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For Immediate Release: Thursday, July 20, 2023

Census Bureau Releases 2020 Census Demographic and Housing Characteristics Summary File for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Press Release Number CB23-CN.16

JULY 20, 2023  — The U.S. Census Bureau today released statistics for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) in its 2020 Island Areas Censuses Demographic and Housing Characteristics Summary File (DHC).

The package includes over 400 tables with data on age, race and ethnicity, household type, relationship, population in group quarters, whether the residence is owned or rented (tenure), vacancy status and other social, economic, housing and demographic characteristics. In addition, data are available for island-specific geographies, including municipalities, districts and villages.

Demographic Characteristics in 2020

  • CNMI had a population of 47,329, with 24,892 males (52.6%) and 22,437 females (47.4%).
  • 5.9% of the population was ages 65 or over and 0.2% was ages 85 or over.
  • Children ages 0-17 made up 28.8% of the population.
  • The median age was 34.4 years. 

Social Characteristics in 2020

  • Over one in five (21.5%) households consisted of only one person.
  • The majority (59.4%) of the 10,015 family households were married-couple families.
  • 5.8% of households, or 825 households, had a female householder with no spouse or partner present and children of the householder who were under 18 years old.
  • There were 2,315 cohabiting couple households, representing 16.2% of all households.
  • Among family households, 13.0% were multigenerational.
  • Over two-thirds (69.4%) of women ages 15 and over had ever given birth.
  • The median length of marriage for currently married men ages 15 and over was 17.6 years, compared with 16.6 years for currently married women.
  • Among adults ages 30 and over, 8.9% were grandparents who lived with their own grandchildren under 18.
  • Of grandparents living with their grandchildren under the age of 18, 49.3% were responsible for their basic needs. The majority (51.7%) of grandparents caring for grandchildren under 18 had been responsible for them for at least 5 years.
  • Among the population 5 years and older in households who moved between April 1, 2015, and April 1, 2020, 27.5% reported natural disaster as their primary reason for moving.
  • Of the population ages 3 and over in households, 28.6% were enrolled in school: 4.4% in nursery or preschool; 81.9% in K-12; and 13.7% in college, graduate or professional school.
  • Among the population 5 years and over in households, 74.0% spoke a language other than English at home. Of those who spoke a language other than English, 52.5% spoke English “very well” and 39.0% spoke Philippine languages.
  • The majority (85.6%) of the population age 25 and older had a high school degree, and 21.0% had a bachelor’s degree or higher. The most common bachelor’s degree was in business.

Economic Characteristics in 2019

Note: The Island Areas Censuses asked households about their income the previous year (in 2019).

  • Of the 47,035 people for whom poverty status is determined, 17,876 (38.0%) had income below the poverty level.
  • 20.6% of households received benefits from the Nutrition Assistance Plan (NAP).
  • Median household income increased from $23,839 in 2009 (in 2019 inflation-adjusted dollars) to $31,362 in 2019.

Housing Characteristics in 2020

  • Most (71.0%) occupied housing units were rented, and 29.0% were owned.
  • The median home value was $184,200.
  • The median monthly gross rent was $502.
  • 7.2% of homeowners and 17.4% of renters spent 35.0% or more of household income on housing costs.
  • Among all households, 60.8% had a desktop or laptop computer; 94.9% had a smartphone; and 48.2% had a tablet or other portable wireless device.
  • The majority (84.0%) of households had a broadband internet subscription.

A webinar is scheduled today at 5 p.m. ET for those who are interested in accessing the newly released 2020 Island Areas Census DHC data and will focus on leveraging data.census.gov to find available data. Questions related to the data collection process, methodology, disclosure avoidance and data analysis will not be addressed during this session.

For more information about 2020 Census products for the Island Areas, visit the 2020 Island Areas Censuses Press Kit.

About 2020 Island Areas Censuses Data Products for CNMI

The 2020 Island Areas Censuses provide a wide range of demographic, social, economic and housing information to meet the U.S. Island Areas’ data needs. Census Bureau surveys, such as the American Community Survey (ACS), are not conducted in the Island Areas. Therefore, the Census Bureau used a long-form census questionnaire similar to the ACS questionnaire used in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. 

The Census Bureau previously released population and housing counts and a demographic profile for the CNMI from the 2020 Island Areas Censuses. Later, the Census Bureau also plans to release data tables for the Island Areas that cross tabulate data about people or housing units by other characteristics. More information is available on the 2020 Island Areas Censuses Data Products webpage.



Kristina Barrett
Public Information Office
301-763-3030 or
877-861-2010 (U.S. and Canada only)


Page Last Revised - July 26, 2023
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