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  Palau  
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  Geography
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Map of Palau

DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Palau
Background:
Definition Field Listing
After three decades as part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific under US administration, this westernmost cluster of the Caroline Islands opted for independence in 1978 rather than join the Federated States of Micronesia. A Compact of Free Association with the US was approved in 1986, but not ratified until 1993. It entered into force the following year, when the islands gained independence.

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   Geography    Palau
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Oceania, group of islands in the North Pacific Ocean, southeast of the Philippines
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
7 30 N, 134 30 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Oceania
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 458 sq km
land: 458 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly more than 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
1,519 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 3 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 12 nm
extended fishing zone: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
Tropical; hot and humid; wet season May to November
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
varying geologically from the high, mountainous main island of Babelthuap to low, coral islands usually fringed by large barrier reefs
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Ngerchelchuus 242 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
forests, minerals (especially gold), marine products, deep-seabed minerals
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 8.7%
permanent crops: 4.35%
other: 86.95% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
NA sq km
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
typhoons (June to December)
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
inadequate facilities for disposal of solid waste; threats to the marine ecosystem from sand and coral dredging, illegal fishing practices, and overfishing
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
westernmost archipelago in the Caroline chain, consists of six island groups totaling more than 300 islands; includes World War II battleground of Beliliou (Peleliu) and world-famous rock islands

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   People    Palau
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
20,016 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 26.6% (male 2,746; female 2,578)
15-64 years: 68.8% (male 7,456; female 6,319)
65 years and over: 4.6% (male 437; female 480) (2004 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 31.1 years
male: 32.1 years
female: 30 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.46% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
18.69 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.89 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.85 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.18 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
total population: 1.14 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 15.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 17.07 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 13.42 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 69.82 years
male: 66.67 years
female: 73.15 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.46 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Palauan(s)
adjective: Palauan
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Palauan (Micronesian with Malayan and Melanesian admixtures) 70%, Asian (mainly Filipinos, followed by Chinese, Taiwanese, and Vietnamese) 28%, white 2% (2000 est.)
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Christian (Roman Catholics 49%, Seventh-Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, the Assembly of God, the Liebenzell Mission, and Latter-Day Saints), Modekngei religion (one-third of the population observes this religion, which is indigenous to Palau)
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
English and Palauan official in all states except Sonsoral (Sonsoralese and English are official), Tobi (Tobi and English are official), and Angaur (Angaur, Japanese, and English are official)
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92%
male: 93%
female: 90% (1980 est.)

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   Government    Palau
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of Palau
conventional short form: Palau
local long form: Beluu er a Belau
local short form: Belau
former: Palau District (Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands)
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
constitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force 1 October 1994
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Koror; note - a new capital is being built about 20 km northeast of Koror
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
16 states; Aimeliik, Airai, Angaur, Hatobohei, Kayangel, Koror, Melekeok, Ngaraard, Ngarchelong, Ngardmau, Ngatpang, Ngchesar, Ngeremlengui, Ngiwal, Peleliu, Sonsoral
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
1 October 1994 (from the US-administered UN Trusteeship)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Constitution Day, 9 July (1979)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
1 January 1981
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on Trust Territory laws, acts of the legislature, municipal, common, and customary laws
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Tommy Esang REMENGESAU, Jr. (since 19 January 2001) and Vice President Sandra PIERANTOZZI (since 19 January 2001); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Tommy Esang REMENGESAU, Jr. (since 19 January 2001) and Vice President Sandra PIERANTOZZI (since 19 January 2001); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet
elections: president and vice president elected on separate tickets by popular vote for four-year terms; election last held 7 November 2000 (next to be held NA November 2004)
election results: Tommy Esang REMENGESAU, Jr. elected president; percent of vote - Tommy Esang REMENGESAU, Jr. 53%, Peter SUGIYAMA 46%; Sandra PIERANTOZZI elected vice president; percent of vote - Sandra PIERANTOZZI 52%, Alan SEID 45%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral Parliament or Olbiil Era Kelulau (OEK) consists of the Senate (9 seats; members elected by popular vote on a population basis to serve four-year terms) and the House of Delegates (16 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 7 November 2000 (next to be held NA November 2004); House of Delegates - last held 7 November 2000 (next to be held NA November 2004)
election results: Senate - percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 9; House of Delegates - percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 16
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court; National Court; Court of Common Pleas
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
none
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IMF, IOC, OPCW, PIF, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, WHO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Hersey KYOTA
chancery: 1800 K Street NW, Suite 714, Washington, DC 20006
telephone: [1] (202) 452-6814
FAX: [1] (202) 452-6281
consulate(s): Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Francis J. RICCIARDONE, US ambassador to the Philippines is accredited to Palau
embassy: Koror (no street address)
mailing address: P. O. Box 6028, Republic of Palau 96940
telephone: [680] 488-2920, 2990
FAX: [680] 488-2911
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
light blue with a large yellow disk (representing the moon) shifted slightly to the hoist side

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   Economy    Palau
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
The economy consists primarily of tourism, subsistence agriculture and fishing. The government is the major employer of the work force, relying heavily on financial assistance from the US. Business and tourist arrivals numbered 50,000 in FY00/01. The population enjoys a per capita income twice that of the Philippines and much of Micronesia. Long-run prospects for the key tourist sector have been greatly bolstered by the expansion of air travel in the Pacific, the rising prosperity of leading East Asian countries, and the willingness of foreigners to finance infrastructure development.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $174 million
note: GDP estimate includes US subsidy (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $9,000 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: NA
industry: NA
services: NA
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.4% (2000 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
9,845 (2000)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 20%, industry NA, services NA (1990)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.3% (2000 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $57.7 million
expenditures: $80.8 million, including capital expenditures of $17.1 million (FY98/99 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
coconuts, copra, cassava (tapioca), sweet potatoes
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
tourism, craft items (from shell, wood, pearls), construction, garment making
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$18 million f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
shellfish, tuna, copra, garments
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US, Japan, Singapore (2000)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$99 million f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery and equipment, fuels, metals; foodstuffs
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US, Guam, Japan, Singapore, Korea (2000)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$0 (FY99/00)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$155.8 million ; note - the Compact of Free Association with the US, entered into after the end of the UN trusteeship on 1 October 1994, provides Palau with up to $700 million in US aid over 15 years in return for furnishing military facilities
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
US dollar (USD)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
USD
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
the US dollar is used
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 October - 30 September

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   Communications    Palau
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6,700 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,000 (2002)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: country code - 680; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 1, FM 4, shortwave 1 (2002)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
1 (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.pw

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   Transportation    Palau
Highways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 61 km
paved: 36 km
unpaved: 25 km
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Koror
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
none
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
3 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2003 est.)

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   Military    Palau
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
no regular military forces; Police Force
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Military - note:
Definition Field Listing
defense is the responsibility of the US; under a Compact of Free Association between Palau and the US, the US military is granted access to the islands for 50 years

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   Transnational Issues    Palau
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
none

Large portions of this information is from the US government open source publication "The World Factbook", other content copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. You may use this information without permission for educational or other non-profit purposes if you refer to us as the source, contact us if you want to use this commercially.


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