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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 458 square kilometres (slightly more than 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC) with 20,303 citizens.

Interactive map of Palau

The topography includes 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 and wet season May to November. Possible natural disasters include 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

Palau Flag Icon

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

SummaryContinent: Oceania
Capital: Melekeok
Size458 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 176 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly more than 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
CurrencyName Dollar, Currency Code:USD
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD).pw
Telephone Country Prefix+680
Mobile Phone Connections13,200
Landline Phone Connections7,100

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 nameValueWorld Rank
Area459 (sq km)198

People and Society

Value nameValueWorld Rank
Population21,108 219
Population growth rate0.37 (%)158
Birth rate10.90 (births/1,000 population)175
Death rate7.86 (deaths/1,000 population)106
Net migration rate0.66 (migrant(s)/1,000 population)62
Infant mortality rate11.77 (deaths/1,000 live births)132
Life expectancy at birth72.33 (years)133
Total fertility rate1.72 (children born/woman)168
Health expenditures10.30 (% of GDP)28
Obesity - adult prevalence rate48.90 (%)7
Education expenditures10.30 (% of GDP)5


Value nameValueWorld Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity)221,000,000 218
GDP - real growth rate5.80 (%)48
GDP - per capita (PPP)10,500 115
Labor force9,777 217
Unemployment rate4.20 (%)35
Taxes and other revenues40.30 (% 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
Exports12,300,000 212
Imports113,400,000 212


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Telephones - main lines in use6,900 206
Telephones - mobile cellular15,400 209
Internet hosts4 232


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Airports3 194

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

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