Official name: The Federated States of Micronesia
Capital City: Palikir
Languages: English, Ulithian, Woleaian, Yapese, Pohnpeian, Kosraean, and Chuukese - seven official languages.
The other languages spoken in the country are Pingelapese, Ngatikese, Satawalese, Kapingamarangi Language, Nukuoro Language, Puluwatese, Mortlockese, and Mokilese.
Official Currency: US dollar
Population: 155 400; Chuukese 48.8%, Pohnpeian 24.2%, Kosraean 6.2%, Yapese 5.2%,
Land Area: 701 sq km
The Federated States of Micronesia is
an island nation located in the Pacific Ocean, north of New Guinea.
It is a sovereign state in free association with the United States.
The four federated states are:
Chuuk Weno: Land Area: 127 sq km; Population: 54 595; Density: 420 per sq km
Kosrae Tofol: Land Area: 110 sq km; Population: 9,686; Density: 70 per sq km
Pohnpei Kolonia: Land Area: 346 sq km; Population: 74,685; Density: 100 per sq km
Yap Colonia: Land Area: 118 sq km; Population: 16,436 95; Density: 95 per sq km
Micronesia -- History --
The ancestors of the Micronesians settled over four thousand years ago.
A decentralized chieftain-based system eventually evolved into a more centralized economic
and religious empire centered on Yap.
Nan Madol, consisting of a series of small artificial islands linked by a network of canals, is often called the Venice of the Pacific. It is located near the island of Pohnpei and used to be the ceremonial and political seat of the Saudeleur dynasty that united Pohnpei's estimated 25,000 people from about AD 500 until 1500, when the centralized system collapsed.
European explorers - first the Portuguese in search of the Spice Islands (Indonesia) and then the Spanish — reached the Carolines in the sixteenth century, with the Spanish establishing sovereignty. It was sold to Germany in 1899, conquered by Japan in 1914, before being seized by the United States during World War II and administered by the US under United Nations auspices in 1947 as part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.
During World War II, a significant portion of the Japanese fleet was based in Truk Lagoon. In February 1944, Operation Hailstone, one of the most important naval battles of the war, took place at Truk, in which many Japanese support vessels
and aircraft were destroyed.
On May 10, 1979, four of the Trust Territory districts ratified a new constitution to become the Federated States of Micronesia. Palau, the Marshall Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands chose not to participate. The FSM signed a Compact of Free Association with the United States of America, which entered into force on November 3, 1986, marking Micronesia's emergence from trusteeship to independence. The Compact was renewed in 2004.
Micronesia -- Economy --
Economic activity in the Federated States of Micronesia consists primarily of subsistence farming and fishing. The islands have few mineral deposits worth exploiting, except for high-grade phosphate. Long line tuna fishing is also viable with foreign vessels from China operated in the 1990s. 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.
The Federated States of Micronesia is served by four international airports:
Pohnpei International Airport in the main island of the state of Pohnpei
Chuuk International Airport located in the main island of the state of Chuuk
Kosrae International Airport located in the main island of the state of Kosrae
Yap International Airport located in the main island of the state of Yap
Micronesia -- Culture --
Each of the four States has its own culture and traditions, but there are also common cultural and economic bonds that are centuries old. For example, cultural similarities like the importance of the traditional extended family and clan systems can be found on all the islands.
The island of Yap is notable for its "stone money" (Rai stones), large disks usually of calcite, up to 12 feet (4 m) in diameter, with a hole in the middle. The islanders, aware of the owner of a piece, do not necessarily move them when ownership changes. There are five major types: Mmbul, Gaw, Ray, Yar, and Reng, the last being only 1 foot (0.3 m) in diameter. Their value is based on both size and history, many of them having been brought from other islands, as far as New Guinea, but most coming in ancient times from Palau. Approximately 6,500 of them are scattered around the island.
The languages of the Federated States of Micronesia include English (the official and common language), Trukese, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Kosraean. There are also about 3,000 speakers of Kapingamarangi and Ulithian, and under 1,000 speakers of Nukuoro.
There have been few published literary writers from the Federated States of Micronesia.
In 2008, Emelihter Kihleng became the first ever Micronesian to publish a collection of poetry in the English language.
Micronesia -- Political system, law and government --
The Federated States of Micronesia is governed by the 1979 constitution, which guarantees fundamental human rights and establishes a separation of governmental powers. The unicameral Congress has fourteen members elected by popular vote. Four senators—one from each state—serve four-year terms; the remaining ten senators represent single-member districts based on population, and serve two-year terms. The President and Vice President are elected by Congress from among the four state-based senators to serve four-year terms in the executive branch. Their congressional seats are then filled by special elections.
The president and vice president are supported by an appointed cabinet. There are no formal political parties.
In international politics, the Federated States of Micronesia has often voted with the United States with respect to
United Nations General Assembly resolutions. However, in recent years other countries have had a higher voting coincidence with the United States.