The Caroline Islands are a widely scattered archipelago in the western Pacific Ocean. They became part of a UN Trust Territory under US administration following World War II. The eastern four island groups adopted a constitution in 1979 and chose to become the Federated States of Micronesia in free association with the US. Eligible Micronesians can live, work, and study in any part of the US and its territories without a visa.



total: 702 sq km
land: 702 sq km
water: 0 sq km


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

Natural resources

timber, marine products, deep-seabed minerals, phosphate

People and Society


100,319 (2023 est.)

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.)

Population growth rate

-0.7% (2023 est.)


Government type

federal republic in free association with the US


name: Palikir

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)

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)


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)

$375.055 million (2021 est.)
$387.407 million (2020 est.)
$394.369 million (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$3,300 (2021 est.)
$3,500 (2020 est.)
$3,500 (2019 est.)

Agricultural products

coconuts, cassava, vegetables, sweet potatoes, bananas, pork, plantains, fruit, eggs, beef


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


5.72% of GDP (2020 est.)
5.66% of GDP (2019 est.)
5.81% of GDP (2018 est.)


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

Exports - partners

Thailand 81%, China 9%, Japan 4%, Philippines 4%, United States 1% (2021)

Exports - commodities

skipjack, tuna, fish fillets, aircraft, scrap iron (2021)


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

Imports - partners

United States 34%, China 16%, Japan 11%, Taiwan 7%, South Korea 6% (2021)

Imports - commodities

poultry meats, broadcasting equipment, other meats, cars, fish products, rice, lumber (2021)

Exchange rates

1 (2021 est.)
1 (2020 est.)
1 (2019 est.)
1 (2018 est.)
1 (2017 est.)

Page last updated: Tuesday, November 14, 2023