Palau is a nation that is located in the Pacific Island. This country is an associated state of the United States. The nation of Palau is made up of about 340 islands. Together, these islands make up a land area of approximately 180 square miles. According to the last census taken in 2013, the population was close to 21,000. Estimates taken in 2016 show that the country surpassed this milestone with an estimated 21,503 inhabitants. Based on the land area of Palau and the size of the population, the population density is about 121 people per square mile. The population of Palau has seen significant growth. Since the 1970s, it has almost doubled.
Palau became a part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands during the 1940s. Fast forward several decades later to the 1970s, and the nation voted against becoming part of the Federated States of Micronesia. It wasn’t until 1994 when the island nation received full sovereignty under the Compact of Free Association with the U.S. This means that while the nation is a presidential republic, the U.S. provides social serves, defense, and funding.
The capital of Palau is Ngerulmud. It has only been the capital city since 2006. The city of Koror previously held the title of capital. While Koror may not be the capital anymore, it still has the distinction of being the country’s most populous city with over 11,000 inhabitants – about half of the nation’s total population. The metropolitan area is home to most of the nation’s inhabitants with a population around 14,000.
The nation of Palau has two official languages: English and Palauan. However, there are other regional languages that are recognized by the government, including Tobian and Japanese.
The majority of inhabitants – nearly three-quarters of the population, to be exact – are Palauan, making this the largest ethnic group of the country. Other minority ethnic groups include Chinese, Vietnamese, White, Carolinian, and Filipino.
Estimates from 2015 show that almost half – around 45% -- of the population is of the Roman Catholic faith. Seventh-day Adventist, Protestant, and Muslims also live in this nation.