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Micronesia, Federated States of

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Background: 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 United States. Present concerns include large-scale unemployment, overfishing, and overdependence on US aid.


Location: Oceania, island group in the North Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to Indonesia

Geographic coordinates: 6 55 N, 158 15 E

Map references: Oceania

  total: 702 sq km
  land: 702 sq km
  water: 0 sq km (Note: includes Pohnpei (Ponape), Truk (Chuuk) Islands, Yap Islands, and Kosrae)

Area - comparative: four times the size of Washington, DC

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 Truk

Elevation extremes
  lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
  highest point: Totolom 791 m

Natural resources: forests, marine products, deep-seabed minerals

Land use
  arable land: NA%
  permanent crops: NA%
  permanent pastures: NA%
  forests and woodland: NA%
  other: NA%

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: typhoons (June to December)

Environment - current issues: overfishing

Environment - international agreements
  party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
  signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note: four major island groups totaling 607 islands


Population: 133,144 (July 2000 est.)

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

Population growth rate: 3.28% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 27.09 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 5.95 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 11.65 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 33.48 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
  total population: 68.63 years
  male: 66.67 years
  female: 70.62 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.83 children born/woman (2000 est.)

  noun: Micronesian(s)
  adjective: Micronesian; Kosrae(s), Pohnpeian(s), Trukese, Yapese

Ethnic groups: nine ethnic Micronesian and Polynesian groups

Religions: Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 47%, other and none 3%

Languages: English (official and common language), Trukese, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Kosrean

  definition: age 15 and over can read and write
  total population: 89%
  male: 91%
  female: 88% (1980 est.)


Country name
  conventional long form: Federated States of Micronesia
  conventional short form: none
  former: Kosrae, Ponape, Truk, and Yap Districts (Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands)
  abbreviation: FSM

Data code: FM

Government type: constitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force 3 November 1986

Capital: Palikir

Administrative divisions: 4 states; Chuuk (Truk), Kosrae, Pohnpei, Yap

Independence: 3 November 1986 (from the US-administered UN Trusteeship)

National holiday: Proclamation of the Federated States of Micronesia, 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 Leo A. FALCAM (since NA May 1999); Vice President Redley KILLION (since NA May 1999); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
  head of government: President Leo A. FALCAM (since NA May 1999); Vice President Redley KILLION (since NA May 1999); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
  cabinet: Cabinet
  elections: president and vice president elected by Congress from among the four senators-at-large for four-year terms; election last held NA May 1999 (next to be held NA May 2003)
  election results: Leo A. FALCAM elected president; percent of Congress vote - NA; Redley KILLION elected vice president; percent of Congress vote - NA

Legislative branch: unicameral Congress (14 seats; members elected by popular vote; four - one elected from each of state - to serve four-year terms and 10 - elected from single-member districts delineated by population - to serve two-year terms)
  elections: elections for four-year term seats last held 2 March 1999 (next to be held NA March 2003); elections for two-year term seats last held NA March 1999 (next to be held NA March 2001)
  election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 14

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: no formal parties

International organization participation: AsDB, ESCAP, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFC, IMF, Intelsat, IOC, ITU, OPCW, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNCTAD, WHO, WMO

Diplomatic representation in the US
  chief of mission: Ambassador Jesse Bibiano MAREHALAU
  chancery: 1725 N Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
  telephone: [1] (202) 223-4383
  FAX: [1] (202) 223-4391
  consulate(s) general: Honolulu and Tamuning (Guam)

Diplomatic representation from the US
  chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Ann WRIGHT
  embassy: address NA, Kolonia
  mailing address: P. O. Box 1286, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia 96941
  telephone: [691] 320-2187
  FAX: [691] 320-2186

Flag description: light blue with four white five-pointed stars centered; the stars are arranged in a diamond pattern


Economy - overview: 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 remoteness of the location and a lack of adequate facilities hinder development. Financial assistance from the US is the primary source of revenue, with the US pledged to spend $1.3 billion in the islands in 1986-2001. Geographical isolation and a poorly developed infrastructure are major impediments to long-term growth.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $240 million (1997 est.) (Note: GDP is supplemented by grant aid, averaging perhaps $100 million annually)

GDP - real growth rate: 3% (1997 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $2,000 (1997 est.)

GDP - composition by sector
  agriculture: 19%
  industry: 4%
  services: 77% (1996 est.)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share
  lowest 10%: NA%
  highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4% (1996 est.)

Labor force: NA

Labor force - by occupation: two-thirds are government employees

Unemployment rate: 27% (1989)

  revenues: $58 million
  expenditures: $52 million, including capital expenditures of $4.7 million (FY95/96 est.)

Industries: tourism, construction, fish processing, craft items from shell, wood, and pearls

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - production: NA kWh

Electricity - production by source
  fossil fuel: NA%
  hydro: NA%
  nuclear: NA%
  other: NA%

Electricity - consumption: NA kWh

Electricity - exports: NA kWh

Electricity - imports: NA kWh

Agriculture - products: black pepper, tropical fruits and vegetables, coconuts, cassava (tapioca), sweet potatoes; pigs, chickens

Exports: $73 million (f.o.b., 1996 est.)

Exports - commodities: fish, garments, bananas, black pepper

Exports - partners: Japan, US, Guam

Imports: $168 million (c.i.f., 1996 est.)

Imports - commodities: food, manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, beverages

Imports - partners: US, Japan, Australia

Debt - external: $111 million (1997 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $79 million (1998); note - under terms of the Compact of Free Association, the US will provide $1.3 billion in grant aid during the period 1986-2001

Currency: 1 United States dollar (US$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: US currency is used

Fiscal year: 1 October - 30 September


Telephones - main lines in use: 8,000 (1995)

Telephones - mobile cellular: NA

Telephone system
  domestic: islands interconnected by shortwave radiotelephone (used mostly for government purposes)
  international: satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 5, FM 1, shortwave 0 (1998)

Radios: NA

Television broadcast stations: 2 (1997)

Televisions: NA

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): NA


Railways: 0 km

  total: 240 km
  paved: 42 km
  unpaved: 198 km (1996 est.)

Ports and harbors: Colonia (Yap), Kolonia (Pohnpei), Lele, Moen

Merchant marine: none (1999 est.)

Airports: 6 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways
  total: 5
  1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
  914 to 1,523 m: 1 (1999 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways
  total: 1
  914 to 1,523 m: 1 (1999 est.)


Military - note: Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is a sovereign, self-governing state in free association with the US; FSM is totally dependent on the US for its defense

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

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