As of the 2010 census, the municipality is reported to be uninhabited. Pagan and Agrihan are known to have seasonal populations. Many Northern Island inhabitants have secondary residences on Saipan due to economic, educational or other needs. Some islands had also been evacuated due to volcanic activities such as in the case of Anatahan (2003) and Pagan (early 1980s).
The mayor's office and municipality administration, traditionally in the village of Shomushon on Pagan, is now "in exile" on Saipan. There are more than 100 registered voters in the municipality.  For the NMI House of Representatives, Northern Islands voters are grouped with one of the Saipan districts.
Most of the Northern Islands can only be reached by boat, except for an airstrip that serves Pagan. There are no electricity or telephone systems, and residents rely on generators for electricity and radio for communications.