Statistical information Palau 1997Palau

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

Palau in the World
Palau in the World


Palau - Introduction 1997
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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 1997
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Location: Oceania, group of islands in the North Pacific Ocean, southeast of the Philippines

Geographic coordinates: 7 30 N, 134 30 E

Map referenceOceania

Total: 458 km²
Land: 458 km²
Water: 0 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 the depth of exploitation
Exclusive fishing zone: 12 nm
Extended fishing zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 3 nm

Climate: wet season May to November; hot and humid

Terrain: 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: forests, 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 km²

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: typhoons (June to December)

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

Palau - People 1997
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Population: 17,240 (July 1997 est.)
Growth rate: 1.66% (1997 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: 1.66% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 21.04 births/1000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 6.61 deaths/1000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: 2.12 migrant(s)/1000 population (1997 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, illegal fishing practices, and overfishing

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: NA male(s)/female
Under 15 years: NA male(s)/female
15-64 years: NA male(s)/female
65 years and over: NA male(s)/female
Total population: NA male(s)/female

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 25.07 deaths/1000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 71.01 years
Male: 69.14 years
Female: 73.02 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.71 children born/woman (1997 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 can read and write
Total population: 92%
Male: 93%
Female: 90% (1980 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Palau - Government 1997
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Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of Palau
Conventional short form: Palau
Local long form: Beluu er a Belau
Local short form: Belau
Former: Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands

Government type: constitutional government in free association with the US; 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: there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 16 states named 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: President Kuniwo NAKAMURA (since 1 January 1993) and Vice President Tommy E. REMENGESAU Jr. (since 1 January 1993); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Head of government: President Kuniwo NAKAMURA (since 1 January 1993) and Vice President Tommy E. REMENGESAU Jr. (since 1 January 1993); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Cabinet: Cabinet
Elections: president and vice president elected on separate tickets by popular vote for four-year terms; election last held 11 November 1996 (next to be held NA November 2000)
Election results: Kuniwo NAKAMURA reelected president; percent of vote - Kuniwo NAKAMURA 64%, Chief Ibedul Yutuka GIBBONS 36%; Tommy E. REMENGESAU Jr. reelected vice president; percent of vote - Tommy E. REMENGESAU Jr. 69%, Kione ISECHAL 31%

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament or Olbiil Era Kelulau (OEK) consists of the Senate (14 seats; members elected by popular vote on a population basis to serve four-year terms) and the House of Delegates (16 seats - one from each state; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
Elections: Senate - last held 11 November 1996 (next to be held NA November 2000); House of Delegates - last held 11 November 1996 (next to be held NA November 2000)
Election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; House of Delegates - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA

Judicial branch: Supreme Court; National Court; Court of Common Pleas

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ESCAP, SPC, SPF, UN, WHO

Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires ad interim David A. ORRUKEM
In the us chancery: 2000 L Street NW, Suite 407, Washington, DC 20,036
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 452-6,814
In the us FAX: [1] (202) 452-6,281
From the us chief of mission: Thomas C. HUBBARD (resident in Manila)
From the us embassy: address NA, Koror
From the us mailing address: P.O. Box 6,028, Republic of Palau 96,940
From the us telephone: [680] 488-2,920, 2,990
From the us FAX: [680] 488-2,911

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 1997
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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: NA%
Industry: NA%
Services: NA%

Agriculture products: coconuts, copra, cassava (tapioca), sweet potatoes

Industries: tourism, craft items (from shell, wood, pearls), some commercial fishing and agriculture

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Labor force: NA
By occupation: NA
Labor force

Unemployment rate: NA%

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $21 million
Expenditures: $57 million, including capital expenditures of $N/A (1996 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

Total value: $600,000 (f.o.b., 1989)
Commodities: trochus (type of shellfish), tuna, copra, handicrafts
Partners: US, Japan

Total value: $24.6 million (c.i.f., 1989)
Commodities: NA
Partners: US

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: US currency is used

Palau - Energy 1997
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Electricity access

Electricity production: NA kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: NA kWh

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 1997
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system
Domestic: NA
International: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Palau - Military 1997
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $NA
Percent of gdp: NA%

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Palau - Transportation 1997
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 3 (1996 est.)
With paved runways total: 1
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 1 (1996 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 2
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 2 (1996 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 1
15-24 to 2437 m: 1 (1996 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 2
15-24 to 2437 m: 2 (1996 est.)



Railways: 0 km



Merchant marine: none

Ports and terminals

Palau - Transnational issues 1997
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Disputes international: none

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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