The Marshall Islands, officially the Republic of the Marshall Islands, is an independent island country near the Equator in the Pacific Ocean, slightly west of the International Date Line. Geographically, the country is part of the larger island group of Micronesia. The country's population of 58,413 people is spread out over five islands and 29 coral atolls, comprising 1,156 individual islands and islets. The capital and largest city is Majuro. It has the largest portion of its territory composed of water of any sovereign state, at 97.87%.
The islands share maritime boundaries with Wake Island to the north, Kiribati to the southeast, Nauru to the south, and Federated States of Micronesia to the west. About 52.3% of Marshall Islanders live on Majuro. In 2016, 73.3% of the population were defined as being "urban". The UN also indicates a population density of 295 inhabitants per square kilometre, and its projected 2020 population is 59,190.
Micronesian colonists reached the Marshall Islands using canoes circa 2nd millennium BC, with interisland navigation made possible using traditional stick charts. They eventually settled there.