Micronesia, Federated States of


Australia-Oceania :: Micronesia, Federated States of

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The Caroline Islands are a widely scattered archipelago in the western Pacific Ocean; they became part of a UN Trust Territory under US administration following World War II. The eastern four island groups adopted a constitution in 1979 and chose to become the Federated States of Micronesia. (The fifth, westernmost island group became Palau.) Independence came in 1986 under a Compact of Free Association with the US, which was amended and renewed in 2004. Present concerns include large-scale unemployment, overfishing, and overdependence on US aid.


Oceania, island group in the North Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to Indonesia

Geographic coordinates:
6 55 N, 158 15 E

Map references:

Total: 702 sq km
Country comparison to the world: 191
Land: 702 sq km
Water: 0 sq km (fresh water only)
note: includes Pohnpei (Ponape), Chuuk (Truk) Islands, Yap Islands, and Kosrae (Kosaie)

Area - comparative:
four times the size of Washington, DC (land area only)

Land boundaries:
0 km

6,112 km

Maritime claims:
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

tropical; heavy year-round rainfall, especially in the eastern islands; located on southern edge of the typhoon belt with occasionally severe damage

islands vary geologically from high mountainous islands to low, coral atolls; volcanic outcroppings on Pohnpei, Kosrae, and Chuuk

Elevation extremes:
Lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Highest point: Dolohmwar (Totolom) 791 m

Natural resources:
timber, marine products, deep-seabed minerals, phosphate

Land use:
Arable land: 2.86%
Permanent crops: 24.29%
Other: 72.86% (2011)

Irrigated land:

Natural hazards:
typhoons (June to December)

Environment - current issues:
overfishing, climate change, pollution

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 and Society

Noun: Micronesian(s)
Adjective: Micronesian; Chuukese, Kosraen(s), Pohnpeian(s), Yapese

Ethnic groups:
Chuukese/Mortlockese 49.3%, Pohnpeian 29.8%, Kosraean 6.3%, Yapese 5.7%, Yap outer islanders 5.1%, Polynesian 1.6%, Asian 1.4%, other 0.8% (2010 est.)

English (official and common language), Chuukese, Kosrean, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Ulithian, Woleaian, Nukuoro, Kapingamarangi

Roman Catholic 54.7%, Protestant 41.1% (includes Congregational 38.5%, Baptist 1.1%, Seventh Day Adventist 0.8%, Assembly of God .7%), Mormon 1.5%, other 1.9%, none 0.7%, unspecified 0.1% (2010 est.)

105,681 (July 2014 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 193

Age structure:
0-14 years: 31.9% (male 17,120/female 16,561)
15-24 years: 20.2% (male 10,755/female 10,609)
25-54 years: 38% (male 19,483/female 20,686)
55-64 years: 6.5% (male 3,440/female 3,477)
65 years and over: 3.2% (male 1,576/female 1,974) (2014 est.)
Population pyramid:

Dependency ratios:
Total dependency ratio: 63.3 %
Youth dependency ratio: 56.4 %
Elderly dependency ratio: 6.9 %
Potential support ratio: 14.6 (2014 est.)

Median age:
Total: 23.8 years
Male: 23.2 years
Female: 24.4 years (2014 est.)

Population growth rate:
-0.42% (2014 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 220

Birth rate:
20.97 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 80

Death rate:
4.25 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 206

Net migration rate:
-20.93 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 220

Urban population: 22.6% of total population (2011)
Rate of urbanization: 0.98% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population:
PALIKIR (capital) 7,000 (2011)

Sex ratio:
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2014 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:
100 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 71

Infant mortality rate:
Total: 21.93 deaths/1,000 live births
Country comparison to the world: 81
Male: 24.28 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 19.47 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
Total population: 72.35 years
Country comparison to the world: 135
Male: 70.34 years
Female: 74.45 years (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate:
2.55 children born/woman (2014 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 78

Health expenditures:
13.4% of GDP (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 7

Physicians density:
0.18 physicians/1,000 population (2009)

Hospital bed density:
3.2 beds/1,000 population (2009)

Drinking water source:
urban: 94.8% of population
rural: 87.4% of population
total: 89% of population
urban: 5.2% of population
rural: 12.6% of population
total: 11% of population (2012 est.)

Sanitation facility access:
urban: 85.1% of population
rural: 49% of population
total: 57.2% of population
urban: 14.9% of population
rural: 51% of population
total: 42.8% of population (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
40.6% (2008)
Country comparison to the world: 12

Education expenditures:

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 89%
Male: 91%
Female: 88% (1980 est.)


Country name:
Conventional long form: Federated States of Micronesia
Conventional short form: none
Local long form: Federated States of Micronesia
Local short form: none
Former: Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Ponape, Truk, and Yap Districts
Abbreviation: FSM

Government type:
constitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force on 3 November 1986 and the Amended Compact entered into force in May 2004

Name: Palikir
Geographic coordinates: 6 55 N, 158 09 E
Time difference: UTC+11 (16 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:
4 states; Chuuk (Truk), Kosrae (Kosaie), Pohnpei (Ponape), Yap

3 November 1986 (from the US-administered UN trusteeship)

National holiday:
Constitution Day, 10 May (1979)

drafted June 1975, ratified 1 October 1978, entered into force 10 May 1979; amended 1990 (2012)

Legal system:
mixed legal system of common and customary law

International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
Chief of state: President Emanuel MORI (since 11 May 2007); Vice President Alik L. ALIK (since 11 May 2007); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
Head of government: President Emanuel MORI (since 11 May 2007); Vice President Alik L. ALIK (since 11 May 2007)
Cabinet: Cabinet includes the vice president and the heads of the eight executive departments
Elections: president and vice president elected by Congress from among the four senators at large for a four-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 11 May 2011 (next to be held in May 2015)
Election results: Emanuel MORI re-elected president by Congress unopposed; Alik L. ALIK reelected vice president

Legislative branch:
unicameral Congress (14 seats; 4 - one elected from each state to serve four-year terms and 10 - elected from single-member districts delineated by population to serve two-year terms; members elected by popular vote)
Elections: last held on 5 March 2013 (next to be held in March 2015)
Election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 14

Judicial branch:
Highest court(s): Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and not more than 5 associate justices and organized into appellate and criminal divisions)
Judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the president of the Federated States of Micronesia with the approval of two-thirds of Congress; justices appointed for life
Subordinate courts: the highest state-level courts are: Chuuk Supreme Court; Korsae State Court; Pohnpei State Court; Yap State Court

Political parties and leaders:
no formal parties

Political pressure groups and leaders:

International organization participation:

Diplomatic representation in the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Asterio R. TAKESY (since 13 January 2012)
Chancery: 1725 N Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
Telephone: [1] (202) 223-4383
FAX: [1] (202) 223-4391
Consulate(s) general: Honolulu, Tamuning (Guam)

Diplomatic representation from the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Dorothea-Maria (Doria) ROSEN (since 9 August 2012)
Embassy: 101 Upper Pics Road, Kolonia
Mailing address: P. O. Box 1286, Kolonia, Pohnpei, 96941; U.S. Embassy in Micronesia, 4120 Kolonia Place, Washington, D.C. 20521-4120
Telephone: [691] 320-2187
FAX: [691] 320-2186

National anthem:
Name: "Patriots of Micronesia"

Lyrics/music: unknown
note: adopted 1991; the anthem is also known as "Across All Micronesia;" the music is based on the 1820 German patriotic song "Ich hab mich ergeben," which was the West German national anthem from 1949-1950; variants of this tune are used in Johannes Brahms' "Festival Overture" and Gustav Mahler's "Third Symphony"


Economy - overview:
Economic activity consists of subsistence farming and fishing and government which is funded largely by Compact of Free Association (Compact) assistance provided by the US. The islands have few known mineral deposits worth commercial exploration. The potential for tourism is also limited by isolation, lack of adequate facilities, and limited air and water connections hinder development. Under the terms of the original Compact, the US provided $1.3 billion in grants and aid in 1986-2001. The US and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) negotiated a second (amended) Compact agreement in 2002-2003 that took effect in 2004. The amended Compact runs for a 20-year period to 2024; during which the US will provide roughly $2.1 billion to the FSM. The amended Compact also includes a Trust Fund for the people of the FSM which is to provide an income stream beyond 2024 when Compact grants are to end. The country's medium-term economic outlook appears fragile because of reduced US assistance and lackluster performance of its small and stagnant private sector.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$754 million (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 210
$749.1 million (2012 est.)
$746.8 million (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars; GDP supplemented by grant aid, averaging perhaps $100 million annually

GDP (official exchange rate):
$339 million (2013 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
0.6% (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 182
2.1% (2011 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$7,300 (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 140
$7,200 (2012 est.)
$7,200 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
Agriculture: 14%
Industry: 12%
Services: 74% (2011 est.)

Agriculture - products:
black pepper, tropical fruits and vegetables, coconuts, bananas, cassava (manioc, tapioca), sakau (kava), Kosraen citrus, betel nuts, sweet potatoes; pigs, chickens; fish

tourism, construction; fish processing, specialized aquaculture; craft items (from shell, wood, and pearls)

Industrial production growth rate:

Labor force:
15,920 (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 213

Labor force - by occupation:
Agriculture: 0.9%
Industry: 20.6%
Services: 78.5%
note: two-thirds of the labor force are government employees (2011 est.)

Unemployment rate:
22% (2000 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 167

Population below poverty line:
26.7% (2000)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Lowest 10%: NA%
Highest 10%: NA%

Revenues: $107 million
Expenditures: $102 million (FY10/11 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:
31.6% of GDP (FY10/11 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 83

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
1.5% of GDP (FY10/11 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 22

Fiscal year:
1 October - 30 September

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.4% (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 122
3.5% (2010 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
14.35% (31 December 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 45
14.35% (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of narrow money:
$27.22 million (31 December 2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 187
$27.22 million

Stock of broad money:
$118.4 million (31 December 2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 190
$113.9 million (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$-56.77 million (31 December 2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 181
$56.77 million

Current account balance:
-$34.3 million (FY05 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 65

$24.9 million (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 204
$14 million (2004 est.)

Exports - commodities:
fish, garments, bananas, black pepper, sakau (kava), betel nuts

$132.7 million (2004)
Country comparison to the world: 208

Imports - commodities:
food, manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, beverages

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$75.06 million (31 December 2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 167
$75.06 million

Debt - external:
$60.8 million (FY05 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 192

Exchange rates:
the US dollar is used


Electricity - production:
192 million kWh (2002)
Country comparison to the world: 184

Electricity - consumption:
178.6 million kWh (2002)
Country comparison to the world: 188

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2002)
Country comparison to the world: 136

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2002)
Country comparison to the world: 144


Telephones - main lines in use:
8,400 (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 202

Telephones - mobile cellular:
27,600 (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 208

Telephone system:
General assessment: adequate system
Domestic: islands interconnected by shortwave radiotelephone (used mostly for government purposes), satellite (Intelsat) ground stations, and some coaxial and fiber-optic cable; mobile-cellular service available on Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap
International: country code - 691; satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2002)

Broadcast media:
no TV broadcast stations; each state has a multi-channel cable service with TV transmissions carrying roughly 95% imported programming and 5% local programming; about a half dozen radio stations (2009)

Internet country code:

Internet hosts:
4,668 (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 147

Internet users:
17,000 (2009)
Country comparison to the world: 196


6 (2013)
Country comparison to the world: 172

Airports - with paved runways:
Total: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)

Total: 240 km
Country comparison to the world: 207
Paved: 42 km
Unpaved: 198 km (2000)

Merchant marine:
Total: 3
Country comparison to the world: 138
By type: cargo 1, passenger/cargo 2 (2010)

Ports and terminals:
Major seaport(s): Colonia (Tomil Harbor), Lele Harbor, Pohnepi Harbor


Military branches:
no regular military forces (2012)

Manpower available for military service:
Males age 16-49: 26,712 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
Males age 16-49: 22,008
Females age 16-49: 23,501 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Male: 1,276
Female: 1,253 (2010 est.)

Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of the US

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:

Trafficking in persons:
Current situation: Micronesia is a source, and to a limited extent, destination country for women subjected to sex trafficking; Micronesian women are fraudulently recruited for jobs in the US and its territories only to be forced into prostitution or labor upon arrival; Micronesian and foreign women and children are also reportedly prostituted on fishing vessels in Micronesia or its territorial waters, as well as restaurants and clubs frequented by fishermen; complaints of nonpayment and inhuman treatment on fishing boats has led to investigations of labor trafficking
Tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Micronesia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; despite passage of implementing regulations for Micronesia's 2012 trafficking law, the government has not reported any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions for sex or labor trafficking; the government also makes no efforts to identify trafficking victims and refer them to protective services; no NGOs provide services to victims; limited efforts are made to increase the public's awareness of human trafficking (2013)

Illicit drugs:
major consumer of cannabis

Flag of Micronesia, Federated States of

Descriptive text is not available for this image

Flag description:
light blue with four white five-pointed stars centered; the stars are arranged in a diamond pattern; blue symbolizes the Pacific Ocean, the stars represent the four island groups of Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap