Interesting facts about Micronesia

micronesia flag

Micronesia is an island nation spread across the western Pacific Ocean.

The official name of the country is the Federated States of Micronesia.

The islands are located about 2,900 km (1,802 mi) north of eastern Australia and some 4,000 km (2,485 mi) southwest of the main islands of Hawaii.

As an island nation, Micronesia shares no land borders. However, nearby islands include New Guinea, Guam, the Mariana Islands, Nauru ,the Marshall Islands, Palau and the Philippines.

Geographically, the country is part of the larger island group also called Micronesia. The Micronesia region encompasses five sovereign, independent nations—the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, and Nauru—as well as three U.S. territories in the northern part: Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and Wake Island.

The official language is English.

As of 1 January 2017, the population of Federated States of Micronesia was estimated to be 104,590 people.

It is the 177th largest country in the world in terms of land area with 702 square kilometers
(271 square miles).

The Federated States of Micronesia is scattered over a vast area of ocean about 2.6 million square kilometers (1 million square miles); equivalent in size to Argentina.

micronesia world map

The islands of the Federated States of Micronesia are the result of volcanic activity millions of years ago resulting in islands and atolls of incredible variety. Some are tips of mountain peaks thrust above the surface and now surrounded by fringing reefs. Others are atolls — islands that have sunk beneath the surface, leaving a ring of coral barrier reef and tiny island islets encircling a coral and sand lagoon. And, still others, are mixtures of atolls and high rigged islands within a lagoon.

There are 607 islands and islets in the Federated States of Micronesia.

micronesia map

The islands are grouped into four states, which are Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae. These four states are each represented by a white star on the national flag.

Each of its four states is centered on one or more main high islands, and all but Kosrae include
numerous outlying atolls.

Palikir is a town with about 4,600 people and the capital of the Federated States of Micronesia. Palikir is located in the northwestern center of Pohnpei Island.


Geological land forms in the Federated States of Micronesia are diverse, beautiful and pristine. Visitors will find a wide range of natural features, including 2,000-foot (610 meters) mountain peaks, deeply gorged river valleys, rolling hills, open grassland, lush mangrove forests, protected lagoons, and secluded and often pristine sandy beaches.


Mount Nanlaud is the highest point of the Federated States of Micronesia and of the Micronesian island of Pohnpei at 782 meters (2,566 feet) above sea level.

The coastline of the islands total 6,112 kilometers (3,798 miles) in length.

micronesia beach

The Federated States of Micronesia enjoys a tropical climate, with quite even, warm temperatures throughout the year.

Nan Madol is a ruined city adjacent to the eastern shore of the island of Pohnpei that was the capital of the Saudeleur Dynasty until about 1628. The city, constructed in a lagoon, consists of a series of small artificial islands linked by a network of canals. It was the ceremonial and political seat of the Saudeleur Dynasty, which united Pohnpei’s estimated 25,000 people until about 1628.

nan madol

The Catholic Belltower is a historic tower at the Catholic Mission in Kolonia, on the island of Pohnpei. The belltower and adjoining masonry apse are all that remain of a church built in 1909 by German Capuchin missionaries, when Ponape and the other Caroline Islands were administered as part of German New Guinea. The rest of the church was destroyed during the fighting of World War II.

bell tower micronesia

The island of Yap is notable for its “stone money” (Rai stones), large disks usually of calcite, up to 4 metres (13 ft) in diameter, with a hole in the middle. The islanders, aware of the owner of a piece, do not necessarily move them when ownership changes. There are five major types: Mmbul, Gaw, Ray, Yar, and Reng, the last being only 30 cm (12 in) in diameter. Approximately 6,500 of them are scattered around the island.

micronesia rai stones

The ancestors of the Micronesians settled over four thousand years ago. A decentralized chieftain-based system eventually evolved into a more centralized economic and religious culture centered on Yap.

European explorers – first the Portuguese in search of the Spice Islands (Indonesia) and then the Spanish – reached the Carolines in the 16th century, with the Spanish establishing sovereignty.

Spain sold the islands to Germany in 1899 under the terms of the German–Spanish Treaty of that year.

They were occupied by the Japanese during World War I.

American forces seized them from the Japanese during World War II.

Following World War II, it was administered by the United States under United Nations auspices in 1947 as part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.

On May 10, 1979, four of the Trust Territory districts ratified a new constitution to become the Federated States of Micronesia.

Economic activity in the Federated States of Micronesia consists primarily of subsistence farming and fishing.

The potential for a tourist industry exists, but the remoteness of the location and a lack of adequate facilities hinder development.

The most important dish is rice which is generally served with most meals. Micronesian food is also based on fish and seafood, such as fresh shellfish, crabs, and shrimps. In addition to these dishes there are sauces and spices.