Northern Marianas Islands that are not eligible to vote in the US Congress is also available. Although the representative cannot vote, they can be members of congressional committees.

19 Fascinating Facts

The Northern Mariana Islands are 22 islands and islets located in the Pacific Ocean.
It borders Taiwan to its northwest, Japan to its north, the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia to the southeast, Guam, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines to the south, and the Philippines to the west.
Northern Mariana Islands coordinates are 17.0000deg N and 146.0000deg
The southern islands are mostly made up of limestone and coral reefs along the coast, while the northern islands have volcanic mountain peaks.
This beautiful country covers just 184 square miles (477 sq km) of land.
The population of the Northern Mariana Islands was 53,855 as of 2013.
Saipan, the capital, covers 44.6 square miles (115.4 sq kilometers) and is home to 48,220 (2010).
Here, the average life expectancy is 78 years.
Northern Mariana Islands residents enjoy a tropical marine climate that is very stable with little temperature variation. The dry season runs from December through June, while the wet season runs from July to October.
English, Carolinian, and Chamorro are the official languages of the Northern Mariana Islands.
It's not surprising that the US Dollar is the official currency in this US territory.
The islands are a hot spot for water sports, including jet skiing and windsurfing for adrenaline junkies and snorkeling or scuba diving to delight nature lovers.
Saipan has 18 dive sites! One of these is the most famous in the world. Here you can discover coral reefs, caves, caverns, and even WWII relics.
The Northern Mariana Islands produce aquaculture products, including vegetables, fruits, and nuts, raising poultry and livestock.
Its industries include tourism, banking and fishing, construction, garments, and handicrafts.
Rainbow Bridge isn't a rainbow, but it is quite impressive. Over millions of years, Sandstone was eroded by water flowing from the mountains towards the Colorado River. The water formed a bridge or arch of Sandstone. The natural bridge measures almost 300 feet in height and is 270 feet wide.
Also, the Northern Mariana Islands exports garments.
Coral reefs surround the limestone islands of the southern islands. Some volcanoes are still active, and the northern islands were formed by volcanic activity. The tropical climate of Northern Marianas is mild year-round. There are both rainy and dry seasons on the islands.
The ocean around the Northern Mariana Islands features more than 60 submarine volcanoes.