Region: Oceania-Micronesia

Capital: Melekeok

Population: 20,600 (UNDP 2011)

Surface area: 458 sq km

Currency: US dollar (USD)

GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity US US $9953.6  (2009, UN DATA)

After three decades as part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific under US administration, this westernmost cluster of the Caroline Islands opted for independence in 1978 rather than join the Federated States of Micronesia. A Compact of Free Association with the US was approved in 1986, but not ratified until 1993. It entered into force the following year, when the islands gained independence.

Economy – Overview
The economy consists primarily of tourism, subsistence agriculture, and fishing. The government is the major employer of the work force relying heavily on financial assistance from the US. The Compact of Free Association with the US, entered into after the end of the UN trusteeship on 1 October 1994, provided Palau with up to $700 million in US aid for the following 15 years in return for furnishing military facilities. Business and tourist arrivals numbered 85,000 in 2007. The population enjoys a per capita income roughly 50% higher than that of the Philippines and much of Micronesia. Long-run prospects for the key tourist sector have been greatly bolstered by the expansion of air travel in the Pacific, the rising prosperity of leading East Asian countries, and the willingness of foreigners to finance infrastructure development. (CIA, 2012)

Major Export Commodities: shellfish, tuna, copra, garments

Remittances: Not available

Human Development Index 2011 ranking: 49 out of 187 countries (UNDP 2011)

Official Development Assistance and Major Development Partners: Net ODA in US $26 million . Major development partners include the United States, Japan, Australia, and Spain(OECD 2010).

Total External Debt: N/A

Life Expectancy at Birth: 71.8 years (UNDP 2011)

Environmental Indicators:

                                               Endangered Species (as a % of all species): 13

                                               Forested Area (percentage of land area): 87.6

                                               CO2 Emissions (tonnes per capita): 10.4

                                               (Data Source: UNDP 2011)

United Nations membership date: 15 December 1994

New York Mission:
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Palau to the United Nations
866 United Nations Plaza, Suite 575
New York, N.Y. 10017 USA
Telephone: (212) 813-0310
Fax: (212) 813-0317




CIA World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.

World Development Indicators. World Bank

Development, Recipient Aid Charts. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Human Development Report 2011.United Nations Development Programme.


Updated July 2012