Explosive population growth in the Marshall Islands in the 1980s, has nearly been reversed by outward migration to the United States.
Since the early 1990s, US Department of Transportation figures indicate that more than 1,000 Marshall Islanders a year have left to the United States.
And figures released by the government's Economic Policy, Planning
and Statistics Office this week show the population as of July this year was 54,000.
That compares to the 1988 census which identified more than 42,000 people in the Marshall Islands and a more than four percent annual rate of growth.
With one of the highest growth rates at that time, the population had been expected to double in less than 20 years.