Flag of Micronesia, Federated States of

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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 US. Present concerns include large-scale unemployment, overfishing, and overdependence on US aid.


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


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

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


tropical; heavy year-round rainfall, especially in the eastern islands; located on southern edge of the typhoon belt with occasionally severe damage


islands vary geologically from high mountainous islands to low, coral atolls; volcanic outcroppings on Pohnpei, Kosrae, and Chuuk

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Dolohmwar (Totolom) 791 m

Natural resources:

forests, marine products, deep-seabed minerals

Land use:

arable land: 5.71%
permanent crops: 45.71%
other: 48.58% (2001)

Irrigated land:

NA sq km

Natural hazards:

typhoons (June to December)

Environment - current issues:

overfishing, climate change, pollution

Geography - note:

four major island groups totaling 607 islands


108,155 (July 2004 est.)

Ethnic groups:

nine ethnic Micronesian and Polynesian groups


Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 47%


English (official and common language), Trukese, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Kosrean, Ulithian, Woleaian, Nukuoro, Kapingamarangi

Government type:

constitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force 3 November 1986; economic provisions of the Compact are being renegotiated




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

National holiday:

Constitution Day, 10 May (1979)

Legal system:

based on adapted Trust Territory laws, acts of the legislature, municipal, common, and customary laws

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 remote location, a lack of adequate facilities, and limited air connections hinder development. In November 2002, the country experienced a further reduction in future revenues from the Compact of Free Association - the agreement with the US in which Micronesia received $1.3 billion in financial and technical assistance over a 15-year period until 2001. The country's medium-term economic outlook appears fragile due not only to the reduction in US assistance but also to the slow growth of the private sector. Geographical isolation and a poorly developed infrastructure remain major impediments to long-term growth.

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

1% (2002 est.)

Agriculture - products:

black pepper, tropical fruits and vegetables, coconuts, cassava (tapioca), betel nuts, sweet potatoes; pigs, chickens


tourism, construction, fish processing, specialized aquaculture, craft items from shell, wood, and pearls

Exports - commodities:

fish, garments, bananas, black pepper

Exports - partners:

Japan, US, Guam (2000)

Imports - commodities:

food, manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, beverages

Imports - partners:

US, Australia, Japan (2000)


US dollar (USD)

Telephones - main lines in use:

10,100 (2001)

Telephones - mobile cellular:

1,800 (2002)


total: 240 km
paved: 42 km
unpaved: 198 km (1999 est.)

Ports and harbors:

Colonia (Yap), Kolonia (Pohnpei), Lele, Moen

Merchant marine:



6 (2003 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2003 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