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(pälou`), officially Republic of Palau, independent nation (2005 est. pop. 20,300), c.192 sq mi (497 sq km), W Pacific, in the W Caroline IslandsCaroline Islands,
archipelago, c.830 sq mi (2,150 sq km), W Pacific, just north of the equator. The largest islands are Palau (Belau), Yap, Chuuk (Truk), Pohnpei (Ponape), and Kosrae. The islands are fertile and rich in minerals.
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. Belau, the indigenous name for Palau, is sometimes used. Until 1994, Palau was administered by the United States as the last UN trust territory. It consists of about 200 islands and islets, of which BabeldaobBabeldaob
or Babelthuap,
volcanic island, 143 sq mi (370 sq km), largest island of Palau, in the W Caroline Islands, W Pacific. In 2006, Palau's capital was moved from the island of Oreor (Koror) to Melekeok on the east coast of Babeldaob.
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 (or Babelthuap, the site of MelekeokMelekeok,
town (est. pop. 261), the capital of the Pacific island nation of Palau, located on the E coast of Babeldaob, Palau's largest island. Melekeok is the site of a modern complex of government buildings, completed in 2006. The capital was moved there from Oreor in 2006.
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, the capital), OreorOreor
or Koror
, volcanic island (c.3 sq mi/7.8 sq km; 1990 pop. 10,501), Palau, in the W Caroline Islands, W Pacific. Most of the republic's population lives there, and the island was the site of the capital from independence, in 1994, to 2006, when Melekeok became
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 (or Koror, the former site of the capital), Arakabesan, and Malakal are the most important.

Palauans (about 70% of the population) are predominantly Micronesian with a mix of Malayan and Melanesian strains. There are minorities of Filipinos, Chinese, and other Asians. Palauan is the official language, but English and other languages are also spoken. Roman Catholicism and Protestantism are the predominant religions.

Tourism, subsistence farming, and fishing and shellfishing are the chief economic activities; commercial fishing was phased out in its waters beginning in 2014. Machinery and equipment, fuels, and foodstuffs are imported. The United States provides considerable financial assistance under the terms of the compact of free association, and is Palau's largest trading partner, followed by Singapore and Japan.

Palau is governed under the constitution of 1981. The president, who is both head of state and head of government, is elected by popular vote for a four-year term and is eligible for a second term. The bicameral Parliament consists of the nine-seat Senate and the 16-seat House of Delegates; all members are popularly elected for four-year terms. Administratively, the islands are divided into 16 states. Defense is the responsibility of the United States.


Spain held the islands for about 300 years before selling them to Germany in 1899. Japan seized them in 1914 and was given a mandate over them by the League of Nations in 1920. A major Japanese naval base in World War II, Palau was seized by U.S. forces in 1944 and made part of the U.S.-administered United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific IslandsPacific Islands, Trust Territory of the,
former UN trust territory administered by the United States, consisting of the Caroline Islands, Marshall Islands, and Mariana Islands (excluding Guam). The territory included c.
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 in 1947. Palau became self-governing in 1981. Palau's constitution prohibits nuclear weapons, causing a conflict with the compact of free association proposed by the United States in 1985–86. The islands voted in favor of the compact in 1987, but the referendum failed to garner the 75% of the votes then required. In a new plebiscite held in 1993 the compact was approved, opening the door to closer official linkage with the United States. The following year Palau became an independent nation in free association with the United States. The capital was moved from Oreor to Babeldoab in 2006. In 2010 Palau and the United States signed a 15-year renewal of the financial assistance associated with the compact of free association, but the U.S. Congress has not yet ratified it. Johnson Toribiong was elected president in 2008, succeeding Tommy Remengesau, Jr., who had been elected to the maximum two terms; in 2012 Remengesau defeated Toribiong to return to the office. Parts of the country suffered significant damage from a typhoon in Nov., 2013. In 2015 some 80% of the country's territorial waters, c.190,000 sq mi (500,000 sq km), was designated as a marine sanctuary.



(Pelew), an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, part of the Caroline Islands. Trust territory of the USA. Area, approximately 490 sq km. Population, 12,500 (1970). The southern islands are composed of coral limestone, the northern islands of volcanic rock. The islands are subject to earthquakes. They have elevations to 224 m. Coconut palms, breadfruit trees, taro, and sugarcane are grown. Phosphorites are mined. The administrative center is at Koror.



a trench in the Pacific Ocean off the eastern slopes of the Palau Islands (in the Caroline Islands). Shaped like a “V,” the trench has very steep and intricately dissected sides. Maximum depth as measured in 1905 from the German ship Stefan is 8,138 m, and as measured from the Vitiaz’ in 1957, 8,054 m.


A palladium-gold alloy; used as a platinum substitute in analytical chemistry.


Official name: Republic of Palau

Capital city: Melekeok

Internet country code: .pw

Flag description: Light blue with a large yellow disk (rep­resenting the moon) shifted slightly to the hoist side

National anthem: “Belau Rekid” (Our Palau), composed by Ymesei O. Ezekiel

Geographical description: Oceania, group of islands in the

North Pacific Ocean, southeast of the Philippines

Total area: 190 sq. mi. (458 sq. km.)

Climate: Tropical; hot and humid; wet season May to November

Nationality: noun: Palauan(s); adjective: Palauan

Population: 20,842 (July 2007 CIA est.)

Ethnic groups: Palauan (Micronesian with Malayan and Melanesian admixtures) 69.9%, Filipino 15.3%, Chinese 4.9%, other Asian 2.4%, white 1.9%, Carolinian 1.4%, other Micronesian 1.1%, other or unspecified 3.2%

Languages spoken: Palauan 64.7% official in all islands except Sonsoral (Sonsoralese and English are official), Tobi (Tobi and English are official), and Angaur (Angaur, Japanese, and English are official), Filipino 13.5%, English 9.4%, Chinese 5.7%, Carolinian 1.5%, Japanese 1.5%, other Asian 2.3%, other languages 1.5%

Religions: Roman Catholic 41.6%, Protestant 23.3%, Mod­ekngei (indigenous to Palau) 8.8%, Seventh-Day Adven­tist 5.3%, Jehovah’s Witness 0.9%, Latter-Day Saints 0.6%, other 3.1%, unspecified or none 16.4%

Legal Holidays:

Christmas DayDec 25
Constitution DayJul 9
Independence DayOct 1
Labor DaySep 5, 2011; Sep 3, 2012; Sep 2, 2013; Sep 1, 2014; Sep 7, 2015; Sep 5, 2016; Sep 4, 2017; Sep 3, 2018; Sep 2, 2019; Sep 7, 2020; Sep 6, 2021; Sep 5, 2022; Sep 4, 2023
New Year's DayJan 1
President's DayJun 1
Senior Citizens DayMay 5
Thanksgiving DayNov 24, 2011; Nov 29, 2012; Nov 28, 2013; Nov 27, 2014; Nov 26, 2015; Nov 24, 2016; Nov 30, 2017; Nov 29, 2018; Nov 28, 2019; Nov 26, 2020; Nov 25, 2021; Nov 24, 2022; Nov 30, 2023
United Nations DayOct 24
Youth DayMar 15
References in periodicals archive ?
Michelle Belau represents high-street fashion and that is reflected in its garment prices.
There is so much that goes into the Michelle Belau brand.
The imaginary Belau Supreme Court has a Trial Division and an Appellate Division.
Biang Belau, a frightening, malevolent bear spirit, is in its turn portrayed as a large, dog-sized, wild boar-like statue made of black sugar palm fibers and placed on the ground outside the house.
Let me mention some of our indigenous women leaders in the Pacific Basin: Lijon Ekniland of the Marshall Islands, who has represented her people all over the world in testifying to the effects of nuclear testing and radioactivity; Tamara Bopp du Pont, a member of the Polynesian Liberation Front of Tahiti and an outspoken critic of French nuclear testing in the Pacific; Isabella Sumang, a fierce defender of the world's first nuclear-free constitution in Belau and a constant critic of U.
As a way of contributing to the Republic of Palau, inmates have been involved in numerous community projects, including repairs to Belau National Hospital and the construction of a site known as Ngirngemelas Square in the state of Ngiwal.
The cultural impacts of colonization of the islands by nonindigenous peoples had marked effects and typically led to the decline of traditional conservation measures (Johannes, 1978); a concise description of how this happened in Belau, in the Western Caroline Islands, is provided by Johannes (1981).
citizens and permanent residents and citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Belau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands doing the same or substantially similar work wages equal to or greater than those paid to the nonresident aliens.
Interested investors who would like to personally attend the presentation, or schedule a one-on-one meeting with management during the conference, should contact their Roth Capital representative or Anna Belau at 972-245-7353 ext.
The parish itself is part of the Diocese of the Caroline Islands, which serves the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Belau.
A review of traditional Micronesian high island horticulture in Belau, Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae.