Estimate population 54,000- Capital: Saipan
The Northern Mariana Islands are also called Marianas, or formerly the Ladrone Islands, and consists of a group of 15 islands in Micronesia, located in the Pacific Ocean 2,400 km (1,500 miles) east of the Philippines. It was made a Japanese mandate in 1919 and occupied by the U.S. in 1944. It was placed under U.S. trusteeship in 1947 but became a commonwealth known as Northern Marianas. Tourism, garment manufacturing, and fisheries all play a key role.