Palau consists of eight larger and over 250 smaller islands, and is one of the world’s smallest republics. The country was administered by the United States until 1994, and is still dependent on US aid.
Key figures and facts
- Capital: Melekeok
- Ethnic groups: Palaues (Micronesians with Malay and Melanesian background) 73%, Carolinians 2%, Asians 21.7%, European descendants 1.2%, other 2.1% (2015)
- Language: Palauian (official in most islands) 65.2%, other Micronesian languages 1.9%, English (official) 19.1%, Filipino 9.9%, Chinese 1.2%, other 2.8% (2015)
- Religion: Roman Catholic 45.3%, Protestants 34.9%, fashionist 5.7% (local religion), Muslims 3%, Mormons 1.5%, others 9.7% (2015)
- Population: 21,984 (2018)
- Control Form: Republic
- Area: 460 km2
- Currency: American dollar
- GNP per capita: 16 305 PPP $
- National Day: October 1st
In 2013, the population of Palau was estimated at 20,900 (the World Bank), of which 5,000 are foreign nationals (mainly Filipinos). About 6,000 Palauans live abroad. The population is Micronesians.
Around 2/3 of the population is concentrated in Koror with neighboring islands Malakai and Arakabesang. Babeldaob has approximately 3500 residents, Peleliu approximately 600, Angaur approximately 200 and Kayangel approximately 140. The islands in the southwest are very sparsely settled, five of the six southwest islands are inhabited, with a total of less than 100 residents.
Most of the residents are Catholic Christians.
Official languages are English and Palau, which belong to the Austronesian languages.