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Micronesia, Federated States of

Photos of Micronesia, Federated States of

Nan Madol is an archeological site located on Temwen Island in the present-day Madolenihmw district of Pohnpei state, in the Federated States of Micronesia. A National Historic Landmark and a UNESCO World Heritage Site,  it was the ceremonial and political seat of the Saudeleur Dynasty, which ruled Pohnpei's estimated population of 25,000 people from about 1100 to 1628. Nan Madol is the only extant ancient "city" built on top of a coral reef. Constructed in a lagoon and surrounded by water on three sides with a stone wall enclosing the complex, the site is often referred to as the "Venice of the Pacific." Nan Madol roughly translates to "within the intervals" referring to the elaborate web of tidal canals and waterways that crisscross the site, allowing transportation between over 90 small artificial islets. Because of its construction, Nan Madol appears to float on the water. This view of Nan Madol is from the lagoon.



Each of the four states that compose the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) -- Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap -- has its own unique history and cultural traditions. The first humans arrived in what is now the FSM in the second millennium B.C. In the 800s A.D., construction of the artificial islets at the Nan Madol complex in Pohnpei began, with the main architecture being built around 1200. At its height, Nan Madol united the approximately 25,000 people of Pohnpei under the Saudeleur Dynasty. By 1250, Kosrae was united in a kingdom centered in Leluh. Yap’s society became strictly hierarchical, with chiefs receiving tributes from islands up to 1,100 km (700 mi) away. Widespread human settlement in Chuuk began in the 1300s, and the different islands in the Chuuk Lagoon were frequently at war with one another.

Portuguese and Spanish explorers visited a few of the islands in the 1500s, and Spain began exerting nominal, but not day-to-day, control over some of the islands -- which they named the Caroline Islands -- in the 1600s. In 1899, Spain sold all of the FSM to Germany. Japan seized the islands in 1914 and was granted a League of Nations mandate to administer them in 1920. The Japanese navy built bases across most of the islands and headquartered their Pacific naval operations in Chuuk. The US bombed Chuuk in 1944 but largely bypassed the other islands in its leapfrog campaign across the Pacific. 

In 1947, the FSM came under US administration as part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, which comprised six districts: Chuuk, the Marshall Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Pohnpei, and Yap; Kosrae was separated from Pohnpei into a separate district in 1977. In 1979, Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap ratified the FSM Constitution and declared independence while the other three districts opted to pursue separate political status. There are significant inter-island rivalries stemming from their different histories and cultures. Chuuk, the most populous but poorest state, has pushed for secession, but an independence referendum has been repeatedly postponed and may not be held.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.



Oceania, island group in the North Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to Indonesia

Geographic coordinates

6 55 N, 158 15 E


total: 702 sq km

land: 702 sq km

water: 0 sq km (fresh water only)

note: includes Pohnpei (Ponape), Chuuk (Truk) Islands, Yap Islands, and Kosrae (Kosaie)

comparison ranking: total 191

Area - comparative

four times the size of Washington, DC (land area only)

Area comparison map:
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 0 km


6,112 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


tropical; heavy year-round rainfall, especially in the eastern islands; located on southern edge of the typhoon belt with occasionally severe damage


islands vary geologically from high mountainous islands to low, coral atolls; volcanic outcroppings on Pohnpei, Kosrae, and Chuuk


highest point: Nanlaud on Pohnpei 782 m

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

Natural resources

timber, marine products, deep-seabed minerals, phosphate

Land use

agricultural land: 25.5% (2018 est.)

arable land: 2.3% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 19.7% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 3.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 74.5% (2018 est.)

other: 0% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

0 sq km (2022)

Population distribution

the majority of the populaton lives in the coastal areas of the high islands; the mountainous interior is largely uninhabited; less than half of the population lives in urban areas

Natural hazards

typhoons (June to December)

Geography - note

composed of four major island groups totaling 607 islands

People and Society


total: 99,603

male: 48,708

female: 50,895 (2024 est.)

comparison rankings: female 195; male 196; total 196


noun: Micronesian(s)

adjective: Micronesian; Chuukese, Kosraen(s), Pohnpeian(s), Yapese

Ethnic groups

Chuukese/Mortlockese 49.3%, Pohnpeian 29.8%, Kosraean 6.3%, Yapese 5.7%, Yap outer islanders 5.1%, Polynesian 1.6%, Asian 1.4%, other 0.8% (2010 est.)


English (official and common language), Chuukese, Kosrean, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Ulithian, Woleaian, Nukuoro, Kapingamarangi


Roman Catholic 54.7%, Protestant 41.1% (includes Congregational 38.5%, Baptist 1.1%, Seventh Day Adventist 0.8%, Assembly of God 0.7%), Church of Jesus Christ 1.5%, other 1.9%, none 0.7%, unspecified 0.1% (2010 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 27% (male 13,673/female 13,239)

15-64 years: 67.3% (male 32,527/female 34,487)

65 years and over: 5.7% (2024 est.) (male 2,508/female 3,169)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 57.7

youth dependency ratio: 48.4

elderly dependency ratio: 9.3

potential support ratio: 10.8 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 28.2 years (2024 est.)

male: 27.3 years

female: 29.1 years

comparison ranking: total 152

Population growth rate

-0.73% (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 227

Birth rate

17.8 births/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 80

Death rate

4.2 deaths/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 213

Net migration rate

-21 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 228

Population distribution

the majority of the populaton lives in the coastal areas of the high islands; the mountainous interior is largely uninhabited; less than half of the population lives in urban areas


urban population: 23.4% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 1.52% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

7,000 PALIKIR (capital) (2018)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female

total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2024 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

74 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 81

Infant mortality rate

total: 20.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2024 est.)

male: 23.8 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 17.8 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 76

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 75 years (2024 est.)

male: 72.9 years

female: 77.2 years

comparison ranking: total population 133

Total fertility rate

2.19 children born/woman (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 86

Gross reproduction rate

1.07 (2024 est.)

Drinking water source

improved: total: 78.6% of population

unimproved: total: 21.4% of population (2017 est.)

Current health expenditure

11.6% of GDP (2020)

Hospital bed density

3.2 beds/1,000 population

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 88.3% of population

unimproved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 11.7% of population (2017 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

45.8% (2016)

comparison ranking: 10

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 1.59 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0.92 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.13 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.52 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.01 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 138

Education expenditures

9.7% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 6


total population: NA

male: NA

female: NA


Environment - current issues

overfishing; sea level rise due to climate change threatens land; water pollution, toxic pollution from mining; solid waste disposal

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


tropical; heavy year-round rainfall, especially in the eastern islands; located on southern edge of the typhoon belt with occasionally severe damage

Land use

agricultural land: 25.5% (2018 est.)

arable land: 2.3% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 19.7% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 3.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 74.5% (2018 est.)

other: 0% (2018 est.)


urban population: 23.4% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 1.52% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Revenue from forest resources

0.02% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 141

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 7.79 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 0.14 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 0.02 megatons (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 26,040 tons (2016 est.)

Total renewable water resources

0 cubic meters (2017 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: Federated States of Micronesia

conventional short form: none

local long form: Federated States of Micronesia

local short form: none

former: New Philippines; Caroline Islands; Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Ponape, Truk, and Yap Districts

abbreviation: FSM

etymology: the term "Micronesia" is a 19th-century construct of two Greek words, "micro" (small) and "nesoi" (islands), and refers to thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean

Government type

federal republic in free association with the US


name: Palikir

geographic coordinates: 6 55 N, 158 09 E

time difference: UTC+11 (16 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

time zone note: Micronesia has two time zones

note: Palikir became the new capital of the country in 1989, three years after independence; Kolonia, the former capital, remains the site for many foreign embassies; it also serves as the Pohnpei state capital

Administrative divisions

4 states; Chuuk (Truk), Kosrae (Kosaie), Pohnpei (Ponape), Yap


3 November 1986 (from the US-administered UN trusteeship)

National holiday

Constitution Day, 10 May (1979)


history: drafted June 1975, ratified 1 October 1978, entered into force 10 May 1979

amendments: proposed by Congress, by a constitutional convention, or by public petition; passage requires approval by at least three-fourths majority vote in at least three fourths of the states; amended 1990; note – at least every 10 years as part of a general or special election, voters are asked whether to hold a constitution convention; a majority of affirmative votes is required to proceed; amended many times, last in 2019 (approval by referendum to hold a constitutional convention)

Legal system

mixed legal system of common and customary law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of FSM

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Wesley W. SIMINA (since 12 May 2023); Vice President Aren B. PALIK (since 12 May 2023); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Wesley W. SIMINA (since 12 May 2023); Vice President Aren B. PALIK (since 12 May 2023)

cabinet: Cabinet includes the vice president and the heads of the 8 executive departments

elections/appointments: president and vice president indirectly elected by Congress from among the 4 'at large' senators for a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 12 May 2023 (next to be held in 2027)

election results: David W. PANUELO elected president by Congress; Yosiwo P. GEORGE reelected vice president

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Congress (14 seats; 10 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 2-year terms and 4 at- large members directly elected from each of the 4 states by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 7 March 2023 (next to be held in March 2025)

election results: percent of vote - NA; seats by party - independent 14; composition - men 11, women 2; percentage women 15.4%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and not more than 5 associate justices and organized into appellate and criminal divisions)

judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the FSM president with the approval of two-thirds of Congress; justices appointed for life

subordinate courts: the highest state-level courts are: Chuuk Supreme Court; Korsae State Court; Pohnpei State Court; Yap State Court

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Jackson T. SORAM (since 27 February 2024)

chancery: 1725 N Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

telephone: [1] (202) 223-4383

FAX: [1] (202) 223-4391

email address and website:


consulate(s) general: Honolulu, Portland (OR), Tamuning (Guam)

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Jennifer JOHNSON (since 13 September 2023)

embassy: 1286 US Embassy Place, Kolonia, Pohnpei, FM 96941

mailing address: 4120 Kolonia Place, Washington, D.C. 20521-4120

telephone: [691] 320-2187

FAX: [691] 320-2186

email address and website:


Flag description

light blue with four white five-pointed stars centered; the stars are arranged in a diamond pattern; blue symbolizes the Pacific Ocean, the stars represent the four island groups of Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap

National symbol(s)

four, five-pointed, white stars on a light blue field, hibiscus flower; national colors: light blue, white

National anthem

name: "Patriots of Micronesia"

lyrics/music: unknown/August Daniel BINZER

note: adopted 1991; also known as "Across All Micronesia"; the music is based on the 1820 German patriotic song "Ich hab mich ergeben", which was the West German national anthem from 1949-1950; variants of this tune are used in Johannes BRAHMS' "Festival Overture" and Gustav MAHLER's "Third Symphony"

This is an audio of the National Anthem for Micronesia, Federated States of. The national anthem is generally a patriotic musical composition - usually in the form of a song or hymn of praise - that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions, or struggles of a nation or its people. National anthems can be officially recognized as a national song by a country's constitution or by an enacted law, or simply by tradition. Although most anthems contain lyrics, some do not.:

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 1 (cultural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Nan Madol: Ceremonial Center of Eastern Micronesia


Economic overview

lower middle-income Pacific island economy; US aid reliance, sunsetting in 2024; low entrepreneurship; mostly fishing and farming; US dollar user; no patent laws; tourism remains underdeveloped; significant corruption

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$372.593 million (2022 est.)
$375.698 million (2021 est.)
$383.46 million (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 214

Real GDP growth rate

-0.83% (2022 est.)
-2.02% (2021 est.)
-2.77% (2020 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 197

Real GDP per capita

$3,300 (2022 est.)
$3,300 (2021 est.)
$3,400 (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 190

GDP (official exchange rate)

$424 million (2022 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

5.41% (2022 est.)
3.19% (2021 est.)
0.55% (2020 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

comparison ranking: 82

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 26.3% (2013 est.)

industry: 18.9% (2013 est.)

services: 54.8% (2013 est.)

comparison rankings: services 158; industry 160; agriculture 26

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 83.5% (2013 est.)

government consumption: 48.4% (2016 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 29.5% (2016 est.)

investment in inventories: 1.9% (2016 est.)

exports of goods and services: 27.5% (2016 est.)

imports of goods and services: -77% (2016 est.)

Agricultural products

coconuts, cassava, vegetables, sweet potatoes, bananas, pork, plantains, fruits, beef, eggs (2022)

note: top ten agricultural products based on tonnage


tourism, construction; specialized aquaculture, craft items (shell and wood)

Industrial production growth rate

-4.51% (2022 est.)

note: annual % change in industrial value added based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 199

Labor force

37,920 (2010 est.)

comparison ranking: 201

Unemployment rate

16.2% (2010 est.)

comparison ranking: 198

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 18.9% (2014)

male: 10.4%

female: 29.9%

comparison ranking: total 89

Population below poverty line

41.2% (2013 est.)

note: % of population with income below national poverty line

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

40.1 (2013 est.)

note: index (0-100) of income distribution; higher values represent greater inequality

comparison ranking: 55

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.9%

highest 10%: 29.7% (2013 est.)

note: % share of income accruing to lowest and highest 10% of population


5.5% of GDP (2022 est.)
5.75% of GDP (2021 est.)
5.72% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: personal transfers and compensation between resident and non-resident individuals/households/entities


revenues: $320 million (2018 est.)

expenditures: $223 million (2018 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

6.6% (of GDP) (FY12/13 est.)

comparison ranking: 4

Public debt

25.4% of GDP (2020 est.)
22.87% of GDP (2019 est.)
23.11% of GDP (2018 est.)

note: central government debt as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 175

Taxes and other revenues

6.43% (of GDP) (2020 est.)

note: central government tax revenue as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 205

Current account balance

$12 million (2017 est.)
$11 million (2016 est.)
$22.408 million (2014 est.)

note: balance of payments - net trade and primary/secondary income in current dollars

comparison ranking: 64


$179 million (2021 est.)
$122 million (2020 est.)
$130 million (2019 est.)

note: balance of payments - exports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 205

Exports - partners

Thailand 78%, Philippines 12%, Japan 5%, Ecuador 2%, US 1% (2022)

note: top five export partners based on percentage share of exports

Exports - commodities

fish, integrated circuits, garments, aircraft parts, broadcasting equipment (2022)

note: top five export commodities based on value in dollars


$126 million (2021 est.)
$133 million (2020 est.)
$121 million (2019 est.)

note: balance of payments - imports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 215

Imports - partners

US 37%, China 21%, Japan 10%, South Korea 8%, Taiwan 5% (2022)

note: top five import partners based on percentage share of imports

Imports - commodities

plastic products, ships, poultry, refined petroleum, fish (2022)

note: top five import commodities based on value in dollars

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$497.434 million (2021 est.)
$451.913 million (2020 est.)
$397.158 million (2019 est.)

note: holdings of gold (year-end prices)/foreign exchange/special drawing rights in current dollars

comparison ranking: 163

Debt - external

$93.6 million (2013 est.)
$93.5 million (2012 est.)

comparison ranking: 194

Exchange rates

the US dollar is used


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 83.6% (2021)

electrification - urban areas: 97.5% (2021)

electrification - rural areas: 79.4% (2021)


production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)


refined petroleum consumption: 1,200 bbl/day (2019 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2014)

comparison ranking: 190

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day

comparison ranking: 212

Natural gas

production: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

consumption: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

proven reserves: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

177,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 177,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 204

Energy consumption per capita

0 Btu/person (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 203


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 7,000 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 6 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 197

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 22,000 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 19 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 215

Telecommunication systems

general assessment:

Australia, Japan, and the United States are committed to working in partnership with the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Kiribati, and Nauru to improve internet connectivity to these three Pacific nations by providing funding to build a new undersea cable; the proposed undersea cable will provide faster, higher quality, and more reliable and secure communications to approximately 100,000 people across three countries; this will support increased economic growth, drive development opportunities, and help to improve living standards as the region recovers from the severe impacts of COVID-19; the new cable will connect Kosrae (FSM), Nauru, and Tarawa (Kiribati) with the existing HANTRU-1 cable at Pohnpei (FSM), providing internet connectivity through a submarine cable for the first time


domestic: fixed line teledensity roughly 6 per 100 and mobile-cellular nearly 19 per 100 (2021)

international: country code - 691; landing points for the Chuukk-Pohnpei Cable and HANTRU-1 submarine cable system linking the Federated States of Micronesia and the US; satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2019)

Broadcast media

no TV broadcast stations; each state has a multi-channel cable service with TV transmissions carrying roughly 95% imported programming and 5% local programming; about a half-dozen radio stations (2009)

Internet users

total: 44,000 (2021 est.)

percent of population: 40% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 202

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 6,000 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 5 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 183



7 (2024)

comparison ranking: 169


total: 388 km (2022)

note - paved and unpaved circumferential roads, most interior roads are unpaved

comparison ranking: total 201

Merchant marine

total: 38 (2023)

by type: general cargo 17, oil tanker 4, other 17

comparison ranking: total 128


total ports: 4 (2024)

large: 0

medium: 0

small: 1

very small: 3

ports with oil terminals: 3

key ports: Colonia, Lele Harbor, Moen, Pohnpei Harbor

Military and Security

Military and security forces

no military forces; Federated States of Micronesia National Police (includes a maritime wing); the Department of Justice oversees the National Police; State police forces are responsible for law enforcement in their respective states and are under the jurisdiction of each state’s director of public safety (2024)

Military - note

defense is the responsibility of the US; in 1982, the FSM signed a Compact of Free Association (COFA) with the US, which granted the FSM financial assistance and access to many US domestic programs in exchange for exclusive US military access and defense responsibilities; the COFA entered into force in 1986, and its funding was renewed in 2003; Micronesians can serve in the US armed forces

Micronesia has a "shiprider" agreement with the US, which allows local maritime law enforcement officers to embark on US Coast Guard (USCG) and US Navy (USN) vessels, including to board and search vessels suspected of violating laws or regulations within Micronesia's designated exclusive economic zone (EEZ) or on the high seas; "shiprider" agreements also enable USCG personnel and USN vessels with embarked USCG law enforcement personnel to work with host nations to protect critical regional resources (2024)

Transnational Issues

Illicit drugs

major consumer of cannabis