New figures in the Marshall Islands show that last year the largest number of people migrated to the United States since 2001.
Data from the US Department of Transport show that the 1,500 people leaving the Marshall Islands is a figure nearly three times higher than in 2007.
Marshall Islanders can travel to the U.S. to live, work and study without a visa because of provisions in the Compact of Free Association.
The emigration increase follows a rise in inflation reflected in a spike in fuel and food prices.
Our correspondent, Giff Johnson, says departures have been numerous from the capital atoll, Majuro.
"The latest report has just been issued for 2008 showing that there's a net outbound migration of 1500 for 2008 which is the highest since 2001. So it's pretty significant numbers here."