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(pälou`), officially Republic of Palau, independent nation (2015 est. pop. 21,000), 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; the U.S. Congress finally ratified the agreement in 2017. 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, and he was reelected in 2016. 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. In 2020, Surangel Whipps, Jr., was elected president.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A palladium-gold alloy; used as a platinum substitute in analytical chemistry.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


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
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Groth tambem se preocupou em sistematizar as principais caracteristicas que definem o Jornalismo, visto que pretendia alcancar o reconhecimento de uma "Ciencia Periodistica (2)" como ciencia cultural independente, o que, ate a publicacao de sua obra, era negado (Faus Belau, 1966, p.
Michelle Belau represents high-street fashion and that is reflected in its garment prices.
The Sacred Remains: Myth, History and Polity in Belau. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
"There is so much that goes into the Michelle Belau brand.
The imaginary Belau Supreme Court has a Trial Division and an Appellate Division.
(47.) Linda Belau, "Introduction: Remembering, Repeating and Working-Through.
S 7,919,668 B2; Tom Belau, Robert Forrester, Michael Flattum and Bernhardt Kressner, assignors to Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc., Neenah, WI
In her essay "Has Tomomi Lost Her Mind?: Psychosis, Femininity, and the Universal Appeal of Kazumi Yumoto's Spring Tone," Linda Belau begins the issue with a psychoanalytic reading of Yumotos's story.
As Linda Belau explains, trauma "is the source of repression, which bars and distorts every possible memory of the past" (xviii).