Palau (historically Belau or Pelew), officially the Republic of Palau, is an island country located in the western Pacific Ocean. The country is made up of approximately 340 islands, forming the western chain of the Caroline Islands in Micronesia. It has an area of 466 square kilometres (180 sq. mi). The most populous island is Koror. The capital Ngerulmud is located on the nearby island of Babeldaob, in Melekeok State. Palau shares maritime boundaries with Indonesia, the Philippines, and the Federated States of Micronesia.
Palau's economy is based mainly on tourism, subsistence agriculture and fishing, with a significant portion of gross national product (GNP) derived from foreign aid. The country uses the United States Dollar (USD) as its currency. The islands' culture mixes Micronesian, Melanesian, Asian, and Western elements. Ethnic Palauans, the majority of the population, are of mixed Micronesian, Melanesian, and Austronesian descent. A smaller proportion of the population is descended from Japanese and Filipino settlers. The country's two official languages are Palauan (a member of the wider Sunda–Sulawesi language group) and English, with Japanese, Sonsorolese, and Tobian recognised as regional languages.
Politically, Palau is a presidential republic in free association with the United States, which provides defense, funding, and access to social services. Legislative power is concentrated in the bicameral Palau National Congress.
States of Palau
|State||Capital||Area (km2)||Population (census 2005)|
|North of Babeldaob|
|Southwest of Babeldoab|
Further generic country information can be located from sources which are regularly maintained and reflect current facts and figures.
For a broader country overview, please consult the following sources:
Palau Wikipedia Country Information - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palau
Palau IMF Country Information - http://www.imf.org/en/Countries/PLW
Palau World Food Programme Information - http://www1.wfp.org/countries/pacific
Palau UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Information - http://www.unocha.org/pacific/country-profiles/palau
Facts and Figures
Palau Wolfram Alpha Information - http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=palau
Palau World Bank Information - https://data.worldbank.org/country/Palau
Palau Population Information - http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/palau-population/