MARSHALL ISLANDS

This group of 34 islands lying north east of Australia above the Equator. The sum total of land is 171 square kilometres, set in 2 million square kilometres of ocean.

45,000 people live on the islands, the most densely populated are Majuro the capital and Ebeye. The name Marshall Islands was applied to the group by the Russian explorer, A.J. Krusenstern.

All islands are low lying coral, the highest point is a mere 10 metres above sea level. What soil does exist is very poor quality, fit only for coconuts, breadfruit and pandanus. Copra is the only export and while some fruit and vegetables are grown locally, most food is imported.

Apart from some German overprint stamps used in 1897 and 1901, the Marshalls did not have their own stamps until 1984. Before then, US stamps were used. Stamps issued since 1984 make an attractive collection.

Marshall Islands