Micronesia Travel Information

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The Nature Conservancy in Micronesia

Facts About Micronesia

Background: In 1979 the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), a UN Trust Territory under US administration, adopted a constitution. In 1986 independence was attained under a Compact of Free Association with the United States. Present concerns include large-scale unemployment, overfishing, and overdependence on US aid.
Government type: constitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force 3 November 1986.
Capital: Palikir
Currency: 1 United States dollar (US$) = 100 cents

Geography of Micronesia

Location: Micronesia consists of 607 islands extending 1,800 miles across the archipelago of the Caroline Islands east of the Philippines. The four constituent island groups are Yap, Chuuk (called Truk until January 1990), Pohnpei (called Ponape until November 1984), and Kosrae. The federal capital, Palikir, is on Pohnpei.
Geographic coordinates: 6 55 N, 158 15 E
total: 702 sq km
land: 702 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Pohnpei (Ponape), Truk (Chuuk) Islands, Yap Islands, and Kosrae
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 6,112 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate: tropical; heavy year-round rainfall, especially in the eastern islands; located on southern edge of the typhoon belt with occasionally severe damage
Terrain: islands vary geologically from high mountainous islands to low, coral atolls; volcanic outcroppings on Pohnpei, Kosrae, and Truk
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Totolom 791 m
Natural resources: forests, marine products, deep-seabed minerals
Natural hazards: typhoons (June to December)
Environment - current issues: overfishing
Environment - international agreements:
party to:  Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: four major island groups totaling 607 islands

People of Micronesia

The ancestors of the Micronesians settled the Caroline Islands over 4,000 years ago. A decentralized chieftain-based system eventually evolved into a more centralized economic and religious empire centered on Yap. The indigenous population, which is predominantly Micronesian, consists of various ethnolinguistic groups. English has become the common language. Population growth remains high at more than 3%, ameliorated somewhat by net emigration.

Population: 108,105 (July 2005 est.)
Population growth rate: 3.28% 
Birth rate: 27.09 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 5.95 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: 11.65 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 33.48 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 68.63 years
male: 66.67 years
female: 70.62 years 
Total fertility rate: 3.83 children born/woman 
noun: Micronesian(s)
adjective: Micronesian; Kosrae(s), Pohnpeian(s), Trukese, Yapese
Ethnic groups: nine ethnic Micronesian and Polynesian groups
Religions: Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 47%, other and none 3%
Languages: English (official and common language), Trukese, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Kosrean
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 89%
male: 91%
female: 88% (1980 est.)

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

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