The Republic of Palau

Capital: Ngerulmud, Melekeok State

The Compact of Free Association (1994) between the United States and Palau sets forth the free and voluntary association of their governments. Palau is composed of sixteen states, represented in a bicameral legislature. The President is head of government and the executive branch. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.


  • 415.58 square kilometers
  • More than 1,500 kilometers of coastline
  • Largest city: Koror
  • Highest point: Mount Ngerchelchuus (242 meters)
  • Time zone: GMT+9
  • The scenery ranges from white sandy beaches with an abundance of marine life to mountains forested in dense jungle.


  • Tropical rain forest
  • Annual mean temperature of 28 °C
  • Rainy season: June through November

Economic and Demographic Data

  • Population: 21,347 (July 2016 estimate)
  • Literacy rate: 99.5%
  • Median age: 33.3 years
  • Major languages: Palauan, English
  • The largest economy in Micronesia
  • Income category: Upper middle income
  • GDP (purchasing power parity): $283.5 million (2016 estimate)
  • GDP-per capita (PPP): $15,300 (2016 estimate)
  • Palau uses the U.S. dollar as its currency.
  • 138,000 tourist arrivals annually
  • Stable government and regulatory environment
  • Low-tariff business environment
  • No personal income tax