The Republic of Palau, also referred to as Belau or Pelew, is an island nation situated in the Western Pacific Ocean, comprising a total of 250 islands. Most of its over 20,000 people live on the island of Koror, which also doubles as the nation’s largest city. The capital, Ngerulmud, is situated on the island of Babeldaob. Currently, the nation is a unitary presidential republic, under a free association agreement with the U.S. The United States are in charged with funding, defence, and social services. From an administrative point of view, the country is divided into sixteen states.
The island nation has a tropical climate, with little variations in temperature throughout the year. While rainfall is heavy in the region, Palau does not experience too many typhoons. However, Palau is subjected to frequent tropical storms, and earthquakes and volcanic activity are not uncommon.
The tourism and hospitality industry, fishing, and subsistence agriculture are the main sectors of Palau’s economy. Financial assistance, especially from the U.S., also helps further boost the country’s economy. Palau’s currency is the United States dollar (USD). The tourism industry in particular has grown exponentially over the past years, thanks to the developments in air service. Scuba diving and snorkelling are extremely popular in the region.
There are 2 official languages in Palau: English and Palauan. However, there are several other recognized regional languages, such as Japanese, Tobian, Tagalog, and Sonsorolese. The two most popular sports in the country are baseball and football (soccer).