US Northern Mariana Islands flag
The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, is one of the five inhabited U.S. island territories (the other four are Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa). It is one of two territories with "Commonwealth" status; the other is Puerto Rico. It consists of fifteen islands in the western Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines. The United States Census Bureau reports the total land area of all islands as 183.5 square miles (475.26 km2). As of the 2010 census, the Northern Mariana Islands had a population of 53,883, of whom over 90% live on the island of Saipan. Of the 14 other islands, only two – Tinian and Rota – are permanently inhabited.
The Commonwealth's center of government is in the village of Capitol Hill on Saipan. As the island is governed as a single municipality, most publications name Saipan as the Commonwealth's capital.