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Basic Facts
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Palau
conventional short form: Palau
local long form: Beluu er a Belau
local short form: Belau
former: Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Palau District
Gevernment typeconstitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force 1 October 1994
Capital name: Melekeok
geographic coordinates: 7 29 N, 134 38 E
time difference: UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Flag descriptionlight blue with a large yellow disk (representing the moon) shifted slightly to the hoist side
CurrencyUS dollar (USD)
Internet country code.pw
Ports and terminalsKoror
Agriculture productscoconuts, copra, cassava (tapioca), sweet potatoes; fish
Industriestourism, craft items (from shell, wood, pearls), construction, garment making
Geography
LocationOceania, group of islands in the North Pacific Ocean, southeast of the Philippines
Coordinates7 30 N, 134 30 E
ContinentOceania
Area total: 458 sq km
land: 458 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Boundaries0 km
Coastline1,519 km
Climatetropical; hot and humid; wet season May to November
Terrainvarying geologically from the high, mountainous main island of Babelthuap to low, coral islands usually fringed by large barrier reefs
Natural resourcesforests, minerals (especially gold), marine products, deep-seabed minerals
Natural hazardstyphoons (June to December)
People
Population20,579 (July 2006 est.)
Ethnic groupsPalauan (Micronesian with Malayan and Melanesian admixtures) 69.9%, Filipino 15.3%, Chinese 4.9%, other Asian 2.4%, white 1.9%, Carolinian 1.4%, other Micronesian 1.1%, other or unspecified 3.2% (2000 census)
ReligionsRoman 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)
LanguagesPalauan 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)

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