Palau Flag Icon

Palau Country Guide

Explore Palau in Oceania

Palau with the capital city Melekeok is located in Oceania (Oceania, group of islands in the North Pacific Ocean). It covers some 459 square kilometres (slightly more than 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC) with 20,303 citizens.

Interactive map of Palau

The landscape offers varying geologically from the high, mountainous main island of Babelthuap to low, coral islands usually fringed by large barrier reefs. The average density of population is approximately 44 per km². The notable climate conditions in Palau can be described as tropical with hot and humid, wet season May to November. Potential threats by nature are typhoons (June to December).

To reach someone in Palau dial +680 prior to a number. There are 7,100 installed telephones. And there are 13,200 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900 Mhz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".pw". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 115/230V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Palau

Light blue with a large yellow disk shifted slightly to the hoist side; the blue color represents the ocean, the disk represents the moon; Palauans consider the full moon to be the optimum time for human activity; it is also considered a symbol of peace, love, and tranquility.

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.

Geography Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: Oceania
Capital: Melekeok
Size 458 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 177 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly more than 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Population 20,303
Currency Name: Dollar, Currency Code: USD
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .pw
Telephone Country Prefix +680
Mobile Phone Connections 13,200
Landline Phone Connections 7,100

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value name Value World Rank
Area 459 (sq km) 198

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 21,108 219
Population growth rate 0.37 (%) 158
Birth rate 10.90 (births/1,000 population) 175
Death rate 7.86 (deaths/1,000 population) 106
Net migration rate 0.66 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 62
Infant mortality rate 11.77 (deaths/1,000 live births) 132
Life expectancy at birth 72.33 (years) 133
Total fertility rate 1.72 (children born/woman) 168
Health expenditures 10.30 (% of GDP) 28
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 48.90 (%) 7
Education expenditures 10.30 (% of GDP) 5


Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 221,000,000 218
GDP - real growth rate 5.80 (%) 48
GDP - per capita (PPP) 10,500 115
Labor force 9,777 217
Unemployment rate 4.20 (%) 35
Taxes and other revenues 40.3 (% of GDP) 44
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -2.40 (% of GDP) 89
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2.70 (%) 63
Current account balance -20,800,000 60
Exports 12,300,000 212
Imports 113,400,000 212


Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 6,900 206
Telephones - mobile cellular 15,400 209
Internet hosts 4 232


Value name Value World Rank
Airports 3 194

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Name Since
Rock Islands Southern Lagoon
Rock Islands Southern Lagoon covers 100,200 ha and includes 445 uninhabited limestone islands of volcanic origin. Many of them display unique mushroom-like shapes in turquoise lagoons surrounded by coral reefs. The aesthetic beauty of the site is he ...