Introduction ::Palau

    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.

Geography ::Palau

    Oceania, group of islands in the North Pacific Ocean, southeast of the Philippines
    7 30 N, 134 30 E
    total: 459 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 198
    land: 459 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    slightly more than 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
    0 km
    1,519 km
    territorial sea: 3 nm
    exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
    tropical; hot and humid; wet season May to November
    varying geologically from the high, mountainous main island of Babelthuap to low, coral islands usually fringed by large barrier reefs
    lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Mount Ngerchelchuus 242 m
    forests, minerals (especially gold), marine products, deep-seabed minerals
    arable land: 2.17%
    permanent crops: 4.35%
    other: 93.48% (2011)
    NA
    typhoons (June to December)
    inadequate facilities for disposal of solid waste; threats to the marine ecosystem from sand and coral dredging, illegal fishing practices, and overfishing
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    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

People and Society ::Palau

    noun: Palauan(s)
    adjective: Palauan
    Palauan (Micronesian with Malayan and Melanesian admixtures) 69.9%, Filipino 15.3%, Chinese 4.9%, other Asian 2.4%, white 1.9%, Carolinian 1.4%, other Micronesian 1.1%, other or unspecified 3.2% (2000 census)
    Palauan (official on most islands) 64.7%, Filipino 13.5%, English (official) 9.4%, Chinese 5.7%, Carolinian 1.5%, Japanese 1.5%, other Asian 2.3%, other languages 1.5% (2000 census)
    note: Sonsoral (Sonsoralese and English are official), Tobi (Tobi and English are official), and Angaur (Angaur, Japanese, and English are official)
    Roman Catholic 41.6%, Protestant 23.3%, Modekngei 8.8% (indigenous to Palau), Seventh-Day Adventist 5.3%, Jehovah's Witnesses 0.9%, Mormon 0.6%, other 3.1%, unspecified or none 16.4% (2000 census)
    21,108 (July 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 219
    0-14 years: 20.7% (male 2,250/female 2,110)
    15-24 years: 17.6% (male 1,849/female 1,875)
    25-54 years: 46.6% (male 5,981/female 3,854)
    55-64 years: 8.3% (male 615/female 1,129)
    65 years and over: 6.8% (male 407/female 1,038) (2013 est.)
    total: 32.9 years
    male: 32.5 years
    female: 33.9 years (2013 est.)
    0.37% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    10.9 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 176
    7.86 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    0.66 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    urban population: 83% of total population (2010)
    rate of urbanization: 1.4% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.55 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.55 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.4 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.12 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
    total: 11.77 deaths/1,000 live births
    country comparison to the world: 132
    male: 13.35 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 10.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total population: 72.33 years
    country comparison to the world: 133
    male: 69.17 years
    female: 75.68 years (2013 est.)
    1.72 children born/woman (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    32.8%
    note: percent of women aged 15-44 (2003)
    10.3% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    1.3 physicians/1,000 population (2006)
    4.8 beds/1,000 population (2010)
    improved:
    urban: 83% of population
    rural: 96% of population
    total: 85% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 17% of population
    rural: 4% of population
    total: 15% of population (2010 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 100% of population
    rural: 100% of population
    total: 100% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 100% of population
    rural: 100% of population
    total: 100% of population (2010 est.)
    NA
    NA
    NA
    48.9% (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    10.3% of GDP (2002)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 92%
    male: 93%
    female: 90% (1980 est.)
    total: 15 years
    male: 14 years
    female: 15 years (2001)

Government ::Palau

    conventional long form: Republic of Palau
    conventional short form: Palau
    local long form: Beluu er a Belau
    local short form: Belau
    former: Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Palau District
    constitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force on 1 October 1994
    name: Melekeok
    geographic coordinates: 7 29 N, 134 38 E
    time difference: UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    16 states; Aimeliik, Airai, Angaur, Hatohobei, Kayangel, Koror, Melekeok, Ngaraard, Ngarchelong, Ngardmau, Ngatpang, Ngchesar, Ngeremlengui, Ngiwal, Peleliu, Sonsorol
    1 October 1994 (from the US-administered UN trusteeship)
    Constitution Day, 9 July (1979)
    1 January 1981
    mixed legal system of civil, common, and customary law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Tommy REMENGESAU (since 17 January 2013); Vice President Antonio BELLS (since 17 January 2013); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Tommy REMENGESAU (since 17 January 2013); Vice President Antonio BELLS (since 17 January 2013)
    cabinet: NA
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: president and vice president elected on separate tickets by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held on 6 November 2012 (next to be held in November 2016)
    election results: percent of vote - Tommy REMENGESAU 58%, Johnson TORIBIONG 42%
    bicameral National Congress 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 on 6 November 2012 (next to be held in November 2016); House of Delegates - last held on 6 November 2012 (next to be held in November 2016)
    election results: Senate - percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 9; House of Delegates - percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 16
    highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and 3 associate justices organized into appellate trial divisions; also within the Supreme Court organization are the Common Pleas and Land Courts)
    judge selection and term of office: justices nominated by a 7-member independent body consisting of judges, presidential appointees, and lawyers, and appointed by the president; judges appointed until mandatory retirement at age 65
    subordinate courts: National Court and other 'inferior' courts
    none
    NA
    ACP, ADB, AOSIS, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, IOC, IPU, MIGA, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, WHO
    chief of mission: Ambassador Hersey KYOTA
    chancery: 1701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20006
    telephone: [1] (202) 452-6814
    FAX: [1] (202) 452-6281
    consulate(s): Tamuning (Guam)
    chief of mission: Ambassador Helen P. REED-ROWE
    embassy: Koror (no street address)
    mailing address: P. O. Box 6028, Koror, Republic of Palau 96940
    telephone: [680] 587-2920
    FAX: [680] 587-2911
    light blue with a large yellow disk shifted slightly to the hoist side; the blue color represents the ocean, the disk represents the moon; Palauans consider the full moon to be the optimum time for human activity; it is also considered a symbol of peace, love, and tranquility
    name: "Belau rekid" (Our Palau)

    lyrics/music: multiple/Ymesei O. EZEKIEL
    note: adopted 1980

Economy ::Palau

Communications ::Palau

    6,900 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 206
    15,400 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 209
    domestic: fixed-line and mobile-cellular services available with a combined subscribership of roughly 100 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 680; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2009)
    no TV stations; a cable TV network covers the major islands and provides access to rebroadcasts, on a delayed basis, of a number of US stations as well as access to a number of real-time satellite TV channels; about a half dozen radio stations with 1 government-owned (2009)
    .pw
    4 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 231

Transportation ::Palau

Military ::Palau

Transnational Issues ::Palau