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Country Name: Federated States of Micronesia
Area: 702 sq km (271 sq mi) in four major island groups/states totalling 607 islands: - Pohnpei (Ponape), Chuuk (Truk), Yap and Kosrae (Kosaie)
Population: 111,100 (UN, 2010)
Capital city: Palikir
People: Chuukese 48.8%, Pohnpeian 24.2%, Kosraean 6.2%, Yapese 5.2%, other 15.6% (2000 census)
Languages: English, Trukese, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Kosrean, Ulithian, Woleaian, Nukuoro, Kapingamarangi.
Climate: Tropical; heavy year-round rainfall, especially in the eastern islands; located on southern edge of the typhoon belt with occasionally severe damage during typhoon season from June to December.
Religions: Roman Catholic (50%), Protestant (47%), other 3%
Currency: US dollar (USD)
Major political parties: None
Government: Constitutional confederation in free association with the USA. An appointed cabinet supports the President and Vice President.
Chief of State and Head of Government: President H.E. Emanuel (Manny) Mori
Vice President: Hon. Alik L. Alik
Foreign Minister: Hon. Lorin Robert
Finance Minister: Hon. Finley S. Perman
Membership of international groups/ organisations: Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Group of 77 at the United Nations (G-77), International Finance Corporation (IFC), International Monetary Fund (IMF), South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Co-operation Agreement (SPARTECA), Pacific Community (SPC), United Nations (UN, World Health Organisation (WHO), Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Association of Small Island States (AOSIS).

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Basic economic facts

GDP: $274 million 2009
GDP per capita: $2,476 (2009)
Annual growth: -3.2% (2007)
Inflation: 2.8% (2007)
Unemployment: 22% (2000 est)
Population below the poverty line: 26.7% (2000)
Major industries: tourism, construction; fishing and processing; specialised aquaculture; craft items from shell, wood and pearls.
Major trading partners: Japan, United States, New Zealand, Australia, Guam and Hong Kong
Exchange rate: Uses US dollar
Micronesia’s economy is import based. Economic activity consists primarily of subsistence farming and fishing. The islands have few mineral deposits worth exploiting, except some high-grade phosphate. The potential for a tourist industry exists, but the remoteness of the location, lack of adequate facilities and limited air connections hinder development. Fishing is also a revenue source, from foreign licence fees and increasingly from domestic operation. However, financial assistance from the US is the primary source of revenue and the Amended Compact of Free Association with the US guarantees Micronesia millions of dollars in annual aid until 2023. Thereafter a Trust Fund is established into which the United States and Micronesia make annual contributions in order to provide annual payouts to Micronesia in perpetuity after 2023. The country’s medium term economic outlook appears fragile due not only to the reduction in US assistance but also to the slowdown of the private sector.

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Spain asserted and consolidated control over two of the Micronesian Island groups, the Caroline and Mariana Islands, during the 19th century. These passed into the hands of Germany (which controlled the neighbouring Marshall Islands) in the late 19th Century. Early in World War I all these islands were seized by Japan, which subsequently administered them under a League of Nations mandate. During World War II the United States wrested them from Japanese control. In 1947, Micronesia became the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI), administered by the United Nations. Washington, which viewed the Micronesian region in terms of strategic denial and forward deployment, gave little thought to its political evolution until the early 1960s. It formed a territory-wide legislature, the congress of Micronesia, in 1965, and approached the termination of the trusteeship with the establishment of permanent linkages between the United States and Micronesia as its objective. The Micronesians, however, sought a status similar to that of the Cook Islands: self governing in free association with the United States, with the unilateral right to terminate the relationship in favour of full independence. One component, the Northern Marianas, accepted a US counter proposal of commonwealth status (modelled on its relationship with Puerto Rico), but the others rejected this solution. Two components, Palau and the Marshall Islands (both of strategic importance to the US), preferred to form their own governments and negotiate independently with the United States.

BBC News Country Timeline: Micronesia (

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The Federated States of Micronesia joined the United Nations on 17 September 1991. It is also a member of a wide range of regional and other international organisations. As of 22 October 2002, Micronesia had established diplomatic relations with 50 countries. Its most important relationship is with the USA, with which it entered into a Compact of Free Association The government of Micronesia has reason to believe that the long-term close relationship with the United States envisioned in the Compact will be maintained.

FSM'S relations with the UK

The UK's relations with the Federated States of Micronesia are warm and friendly.

Diplomatic representation

The British Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia is Mr. Stephen Lillie who is also resident HM Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines based at the British Embassy Manila.

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The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) consists of four major island groups totalling 607 islands and atolls (with a total land area approximately 702 sq km) scattered over some 2,978,000 sq km of the Pacific Ocean. Some islands are of substantial size (Pohnpei, site of the capital Palikir, is a volcanic, mountainous island of 345.4 sq km), many are low coral atolls, and some mere specks that disappear at high tide. The population is predominantly Micronesian but there are some Polynesian enclaves. The Spanish, German and Japanese colonial past is reflected in personal names and language.

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Trade and investment with the UK

Initial estimates in 2008 of UK exports of goods to Micronesia totalled £21,638, while estimates for UK imports from Micronesia totalled £19,262.

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The president is elected every four years by the congress. Emanuel "Manny" Mori was chosen as the country's seventh president in May 2007, and re-elected in May 2011.

The Federated States of Micronesia is a constitutional republic composed of four states: Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap. There are three branches of government: a president as chief executive and head of state, a unicameral legislature (Congress), and a judicial system that applies criminal and civil laws and procedures closely paralleling those in the United States. There are 14 seats in the unicameral Congress composed of four senators-at-large (one from each state) serving 4-year terms and 10 other senators serving 2-year terms. The legislature selects the president and vice president from among its four at-large senators. There are no formal political parties.

Each of Micronesia’s four States has its own Constitution, elected legislature and Governor. The State governments maintain considerable power, particularly regarding the implementation of budgetary policies. Traditional leaders retain considerable influence in Pohnpei and Yap.

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The government generally respects the human rights of its citizens. Reported human rights problems include judicial delays, government corruption, discrimination against women, domestic violence and child neglect.

The constitution prohibits acts of torture and other inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment however there are occasional reports of physical abuse by police or prison officials.

The law provides criminal penalties for official corruption but there are allegations that officials sometimes engage in corrupt practices with impunity.

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Last Updated: July 2011

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