The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), situated in the western Pacific, comprise 607 islands and atolls grouped into four main island states: Pohnpei, Kosrae, Chuuk, and Yap.
Geography: Mixture of high volcanic islands with forested interiors, and low-lying coral atolls. Some of the islands have coastal mangrove swamps.
Climate: Tropical, with high humidity. There is very heavy rainfall outside the January– March dry season.
People and Society: Micronesians are physically, culturally, and linguistically diverse. Melanesians live on Yap, Polynesians in Pohnpei. The supply of electricity and running water is limited. Society is based on matrilineal clans.
The Economy: Dependent on US aid. Fishing licenses are a key source of foreign revenue. Tourism, fishing, betel nuts, copra are economic mainstays. Trust fund created to reduce aid reliance.
Insight: Chuuk’s lagoon contains the sunken wrecks of over 100 Japanese ships and 270 planes from World War II
Official Name: Federated States of Micronesia
Date of Formation: 1986
Capital: Palikir (Pohnpei Island)
Total Area: 271 sq. miles (702 sq. km)
Density: 408 people per sq. mile
Languages: Trukese, Pohnpeian, Kosraean, Yapese, English*
Religions: Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 48%, other 2%
Ethnic Mix: Chuukese 49%, Pohnpeian 24%, other 19%, Kosraean 6%, Asian 2%
Government: Nonparty system
Currency: US dollar = 100 cents