Brief History of Micronesia, Federated States of:Micronesia, and the Caroline Islands, was settled thousands of years ago. Initially the islands were tribal and ruled by local chiefs. Later this developed into a more centralized empire with the main power located in Yap and Pohnpei.
The first Europeans to arrive were the Portuguese. They were searching for the Spice Islands. Later the Spanish arrived in the sixteenth century. The Spanish took control of the islands, but they would later move to German control and then to the Japanese in 1919. After World War II the islands were administered by the United States.
The islands became the separate nations called the Federated States of Micronesia in May of 1979. They are also sometimes referred to as the FSM.
The Geography of Micronesia, Federated States ofTotal Size: 702 square km
Size Comparison: four times the size of Washington, DC (land area only)
Geographical Coordinates: 6 55 N, 158 15 E
World Region or Continent: Oceania
General Terrain: islands vary geologically from high mountainous islands to low, coral atolls; volcanic outcroppings on Pohnpei, Kosrae, and Chuuk
Geographical Low Point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Geographical High Point: Dolohmwar (Totolom) 791 m
Climate: tropical; heavy year-round rainfall, especially in the eastern islands; located on southern edge of the typhoon belt with occasionally severe damage
Major cities: PALIKIR (capital) 7,000 (2009)
The People of Micronesia, Federated States ofType of Government: constitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force 3 November 1986 and the Amended Compact entered into force May 2004
Languages Spoken: English (official and common language), Trukese, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Kosrean, Ulithian, Woleaian, Nukuoro, Kapingamarangi
Independence: 3 November 1986 (from the US-administered UN Trusteeship)
National Holiday: Constitution Day, 10 May (1979)
Religions: Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 47%, other 3%
National Anthem or Song: Patriots of Micronesia
Economy of Micronesia, Federated States ofMajor Industries: tourism, construction; fish processing, specialized aquaculture; craft items from shell, wood, and pearls
Agricultural Products: black pepper, tropical fruits and vegetables, coconuts, cassava (tapioca), betel nuts, sweet potatoes; pigs, chickens; fish
Natural Resources: forests, marine products, deep-seabed minerals, phosphate
Major Exports: fish, garments, bananas, black pepper
Major Imports: food, manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, beverages
Currency: US dollar (USD)
National GDP: $238,100,000
** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.
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