Statistical information Palau 1996Palau

Map of Palau | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
Military | Transportation | Transnational Issues | Year:  | More stats

Palau in the World
Palau in the World

Austrian Airlines

Palau - Introduction 1996
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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 independent status 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 their independence.

Palau - Geography 1996
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Location: Oceania, group of islands in the North Pacific Ocean, southeast of the Philippines

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 458 km²
Land: 458 km²
Comparative: slightly more than 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 1,519 km

Maritime claims
Continental shelf: 200-m depth or to depth of exploitation
Exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 3 nm

Climate: Wet season May to November; hot and humid

Terrain: About 200 islands varying geologically from the high, mountainous main island of Babelthuap to low, coral islands usually fringed by large barrier reefs

Extremes lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Extremes highest point: Mount Ngerchelchauus 242 m

Natural resources:
Minerals (especially gold)
Marine products
Deep-seabed minerals

Land use

Land use
Arable land: NA
Permanent crops: NA
Permanent pastures: NA
Forests and woodland: NA
Other: NA

Irrigated land: NA

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Palau - People 1996
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16,952 (July 1996 est.)
16,661 (July 1995 est.)

Growth rate:
1.71% (1996 est.)
1.76% (1995 est.)

Noun: Palauan(s)
Adjective: Palauan

Ethnic groups: Palauans are a composite of Polynesian, Malayan, and Melanesian races

Languages: English (official in all of Palau's 16 states), Sonsorolese (official in the state of Sonsoral), Angaur and Japanese (in the state of Anguar), Tobi (in the state of Tobi), Palauan (in the other 13 states)

Religions: Christian (Catholics, Seventh-Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, the Assembly of God, the Liebenzell Mission, and Latter-Day Saints), Modekngei religion (one-third of the population observes this religion which is indigenous to Palau)

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: NA
15-64 years: NA
65 years and over: NA

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate:
1.71% (1996 est.)
1.76% (1995 est.)

Birth rate:
21.61 births/1000 population (1996 est.)
22.11 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate:
6.61 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.)
6.61 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 2.12 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)
2.12 migrants/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: inadequate facilities for disposal of solid waste; threats to the marine ecosystem from sand and coral dredging and illegal fishing practices that involve the use of dynamite
Current issues Natural hazards: typhoons (June to December)
International agreements: NA
International agreements note: Includes World War II battleground of Beliliou (Peleliu) and world-famous rock islands; archipelago of six island groups totaling over 200 islands in the Caroline chain

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate:
25.07 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)
25.07 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 71.01 years
Male: 69.14 years
Female: 73.02 years (1996 est.)

Total fertility rate:
2.79 children born/woman (1996 est.)
2.85 children born/woman (1995 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over that can read and write (1980)
Total population: 92%
Male: 93%
Female: 90%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Palau - Government 1996
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Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of Palau
Conventional short form: Palau
Former: Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands

Government type: Self-governing territory in free association with the U.S.; the Compact of Free Association entered into force 1 October 1994

Capital: Koror
Note: A new capital is being built about 20 km northeast in eastern Babelthuap

Administrative divisions: 16 states:Aimeliik, Airai, Angaur, Kayangel, Koror, Melekeok, Ngaraard, Ngardmau, Ngaremlengui, Ngatpang, Ngchesar, Ngerchelong, Ngiwal, Peleliu, Sonsorol, Tobi

Dependent areas

Independence: 1 October 1994 (from the US-administered UN Trusteeship)

National holiday: Constitution Day, 9 July (1979)

Constitution: 1 January 1981

Legal system: Based on Trust Territory laws, acts of the legislature, municipal, common, and customary laws

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch: Chief of state and head of government:President Kuniwo NAKAMURA (since 1 January 1993), Vice-President Tommy E. REMENGESAU Jr. (since 1 January 1993; election last held 4 November 1992 (next to be held NA November 1996; results_Kuniwo NAKAMURA 50.7%, Johnson TORIBIONG 49.3%

Legislative branch: Bicameral Parliament (Olbiil Era Kelulau or OEK) Senate:Elections last held 4 November 1992 (next to be held NA November 1996; results_percent of vote by party NA; seats_(14 total) number of seats by party NA House of Delegates:Elections last held 4 November 1992 (next to be held NA November 1996; results_percent of vote by party NA; seats_(16 total) number of seats by party NA

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, National Court, Court of Common Pleas Political parties and leaders:Palau Nationalist Party, Polycarp BASILIUS

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ESCAP (associate), SPC, SPF, UN, WHO

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of Palau: Light blue with a large yellow disk (representing the moon) shifted slightly to the hoist side

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Palau - Economy 1996
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Economy overview: The economy consists primarily of subsistence agriculture and fishing. The government is the major employer of the work force, relying heavily on financial assistance from the US. The population, in effect, enjoys a per capita income of $5,000, twice that of the Philippines and much of Micronesia. Long-run prospects for the tourist sector have been greatly bolstered by the expansion of air travel in the Pacific and the rapidly rising prosperity of leading East Asian countries. Reducing budgeted operating expenditures_which have increased 56% from 1989 to 1993_will be the biggest challenge for the government over the next several years.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: NA

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: Subsistence-level production of coconut, copra, cassava, sweet potatoes

Craft items (shell
Some commercial fishing and agriculture

Industrial production growth rate: Growth rate NA

Labor force: NA
By occupation: NA
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 20% (1986)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $17 million (1995 est.), $6 million (1986 est.)
Expenditures: $57 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1995 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: 1 October_30 September

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: total value. $600,000 (f.o.b., 1989)
Trochus (type of shellfish)


Imports: total value:$24.6 million (c.i.f., 1989)
Commodities: NA
Partners: U.S.

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: About $100 million (1989)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: U.S. currency is used

Palau - Energy 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 22 million kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 1,540 kWh (1990)

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Palau - Communication 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 1,500 telephones (1988 est.)
Domestic: NA
International: 1 INTELSAT (Pacific Ocean) earth station

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Palau - Military 1996
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Palau - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 3
15-24 to 2437 m:

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways






Merchant marine: None

Ports and terminals

Palau - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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