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Country of Palau Flag

Capital: Koror

Population: 18,008

Brief History of Palau:

Palau is an island nation located 500 miles southeast of the Philippines. It is sometimes called the ?Black Islands?. The islands were originally inhabited as many as 4,000 years ago. The British came to Palau in the 18th century followed by the Spanish in the 19th century. The Spanish came into possession of Palau but sold it to Germany in 1899 after losing the Spanish-American War.

After World War II, Palau became a territory of the United States. In 1994 Palau became a fully independent nation. This makes it one of the youngest independent countries in the world.

Country of Palau Map

The Geography of Palau

Total Size: 458 square km

Size Comparison: slightly more than 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Geographical Coordinates: 7 30 N, 134 30 E

World Region or Continent: Oceania

General Terrain: varying geologically from the high, mountainous main island of Babelthuap to low, coral islands usually fringed by large barrier reefs

Geographical Low Point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

Geographical High Point: Mount Ngerchelchuus 242 m

Climate: tropical; hot and humid; wet season May to November

Major cities:

The People of Palau

Type of Government: constitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force 1 October 1994

Languages Spoken: Palauan 64.7% official in all islands except Sonsoral (Sonsoralese and English are official), Tobi (Tobi and English are official), and Angaur (Angaur, Japanese, and English are official), Filipino 13.5%, English 9.4%, Chinese 5.7%, Carolinian 1.5%, Japanese 1.5%, other Asian 2.3%, other languages 1.5% (2000 census)

Independence: 1 October 1994 (from the US-administered UN Trusteeship)

National Holiday: Constitution Day, 9 July (1979)

Nationality: Palauan(s)

Religions: Roman Catholic 41.6%, Protestant 23.3%, Modekngei 8.8% (indigenous to Palau), Seventh-Day Adventist 5.3%, Jehovah's Witness 0.9%, Latter-Day Saints 0.6%, other religion 3.1%, unspecified or none 16.4% (2000 census)

National Symbol:

National Anthem or Song: Belau rekid (Our Palau)

Economy of Palau

Major Industries: tourism, craft items (from shell, wood, pearls), construction, garment making

Agricultural Products: coconuts, copra, cassava (tapioca), sweet potatoes; fish

Natural Resources: forests, minerals (especially gold), marine products, deep-seabed minerals

Major Exports: shellfish, tuna, copra, garments

Major Imports: machinery and equipment, fuels, metals; foodstuffs

Currency: US dollar (USD)

National GDP: $164,000,000

** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.

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