CNMI’s total population down 12.2%, says US Census


The CNMI’s total population went down from 53,883 in 2010 to 47,329 as of April 1, 2020, which is 6,554 fewer people or a 12.2% drop, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 Census results for the Commonwealth that was released last weekend.

The last Census release, which provides the total CNMI population, the population of each municipality and district, and the population change between 2010 and 2020, showed that the population decline was pretty much across-the-board, except for the Northern Islands, which actually showed a gain of seven residents in 2020, as opposed to zero in 2010.

It was the Tinian municipality that showed the steepest drop in population, from 3,136 recorded in 2010, to just 2,044 in 2020—a 34.8% population decline, followed by Rota, which showed a 25.1% decrease in its population. There were 2,527 people on Rota in 2010 and 1,893 in 2020, which is fewer by 634.

For the Saipan Municipality, there were 48,220 people in 2010 and 43,385 in 2020, which is a decrease of 4,835 people or a 10% drop.

For Saipan District 1, there were 15,160 in 2010 and 13,633 in 2020, which is fewer by 1,527 or a 10.1% decrease. For Saipan District 2, there were 6,382 people in 2010 and 5,489 in 2020, which is fewer by 893, or down by 14.1%. For Saipan District 3, there were 15,624 people in 2010 and 14,115 in 2020, which is fewer by 1,509, or a 9.7% drop. For Saipan District 4, there were 3,847 in 2010 and 3416 in 2020, which is 431 fewer, or an 11.2% decrease. For Saipan District 5, there were 7,207 in 2010 and 6,732 in 2020, which is 475 fewer, or down by 6.6%.

On housing unit counts, there were 20,850 in 2010 and 18,290 in 2020, which is 2,560 fewer, or a 12.3% drop.

For the Northern Islands Municipality, there was zero housing unit in 2010 and 10 in 2020.

For the Rota Municipality, there were 1,049 housing units in 2010 and 912 in 2020, which is 137 fewer, or a 13.1% decrease.

For the Saipan Municipality, there were 18,683 housing units in 2010 and 16,523 in 2020, which is 2,160 fewer, or down by 11.6%.

For Tinian, there were 1,118 housing units in 2010 and 845 in 2020, which is 273 fewer, or a 24.4% drop.

The U.S. Census said this provides the first 2020 Census results for CNMI and that they will will provide more information about additional Island Areas data products and the release schedule as they finalize their plans.

The 2020 Island Areas Census counted people living in the CNMI, Guam, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The U.S. Census Bureau conducted the decennial census in partnership with the Island Areas governments in compliance with Title 13 of the U.S. Code and to meet the specific data needs of the Island Areas.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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