General Information about Micronesia

The official name is the Federated States of Micronesia.

Located in the Western Pacific Ocean. The area is 702 km2, the population is 137 thousand people. (2003). The official language is English. The capital is the city of Palikir (11.7 thousand people, 2003). Public holiday – Constitution Day on May 10 (since 1979). The monetary unit is the US dollar.

Member of the UN (since 1991), IMF (since 1993), Pacific Islands Forum (formerly UTF, 1987).

The Federated States of Micronesia is located north of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands on 607 islands in the central and eastern parts of the Caroline Archipelago and the Kapingamarangi Atoll to the south. The length from the west (Yap Island) to the east (Kosrae Island) is approx. 3 thousand km.

Geographical coordinates: 6°55 north latitude and 158°15 east longitude. The Federated States of Micronesia are divided into 4 parts: 1) Pohnpei – the island of the same name (the largest, 334 km2) and more than 160 islands and atolls; 2) Chuuk – 11 “high” islands in the Truk lagoon (one of the largest in the world – over 2 thousand km2) and several groups of coral atolls and islands; 3) Yap – 4 islands that make up the island of Yap (three of them are interconnected by bridges) and 15 groups of small islands and atolls; 4) Kosrae – the island of the same name and the island of Lelu, connected by a dam. The length of the coastline is 6112 km.

Most of the islands of the Caroline Archipelago are low coral. Rain moisture does not linger in the upper layers of calcareous soils. The vegetation is adapted to saline groundwater. On the “high” volcanic islands – Pohnpei and Kosrae – the soils are rich in organic matter, the vegetation is much more diverse (areca palm, ramp, bamboo, etc.). Mangroves cover the coast of almost all volcanic islands. The highest point is 791 m (Pohnpei). Pohnpei has over 40 rivers. The animal world is represented by bats, rats, crocodiles, snakes, lizards are found. The world of birds is diverse. Yap, unlike other “high” islands, is of non-volcanic origin, it is covered with hills and meadows. The waters of coral reefs and lagoons are rich in fish and sea animals.

Minerals: the world’s largest tuna reserves in the 200-mile economic zone (over 2.6 million km2), high-quality phosphate deposits and potential seabed minerals.

The climate is tropical. Temperature +23-30°С. Pohnpei Island is one of the wettest places on the planet (over 5000 mm of precipitation per year). But under the influence of El Niño, droughts occur. Destructive typhoons are regular (June-December).

According to Countryaah, the average annual population growth rate is approx. 3% per year, partially offset by emigration (about 15 thousand immigrants from the Federated States of Micronesia live in Guam, the Mariana and Hawaiian Islands, as well as in the US mainland). The vast majority of the inhabitants are Micronesians, there are Polynesians. Ethnic features are affected by long-term contacts with Europeans and the Japanese occupation. English is widely spoken, two of the 8 languages ​​of the Malayo-Polynesian group are Chuukese (about 50% of the population) and Ponpean (25%). Each of the main parts of the country has its own culture and traditions, but there are also common features. Competently 89% of the adult population. Life expectancy for men is 67 years, for women – 71 years. Child mortality 33 people. per 1000 newborns.

Catholics – 50% of believers, Protestants – 47%, there are adherents of local beliefs.

The Caroline Islands were named in honor of the Spanish king Charles II – in 1521 F. Magellan landed here. Since 1899, the archipelago has been under the control of Germany (bought it from Spain). Japan occupied it in 1914. After the 2nd World War, 6 Pacific territories, under a UN mandate, came under the trusteeship of the United States (1947). Of these, 3 (Pohnpei, including Kosrae; Yap and Chuuk) are the current constituent parts of the Federated States of Micronesia. Since 1979, the Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia, the national and state governments have been in force. In 1986, with the entry into force of the Treaty of Free Association with the United States, the Federated States of Micronesia became a sovereign state. In 1990, the UN Security Council abolished the status of a mandated territory in relation to the Federated States of Micronesia.

The Federated States of Micronesia is a presidential republic. The President is the head of state and government.

Administratively divided into 4 states according to geographical parts. In addition to the capital, the states have administrative centers.

Legislative power belongs to the National Congress. It has 14 senators: 4 – one from each state – are elected for 4 years (the next election in 2007), another 10 – for 2 years in proportion to the population (the next election in 2005). From among the “four-year” senators, the congress elects a president (since 2003 – J. Urusemal) and a vice president (R. Killion) for 4 years. By-elections are held to fill the vacancies that have arisen since then. In the election of state leaders, the informal principle of rotation between the states operates. Each of the 4 states of the country has a similar structure of executive and legislative power in accordance with its own Constitution. State governments exercise most of the executive functions in the state.

There are no political parties.

Under the Treaty of “free association” with the United States, the latter carry out the defense of the Federated States of Micronesia.

The Federated States of Micronesia have had diplomatic relations with Russia since 1999.

GDP per capita approx. 2 thousand US dollars. GDP growth rates since ser. 1990s – 1-2% per year. Agriculture retains a semi-natural character. Its value is declining. It employs up to 50%. The rest work in the public sector, retail and tourism industries. Unemployment – 15-20%.

Coconut palm, betel, cassava, tropical fruits and vegetables, sweet potatoes, black pepper are grown, poultry and pig farming, fishing and fish processing are developing. Souvenirs are made from shells, wood and pearls.

Automobile roads – 240 km (42 km – with a hard surface). Each of the 4 city centers has an international airport capable of receiving medium-range aircraft and a deep water port accessible to ocean-going vessels. In the Federated States of Micronesia – 2 thousand Internet users (2000).

Up to 15 thousand tourists visit the islands annually. Remoteness and lack of infrastructure hinder the development of tourism, but the Asian Development Bank considers this industry the most promising.

The Federated States of Micronesia is heavily dependent on US financial assistance. According to the Agreement on “free association” in 1986-2001, it amounted to approx. $2 billion in grants and subsidies. Since 1999, negotiations have been underway to extend the Treaty. Aid has been extended for the duration of the negotiations, but has been declining in recent years, affecting the economic situation of the Federated States of Micronesia.

In addition to fish and fish products (85% of exports), copra and coconut oil, black pepper, bananas, etc. are exported. Imported foodstuffs and drinks, finished products, equipment. The main partners are the USA, Japan, Guam, Australia. Up to 30% of budget revenues come from the sale of licenses to foreign fishing vessels.

Primary (eight years) public education is compulsory (but 25% of children do not attend school). There are 2 (private) secondary schools, Marine and Fisheries Academy (secondary and college level). The College of Micronesia (Pohnpei) provides higher education.

People of Micronesia