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Introduction - Palau:
BackgroundAfter 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:
LocationOceania, group of islands in the North Pacific Ocean, southeast of the Philippines
Geographic coordinates7 30 N, 134 30 E
Map referencesOceania
Areatotal: 458 sq km
land: 458 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area comparativeslightly more than 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries0 km
Coastline1,519 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 3 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Climatetropical; hot and humid; wet season May to November
Terrainvarying geologically from the high, mountainous main island of Babelthuap to low, coral islands usually fringed by large barrier reefs
Elevation extremeslowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Ngerchelchuus 242 m
Natural resourcesforests, minerals (especially gold), marine products, deep-seabed minerals
Land usearable land: 8.7%
permanent crops: 4.35%
other: 86.95% (2005)
Irrigated landNA
Natural hazardstyphoons (June to December)
Environment current issuesinadequate facilities for disposal of solid waste; threats to the marine ecosystem from sand and coral dredging, illegal fishing practices, and overfishing
Environment international agreementsparty 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 notewesternmost 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:
Population20,842 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure0-14 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 agetotal: 32 years
male: 33 years
female: 31 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate1.233% (2007 est.)
Birth rate17.7 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate6.77 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate1.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratioat 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 ratetotal: 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 birthtotal population: 70.71 years
male: 67.54 years
female: 74.06 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate2.46 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Hiv aids adult prevalence rateNA
Hiv aids people living with hiv aidsNA
Hiv aids deathsNA
Nationalitynoun: Palauan(s)
adjective: Palauan
Ethnic groupsPalauan (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)
ReligionsRoman 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)
LanguagesPalauan 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)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92%
male: 93%
female: 90% (1980 est.)
Government - Palau:
Country nameconventional 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 typeconstitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force 1 October 1994
Capitalname: Melekeok
geographic coordinates: 7 29 N, 134 38 E
time difference: UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions16 states; Aimeliik, Airai, Angaur, Hatohobei, Kayangel, Koror, Melekeok, Ngaraard, Ngarchelong, Ngardmau, Ngatpang, Ngchesar, Ngeremlengui, Ngiwal, Peleliu, Sonsorol
Independence1 October 1994 (from the US-administered UN trusteeship)
National holidayConstitution Day, 9 July (1979)
Constitution1 January 1981
Legal systembased on Trust Territory laws, acts of the legislature, municipal, common, and customary laws
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief 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 branchbicameral 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 branchSupreme Court; National Court; Court of Common Pleas
Political parties and leadersnone
Political pressure groups and leadersNA
International organization participationACP, 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 uschief 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 uschief 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 descriptionlight blue with a large yellow disk (representing the moon) shifted slightly to the hoist side
Economy - Palau:
Economy overviewThe 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 rate5.5% (2005 est.)
Gdp per capita ppp $7,600 (2005 est.)
Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 6.2%
industry: 12%
services: 81.8% (2003)
Labor force9,777 (2005)
Labor force by occupationagriculture: 20%
industry: NA%
services: NA% (1990)
Unemployment rate4.2% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate consumer prices 2.7% (2005 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $72.07 million
expenditures: $72.43 million; including capital expenditures of $12.98 million (FY04/05 est.)
Agriculture productscoconuts, copra, cassava (tapioca), sweet potatoes; fish
Industriestourism, craft items (from shell, wood, pearls), construction, garment making
Industrial production growth rateNA%
Current account balance$15.09 million (FY03/04)
Exports$5.882 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports commoditiesshellfish, tuna, copra, garments
Exports partnersUS, Japan, Singapore (2006)
Imports$107.3 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports commoditiesmachinery and equipment, fuels, metals; foodstuffs
Imports partnersUS, 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 ratesthe US dollar is used
Communications - Palau:
Fiscal year1 October - 30 September
Telephones main lines in use6,700 (2002)
Telephones mobile cellular1,000 (2002)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: country code - 680; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
Radio broadcast stationsAM 1, FM 4, shortwave 1 (2001)
Television broadcast stations1 (cable) (2005)
Internet country
Internet hosts3 (2006)
Transportation - Palau:
Airports3 (2006)
Airports with paved runwaystotal: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2006)
Airports with unpaved runwaystotal: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2006)
Roadwaystotal: 61 km
paved: 36 km
unpaved: 25 km
Ports and terminalsKoror
Military - Palau:
Military branchesno regular military forces; Palau National Police (2006)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 5,694 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 4,087 (2005 est.)
Military notedefense 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 annuallymales age 18-49: 142 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures percent of gdpNA
This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>

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