Palau

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Introduction - Palau:

Country

Palau

Background

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.

Location - Palau:

Location

Oceania, group of islands in the North Pacific Ocean, southeast of the Philippines

Geographic coordinates

7 30 N, 134 30 E

Map references

Oceania

Area

total: 458 sq km
land: 458 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area comparative

slightly more than 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries

0 km

Coastline

1,519 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 3 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm

Climate

tropical; hot and humid; wet season May to November

Terrain

varying geologically from the high, mountainous main island of Babelthuap to low, coral islands usually fringed by large barrier reefs

Elevation extremes

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Ngerchelchuus 242 m

Natural resources

forests, minerals (especially gold), marine products, deep-seabed minerals

Land use

arable land: 8.7%
permanent crops: 4.35%
other: 86.95% (2005)

Irrigated land

NA

Natural hazards

typhoons (June to December)

Environment current issues

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

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

Geography note

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 - Palau:

Population

20,842 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 26% (male 2,796/female 2,633)
15-64 years: 69.2% (male 7,767/female 6,665)
65 years and over: 4.7% (male 465/female 516) (2007 est.)

Median age

total: 32 years
male: 33 years
female: 31 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate

1.233% (2007 est.)

Birth rate

17.7 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate

6.77 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate

1.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.062 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.165 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.901 male(s)/female
total population: 1.124 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 14.07 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 15.78 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 12.26 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 70.71 years
male: 67.54 years
female: 74.06 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.46 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rate

NA

Hiv aids people living with hiv aids

NA

Hiv aids deaths

NA

Nationality

noun: Palauan(s)
adjective: Palauan

Ethnic groups

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)

Religions

Roman Catholic 41.6%, Protestant 23.3%, Modekngei 8.8% (indigenous to Palau), Seventh-Day Adventist 5.3%, Jehovahs Witness 0.9%, Latter-Day Saints 0.6%, other 3.1%, unspecified or none 16.4% (2000 census)

Languages

Palauan 64.7% official in all islands except Sonsoral (Sonsoralese and English are official), Tobi (Tobi and English are official), and Angaur (Angaur, Japanese, and English are official), Filipino 13.5%, English 9.4%, Chinese 5.7%, Carolinian 1.5%, Japanese 1.5%, other Asian 2.3%, other languages 1.5% (2000 census)

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92%
male: 93%
female: 90% (1980 est.)

Government - Palau:

Country name

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

Government type

constitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force 1 October 1994

Capital

name: Melekeok
geographic coordinates: 7 29 N, 134 38 E
time difference: UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

16 states; Aimeliik, Airai, Angaur, Hatohobei, Kayangel, Koror, Melekeok, Ngaraard, Ngarchelong, Ngardmau, Ngatpang, Ngchesar, Ngeremlengui, Ngiwal, Peleliu, Sonsorol

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: President Tommy Esang REMENGESAU, Jr. (since 19 January 2001); Vice President Camsek CHIN (since 1 January 2005); 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); Vice President Camsek CHIN (since 1 January 2005)
cabinet: NA
elections: president and vice president elected on separate tickets by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held 2 November 2004 (next to be held in November 2008)
election results: Tommy Esang REMENGESAU, Jr. reelected president; percent of vote - Tommy Esang REMENGESAU, Jr. 64%, Polycarp BASILIUS 33%; Elias Camsek CHIN elected vice president; percent of vote - Elias Camsek CHIN 70%, Sandra PIERANTOZZI 29%

Legislative branch

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 2 November 2004 (next to be held in November 2008); House of Delegates - last held 2 November 2004 (next to be held in November 2008)
election results: Senate - percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 9; House of Delegates - percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 16

Judicial branch

Supreme Court; National Court; Court of Common Pleas

Political parties and leaders

none

Political pressure groups and leaders

NA

International organization participation

ACP, AsDB, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IMF, IOC, IPU, MIGA, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, WHO

Diplomatic representation in the us

chief of mission: Ambassador Hersey KYOTA
chancery: 1700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20006
telephone: [1] (202) 452-6814
FAX: [1] (202) 452-6281
consulate(s) general: Honolulu
consulate(s): Tamuning (Guam)

Diplomatic representation from the us

chief of mission: 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

light blue with a large yellow disk (representing the moon) shifted slightly to the hoist side

Economy - Palau:

Economy overview

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 63,000 in 2003. The population enjoys a per capita income roughly 50% higher than 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 purchasing power parity

$124.5 million
NOTE: includes US subsidy (2004 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate

$145 million (2005)

Gdp real growth rate

5.5% (2005 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp

$7,600 (2005 est.)

Gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 6.2%
industry: 12%
services: 81.8% (2003)

Labor force

9,777 (2005)

Labor force by occupation

agriculture: 20%
industry: NA%
services: NA% (1990)

Unemployment rate

4.2% (2005 est.)

Population below poverty line

NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate consumer prices

2.7% (2005 est.)

Budget

revenues: $72.07 million
expenditures: $72.43 million; including capital expenditures of $12.98 million (FY04/05 est.)

Agriculture products

coconuts, copra, cassava (tapioca), sweet potatoes; fish

Industries

tourism, craft items (from shell, wood, pearls), construction, garment making

Industrial production growth rate

NA%

Current account balance

$15.09 million (FY03/04)

Exports

$5.882 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)

Exports commodities

shellfish, tuna, copra, garments

Exports partners

US, Japan, Singapore (2006)

Imports

$107.3 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)

Imports commodities

machinery and equipment, fuels, metals; foodstuffs

Imports partners

US, Singapore, Japan, South Korea (2006)

Debt external

$0 (FY99/00)

Economic aid recipient

$19.6 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 (2004)

Currency code

US dollar (USD)

Exchange rates

the US dollar is used

Communications - Palau:

Fiscal year

1 October - 30 September

Telephones main lines in use

6,700 (2002)

Telephones mobile cellular

1,000 (2002)

Telephone system

general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: country code - 680; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 1, FM 4, shortwave 1 (2001)

Television broadcast stations

1 (cable) (2005)

Internet country code

.pw

Internet hosts

3 (2006)

Transportation - Palau:

Airports

3 (2006)

Airports with paved runways

total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2006)

Airports with unpaved runways

total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2006)

Roadways

total: 61 km
paved: 36 km
unpaved: 25 km

Ports and terminals

Koror

Military - Palau:

Military branches

no regular military forces; Palau National Police (2006)

Manpower available for military service

males age 18-49: 5,694 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 18-49: 4,087 (2005 est.)

Military note

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, but no military forces are stationed there (2005)

Manpower reaching military service age annually

males age 18-49: 142 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures percent of gdp

NA

This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>


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