Where is Palau located?

What countries border Palau?

Palau Weather

What is the current weather in Palau?

Find more about Weather in Koror, KA
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Palau Facts

What is the capital of Palau?

Capital Ngerulmud
Government Type presidential republic in free association with the US
Currency US Dollar (USD)
Total Area 177 Square Miles
459 Square Kilometers
Location Oceania, group of islands in the North Pacific Ocean, southeast of the Philippines
Language English and Palauan official in all states except Sonsoral (Sonsoralese and English are official), Tobi (Tobi and English are official), and Angaur (Angaur, Japanese, and English are official)
GDP - real growth rate 4%
GDP - per capita (PPP) $14,800.00 (USD)

Palau Demographics

What is the population of Palau?

Ethnic Groups Palauan (Micronesian with Malayan and Melanesian admixtures) 70%, Asian (mainly Filipinos, followed by Chinese, Taiwanese, and Vietnamese) 28%, white 2%
Nationality Noun Palauan(s)
Population 21,685
Population Growth Rate 0.37%
Population in Major Urban Areas MELEKEOK (capital) 1,000
Urban Population 84.200000

Palau Government

What type of government does Palau have?

Executive Branch chief of state: President Surangel WHIPPS Jr. (since 21 January 2021); Vice President Jerrlyn Uduch Sengebau SENIOR (since 21 January 2021); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Surangel WHIPPS Jr. (since 21 January 2021); Vice President Jerrlyn Uduch Sengebau SENIOR (since 21 January 2021)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate; also includes the vice president; the Council of Chiefs consists of chiefs from each of the states who advise the president on issues concerning traditional laws, customs, and their relationship to the constitution and laws of Palau

elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on separate ballots by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 3 November 2020 (next to be held on 12 November 2024)

election results:

2020: Surangel WHIPPS, Jr. elected president in second round; percent of vote - Surangel WHIPPS, Jr. (independent) 56.7%, Raynold OILUCH (independent) 43.3%

2016: Tommy REMENGESAU reelected president in the second round; percent of vote - Tommy REMENGESAU (independent) 51.3%, Surangel WHIPPS, Jr. (independent) 48.7%; Antonio BELLS elected vice president
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Citizenship citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Palau

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: note - no procedure for naturalization
National Holiday Constitution Day, 9 July (1981), day of a national referendum to pass the new constitution; Independence Day, 1 October (1994)
Constitution history: ratified 9 July 1980, effective 1 January 1981

amendments: proposed by a constitutional convention (held at least once every 15 years with voter approval), by public petition of at least 25% of eligible voters, or by a resolution adopted by at least three fourths of National Congress members; passage requires approval by a majority of votes in at least three fourths of the states in the next regular general election; amended several times, last in 2020
Independence 1 October 1994 (from the US-administered UN trusteeship)

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Palau Geography

What environmental issues does Palau have?

Overview The Republic of Palau consists of over 300 islands (9 of which are inhabited) divided into 16 states. Formerly known as the Western Caroline Islands, the Palauan chain stretches about 400 miles from a north latitude of 7 degrees and 20 minutes to a southwestern latitude of 3 degrees and 30 minutes. Palau is 550 miles directly east of the Philippine island of Mindanao. Guam is 815 miles to the northeast and Hawaii is 4,600 miles east.

The total land area is 188 square miles. Approximately 78% of this is the island of Babeldaob, the second largest island in the Micronesian Pacific after Guam. Geologically, Palau varies from Kayangel atoll in the north, to islands of volcanic origin in the center and the famous limestone "Rock Islands" further south. Over 350 miles from Koror to the south are the seldom visited, sparsely populated "Southwest" islands.

Koror is spread over three islands connected by causeways and bridges. A recently constructed 412 meter suspension bridge connects Koror to Babeldaob where the international airport is located. Much of the coastline around Koror is mangrove forest, and there are no natural sand beaches in Koror. Babeldaob, Koror, and the Rock Islands are protected by an outer reef several miles from shore. South of the Rock Islands are the populated islands of Peleliu and Angaur, sites of intensive fighting during World War II.

Climate Palau has a tropical climate with annual rainfall of about 150 inches. The climate tends to be drier during El Nino years. Rain falls throughout the year, though January through March are usually the driest months. Palau is outside the normal typhoon track, but from June to November a tropical storm can settle over the country and dump heavy amounts of rain for several days. The temperature averages range from a high of 87 degrees to a low of 77 degrees year round. Humidity is high, ranging from 86% to 91%, and non-air conditioned environments can get moldy. Air quality is excellent and free of pollutants.
Environment - Current Issues inadequate facilities for disposal of solid waste; threats to the marine ecosystem from sand and coral dredging, illegal fishing practices, and overfishing
Environment - International Agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Terrain varying geologically from the high, mountainous main island of Babelthuap to low, coral islands usually fringed by large barrier reefs

Palau Economy

How big is the Palau economy?

Economic Overview The economy is dominated by tourism, fishing, and subsistence agriculture. Government is a major employer of the work force relying on financial assistance from the US under the Compact of Free Association (Compact) with the US that took effect after the end of the UN trusteeship on 1 October 1994. The US provided Palau with roughly $700 million in aid for the first 15 years following commencement of the Compact in 1994 in return for unrestricted access to its land and waterways for strategic purposes. The population enjoys a per capita income roughly double that of the Philippines and much of Micronesia.

Business and leisure tourist arrivals reached a record 167,966 in 2015, a 14.4% increase over the previous year, but fell to 138,408 in 2016. Long-run prospects for tourism have been bolstered by the expansion of air travel in the Pacific, the rising prosperity of industrial East Asia, and the willingness of foreigners to finance infrastructure development. Proximity to Guam, the region's major destination for tourists from East Asia, and a regionally competitive tourist infrastructure enhance Palau's advantage as a destination.
Industries tourism, craft items (from shell, wood, pearls), construction, garment making
Currency Name and Code US Dollar (USD)
Export Partners US, Japan, Singapore
Import Partners US, Guam, Japan, Singapore, Korea

Palau News and Current Events

What current events are happening in Palau?
Source: Google News

Palau Travel Information

What makes Palau a unique country to travel to?

Country Description

The Republic of Palau is a constitutional democracy with a population of approximately 18,000 people. Upon independence in 1994, Palau entered into a 50-year Compact of Free Association with the United States. Palau is an archipelago consisting of several hundred volcanic and limestone islands and coral atolls, only several of which are inhabited. Palau is politically divided into 16 states. Palau’s developing economy depends on tourism, marine resources, and a relatively minor agricultural sector. Taxis are the main means of public transportation. Palau International Airport is located on Babeldaob Island, over a bridge from Koror. There is direct commercial air service to Palau from Manila, Taipei, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, and Guam.


Although the crime rate in Palau is relatively low, as a foreign resident or visitor, you might be the target of petty and sometimes violent crime as well as other random acts against individuals and property. Please stay alert for your personal safety and protect your valuables.

Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Palau, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. In Palau, it may be illegal to take pictures of certain private buildings and historical sites unless you have been granted permissions or paid the required fees. In Palau, driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. Certain sites require prior permission and/or payment of a fee prior to visiting or taking photographs. Signs are posted at the relevant sites, and an attendant may be present to collect the fee. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Palau, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not wherever you go.

While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Health facilities in Palau are adequate for routine medical care, but the availability and quality of services are limited. Serious medical conditions requiring hospitalizations or evacuation to the United States or elsewhere may cost tens of thousands of dollars. The Belau National Hospital will accept payment by cash, credit or debit card, while private clinics may require cash payment. Please be advised that Palau has occassional outbreaks of Dengue Fever.

Safety and Security

Civil disorder is rare; however, avoid public demonstrations and/or political rallies if they occur.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

While in Palau, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. Palau accepts a driver's license issued by a U.S. state or military authority for up to 30 days. After 30 days in Palau, you must obtain a Palauan driver’s license. Many roads in Koror, where the vast majority of the population lives, are in fair condition but have no sidewalks and little or no shoulder on the side of the road. . . In addition, for the most part, the roadway known as the “Compact Road” that loops around the large island of Babeldaob is in fairly good condition. Although small sections of the road have deteriorated, repairs are expected to be completed later in 2013. Secondary roads connecting villages to the Compact Road vary in quality from good to rough. The national speed limit is 25 miles per hour, but drivers routinely ignore this limit in remote areas on good-quality roads, and traffic often moves slower in congested areas. Passing slow-moving vehicles is illegal, but some drivers occasionally do this. Drunken drivers are a late-night hazard in Palau.

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