Facts about Micronesia

World Facts Index

In 1979 the Federated States of Micronesia, a UN Trust Territory under US administration, adopted a constitution. In 1986 independence was attained 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.

Geography of Micronesia

Location:
Oceania, island group in the North Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to Indonesia
Coordinates:
6 55 N, 158 15 E
Area:
total: 702 sq km
note: includes Pohnpei (Ponape), Chuuk (Truk) Islands, Yap Islands, and Kosrae (Kosaie)
water: 0 sq km (fresh water only)
land: 702 sq km
Area comparative:
four times the size of Washington, DC (land area only)
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 Chuuk
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Dolohmwar (Totolom) 791 m
Natural resources:
forests, marine products, deep-seabed minerals
Natural hazards:
typhoons (June to December)
Environment current issues:
overfishing, climate change, pollution
Geography - note:
four major island groups totaling 607 islands

Population of Micronesia

Population:
107,665 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 36.6% (male 20,116/female 19,391)
15-64 years: 60.4% (male 32,620/female 32,659)
65 years and over: 3% (male 1,413/female 1,805)
Median age: 20.9 years
Growth rate:
-0.11%
Infant mortality:
29.16 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 70.05 years
male: 68.24 years
female: 71.95 years
Fertility rate:
3.16 children born/woman
Nationality:
noun: Micronesian(s)
adjective: Micronesian; Chuukese, Kosraen(s), Pohnpeian(s), Yapese
Ethnic groups:
nine ethnic Micronesian and Polynesian groups
Religions:
Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 47%
Languages:
English (official and common language), Trukese, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Kosrean, Ulithian, Woleaian, Nukuoro, Kapingamarangi
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 89%
male: 91%
female: 88% 

Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Federated States of Micronesia
abbreviation: FSM
former: Ponape, Truk, and Yap Districts (Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands)
Government type:
constitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force 3 November 1986 and the Amended Compact entered into force May 2004
Capital:
Palikir
Administrative divisions:
4 states; Chuuk (Truk), Kosrae (Kosaie), Pohnpei (Ponape), Yap
Independence:
3 November 1986 (from the US-administered UN Trusteeship)
National holiday:
Constitution Day, 10 May (1979)
Constitution:
10 May 1979
Legal system:
based on adapted Trust Territory laws, acts of the legislature, municipal, common, and customary laws
Suffrage:
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 the 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 11 May 2007 (next to be held May 2011); note - a proposed constitutional amendment to establish popular elections for president and vice president failed.
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)
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court

Economy

Economic activity consists primarily of subsistence farming and fishing. The islands have few mineral deposits worth exploiting, except for high-grade phosphate. The potential for a tourist industry exists, but the remote location, a lack of adequate facilities, and limited air connections hinder development. Under the original terms of the Compact of Free Association, the US provided $1.3 billion in grant aid during the period 1986-2001; the level of aid has been subsequently reduced. The Amended Compact of Free Association with the US guarantees the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) millions of dollars in annual aid through 2023, and establishes a Trust Fund into which the US and the FSM make annual contributions in order to provide annual payouts to the FSM in perpetuity after 2023. The country's medium-term economic outlook appears fragile due not only to the reduction in US assistance but also to the current slow growth of the private sector.

GDP:
purchasing power parity - $277 million
note: GDP is supplemented by grant aid, averaging perhaps $100 million annually (2002 est.)
GDP growth rate:
1% (2002 est.)
GDP per capita:
purchasing power parity - $2,000 (2002 est.)
GDP composition by sector:
agriculture: 50%
industry: 4%
services: 46% (2000 est.)
Inflation rate:
1% (2002 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
two-thirds are government employees
Unemployment:
16% (1999 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $161 million ($69 million less grants)
expenditures: $160 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1998 est.)
Industries:
tourism, construction, fish processing, specialized aquaculture, craft items from shell, wood, and pearls
Agriculture:
black pepper, tropical fruits and vegetables, coconuts, cassava (tapioca), betel nuts, sweet potatoes; pigs, chickens
Exports:
fish, garments, bananas, black pepper
Export partners:
Japan, US, Guam
Imports:
food, manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, beverages
Import partners:
US, Australia, Japan
Currency:
US dollar (USD)

SOURCES: The CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State, Area Handbook of the US Library of Congress

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