is an island nation located in the western Pacific Ocean. It covers an area of 490 square kilometers and has an estimated population of 18,200 as of 2022. Its capital city is Melekeok and it is known for its mix of Malay, Melanesian, Filipino, and Polynesian ancestry. English and Palauan are the official languages while Christianity (mainly Roman Catholic) is the predominant religion. The U.S. dollar is the official currency.
The islands of Palau are made up of fertile land, with mangrove swamps along the coasts and rainforests in the hills. Government service is the leading employment sector, followed by subsistence farming and fishing in the rural areas. Palau is a republic with two legislative houses and the president is the head of state and government.
Palau is also known as Belau, Belu’u er a Belau, or Pelew. It has a population rank of 221, with an expected increase to 18,700 by 2030. The density of persons per square kilometer is 37.1 and the male and female life expectancy at birth is 70.2 and 76.8 years respectively. The literacy rate is 97% for males and 96% for females. The Gross National Income per capita is US$16,500.