Newest Country to visit PALAU


Country # 192 to visit our BLOG!  Welcome 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.

 Geography
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
Location: Oceania, group of islands in the North Pacific Ocean, southeast of the Philippines
Geographic coordinates: 7 30 N, 134 30 E
Area: total: 459 sq km land: 459 sq km water: 0 sq kmSize comparison: 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)
Current Environment Issues: inadequate facilities for disposal of solid waste; threats to the marine ecosystem from sand and coral dredging, illegal fishing practices, and overfishing
International Environment 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
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 People
Population: 21,032 (July 2012 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 21.5% (male 2,329/female 2,187) 15-64 years: 72% (male 8,355/female 6,724) 65 years and over: 6.5% (male 402/female 959) (2011 est.)
Median age: total: 32.8 years male: 32.4 years female: 33.6 years (2012 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.361% (2012 est.)
Birth rate: 10.79 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)
Death rate: 7.89 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)
Net migration rate: 0.71 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.24 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.4 male(s)/female total population: 1.12 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 12.1 deaths/1,000 live births male: 13.7 deaths/1,000 live births female: 10.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 72.06 years male: 68.9 years female: 75.4 years (2012 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.72 children born/woman (2012 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%, Jehovah’s Witnesses 0.9%, Mormon 0.6%, other 3.1%, unspecified or none 16.4% (2000 census)
Languages: Palauan (official on most islands) 64.7%, Filipino 13.5%, English (official) 9.4%, Chinese 5.7%, Carolinian 1.5%, Japanese 1.5%, other Asian 2.3%, other languages 1.5% (2000 census) note: Sonsoral (Sonsoralese and English are official), Tobi (Tobi and English are official), and Angaur (Angaur, Japanese, and English are official)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 92% male: 93% female: 90% (1980 est.)
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 Government
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 on 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: 1 January 1981
Legal system: mixed legal system of civil, common, and customary law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Johnson TORIBIONG (since 15 January 2009); Vice President Kerai MARIUR (since 15 January 2009); note – the president is both the chief of state and head of government head of government: President Johnson TORIBIONG (since 15 January 2009); Vice President Kerai MARIUR (since 15 January 2009) cabinet: NA (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president and vice president elected on separate tickets by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held on 4 November 2008 (next to be held in November 2012) election results: Johnson TORIBIONG elected president; percent of vote – Johnson TORIBIONG 51%, Elias Camsek CHIN 49%
Legislative branch: bicameral National Congress 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 on 4 November 2008 (next to be held in November 2012); House of Delegates – last held on 4 November 2008 (next to be held in November 2012) election results: Senate – percent of vote – NA; seats – independents 9; House of Delegates – percent of vote – NA; seats – independents 16
Judicial branch: Supreme Court; Court of Common Pleas; Land Court
Political parties and leaders: none
Political pressure groups and leaders: NA
International organization participation: ACP, ADB, AOSIS, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IMF, IMO, IMSO, IOC, IPU, MIGA, OPCW, PIF, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, WHO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Hersey KYOTA chancery: 1701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20006 telephone: [1] (202) 452-6814 FAX: [1] (202) 452-6281 consulate(s): Tamuning (Guam)
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Helen P. REED-ROWE embassy: Koror (no street address) mailing address: P. O. Box 6028, Republic of Palau 96940 telephone: [680] 488-2920, 2990 FAX: [680] 488-2911
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 Economy
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. The Compact of Free Association with the US, entered into after the end of the UN trusteeship on 1 October 1994, provided Palau with up to $700 million in US aid for the following 15 years in return for furnishing military facilities. Business and tourist arrivals numbered 85,000 in 2007. 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): GDP (purchasing power parity): $164 million (2008 est.) $124.5 million (2004 est.) note: data are in 2011 US dollars GDP estimate includes US subsidy
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $164 million (2008)
GDP – real growth rate: 5.5% (2005 est.)
GDP – per capita (PPP): GDP – per capita (PPP): $8,100 (2008 est.) $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): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.7% (2005 est.)
Budget: revenues: $114.8 million expenditures: $99.5 million (2008 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 (2004 est.)
Exports – commodities: shellfish, tuna, copra, garments
Imports: $107.3 million (2004 est.)
Imports – commodities: machinery and equipment, fuels, metals; foodstuffs
Debt – external: $0 (FY99/00)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA
Exchange rates: the US dollar is used
Fiscal year: 1 October – 30 September
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 Communications
Telephones in use: 7,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 207
Cellular Phones in use: 14,500 (2009)
Telephone system: general assessment: NA domestic: fixed-line and mobile-cellular services available with a combined subscribership of roughly 100 per 100 persons international: country code – 680; satellite earth station – 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2008)
Radio broadcast stations:
Television broadcast stations:
Internet country code: .pw
Internet hosts: 4 (2010)
Internet users:
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 Transportation
Airports: 3 (2012) country comparison to the world: 193
Airports (paved runways): total: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2012)
Airports (unpaved runways): total: 2 1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2012)
Roadways:
Ports and terminals: Koror
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 Military
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 it has not stationed any military forces there (2008)
Military branches: no regular military forces; Palau National Police (2009)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 6,987 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 5,272 females age 16-49: 3,969 (2010 est.)

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