The Marshall Islands are an archipelago in Oceania, east of the Carolinas islands, northwest of the Gilbert Islands (western tip of Kiribati), to which it has long been linked. It is divided into two groups : Ratak in the East and Ralik in the West, the first consisting of 18 islands (278 km2) and the second 15 islands (158 km2). The population of the archipelago was estimated, in 1860, by the Missionary Gulick, at 40460 habitats; it was estimated in 1896 at 15000 inhabitants (including a hundred Europeans) and it was in 2006 at 60400 inhabitants.
The main islands are J Iqaluit, Kawen, Majuro (where the capital of the same name is located), Ebeye (the most populated after Majuro), Aour, Mulgrave, Ebon, Wotje, etc.all these islands are low, small, covered with vegetation and surrounded by reefs that unite them. There are fierce hurricanes in September and October. The coconut tree forms large forests. The fauna is poor; the only mammal is the rat; the mosquitoes are innumerable.