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Palau Palau:Geography
Location: Oceania, group of islands in the North Pacific Ocean,
southeast of the Philippines
Map references: Oceania
total area: 458 sq km
land area: 458 sq km
comparative area: slightly more than 2.5 times the size of Washington,
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 1,519 km
Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to depth of exploitation
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 3 nm
International disputes: none
Climate: wet season May to November; hot and humid
Terrain: about 200 islands varying geologically from the high,
mountainous main island of Babelthuap to low, coral islands usually
fringed by large barrier reefs
Natural resources: forests, minerals (especially gold), marine
products, deep-seabed minerals
Land use:
arable land: NA%
permanent crops: NA%
meadows and pastures: NA%
forest and woodland: NA%
other: NA%
Irrigated land: NA sq km
current issues: inadequate facilities for disposal of solid waste;
threats to the marine ecosystem from sand and coral dredging and
illegal fishing practices that involve the use of dynamite
natural hazards: typhoons (June to December)
international agreements: NA
Note: includes World War II battleground of Beliliou (Peleliu) and
world-famous rock islands; archipelago of six island groups totaling
over 200 islands in the Caroline chain Palau:People
Population: 16,661 (July 1995 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: NA
15-64 years: NA
65 years and over: NA
Population growth rate: 1.76% (1995 est.)
Birth rate: 22.11 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)
Death rate: 6.61 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)
Net migration rate: 2.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 25.07 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.01 years
male: 69.14 years
female: 73.02 years (1995 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.85 children born/woman (1995 est.)
noun: Palauan(s)
adjective: Palauan
Ethnic divisions: Palauans are a composite of Polynesian, Malayan, and
Melanesian races
Religions: Christian (Catholics, 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: English (official in all of Palau's 16 states), Sonsorolese
(official in the state of Sonsoral), Angaur and Japanese (in the state
of Anguar), Tobi (in the state of Tobi), Palauan (in the other 13
Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1980)
total population: 92%
male: 93%
female: 90%
Labor force: NA
by occupation: NA Palau:Government
conventional long form: Republic of Palau
conventional short form: Palau
former: Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands
Digraph: PS
Type: self-governing territory in free association with the US
pursuant to Compact of Free Association which entered into force 1
October 1994; Palau is fully responsible for internal affairs; US
retains responsibility for external affairs
Capital: Koror
note: a new capital is being built about 20 km northeast in eastern
Administrative divisions: there are no first-order administrative
divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 16 states:
Aimeliik, Airai, Angaur, Kayangel, Koror, Melekeok, Ngaraard,
Ngardmau, Ngaremlengui, Ngatpang, Ngchesar, Ngerchelong, Ngiwal,
Peleliu, Sonsorol, Tobi
Independence: 1 October 1994 (from the US-administered UN Trusteeship)
National holiday: Constitution Day, 9 July (1979)
Constitution: 1 January 1981
Legal system: based on Trust Territory laws, acts of the legislature,
municipal, common, and customary laws
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state and head of government: President Kuniwo NAKAMURA
(since 1 January 1993), Vice-President Tommy E. REMENGESAU Jr. (since
1 January 1993); election last held 4 November 1992 (next to be held
NA November 1996); results - Kuniwo NAKAMURA 50.7%, Johnson TORIBIONG
Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament (Olbiil Era Kelulau or OEK)
Senate: elections last held 4 November 1992 (next to be held NA
November 1996); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (14
total) number of seats by party NA
House of Delegates: elections last held 4 November 1992 (next to be
held NA November 1996); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats -
(16 total) number of seats by party NA
Judicial branch: Supreme Court, National Court, Court of Common Pleas
Member of: ESCAP (associate), SPC, SPF (observer), UN
Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Liaison Officer NA
liaison office: 444 North Capital Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: (202) 624-7793
note: relationship of free association with the US pursuant to compact
of free association which entered into force 1 October 1994
US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Liaison Officer Lloyd W. MOSS
liaison office: Erenguul Street, Koror, Republic of Palau
mailing address: P.O. Box 6028, Republic of Palau 96940
telephone: [680] 488-2920
FAX: [680] 488-2911
note: relationship of free association with the US pursuant to compact
of free association which entered into force 1 October 1994
Flag: light blue with a large yellow disk (representing the moon)
shifted slightly to the hoist side Economy
Overview: The economy consists primarily of subsistence agriculture
and fishing. The government is the major employer of the work force,
relying heavily on financial assistance from the US. The compact of
"free association" with the United States, entered into after the end
of the UN trusteeship on 1 October 1994, provides Palau with $500
million in US aid over 15 years in return for furnishing some military
facilities. The population, in effect, enjoys a per capita income of
$5,000, twice that of the Philippines and much of Micronesia. Long-run
prospects for the tourist sector have been greatly bolstered by the
expansion of air travel in the Pacific and the rapidly rising
prosperity of leading East Asian countries.
National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $81.8 million (1994
note: GDP numbers reflect US spending
National product real growth rate: NA%
National product per capita: $5,000 (1994 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%
Unemployment rate: 20% (1986)
revenues: $6 million
expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA (1986 est.)
Exports: $600,000 (f.o.b., 1989)
commodities: trochus (type of shellfish), tuna, copra, handicrafts
partners: US, Japan
Imports: $24.6 million (c.i.f., 1989)
commodities: NA
partners: US
External debt: about $100 million (1989)
Industrial production: growth rate NA%
capacity: 16,000 kW
production: 22 million kWh
consumption per capita: 1,540 kWh (1990)
Industries: tourism, craft items (shell, wood, pearl), some commercial
fishing and agriculture
Agriculture: subsistence-level production of coconut, copra, cassava,
sweet potatoes
Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $2.56 billion;
Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments
(1970-89), $92 million
Currency: 1 United States dollar (US$) = 100 cents
Exchange rates: US currency is used
Fiscal year: 1 October - 30 September Palau:Transportation
Railroads: 0 km
total: 61 km
paved: 36 km
unpaved: gravel 25 km
Ports: Koror
Merchant marine: none
total: 3
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 2 Palau:Communications
Telephone system: NA telephones
local: NA
intercity: NA
international: 1 INTELSAT (Pacific Ocean) earth station
broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 0
radios: NA
broadcast stations: 2
televisions: NA Palau:Defense Forces
Branches: NA
Defense expenditures: $NA, NA% of GDP
Note: defense is the responsibility of the US pursuant to Compact of
Free Association which entered into force 1 October 1994
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