Facts about Micronesia
- Federated States of Micronesia -

25 Facts about Micronesia (FSM)

Here are some interesting facts about Micronesia, the island country referred to as FSM, which were chosen and researched especially for kids.

micronesia flagFlag of Micronesia

1. This island country is located in the western Pacific Ocean just north of the equator. 

2. The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) belongs to the subregion of Oceania which is also referred to as Micronesia.

Please note: Micronesia, as region in Oceania, includes about 2,100 islands of which the largest island is Guam (territory of the USA). The Federated States of Micronesia belong to the Caroline islands group of the wider Micronesia region.

About 607 islands of this region belong to the Federated States of Micronesia! Confusing? Let's learn more:

micronesia by adam constanza sskMicronesia - image by Adam Constanza

3. The country simply referred to as Micronesia is officially called Federated States of Micronesia and also referred to as FSM.

4. The FSM consists of four island states or archipelagos called: Pohnpei, Yap, Chuuk and Kosrae

5. The island country lies about 2,700 km/ 1,800 miles north of Australia, more exactly east of the Philippines and northeast of Indonesia. The country is south of  Guam and west of Nauru.

6. The FSM island groups are about four times as large in land area as Washington D.C./ USA or a bit smaller in land area than the city state of Singapore or the island nation of Tonga.

Facts about FSM | Geography

7. The largest island of the Federated States of Micronesia is Pohnpei and the capital city is located on this island. 

micronesia koloniaPohnpei island - view of Kolonia town

8. Pohnpei is located almost midway between Honolulu, the capital city of Hawaii/ USA and Manila, the capital city of the Philippines.

9. The capital city of the Federated States of Micronesia is called Palikir and houses about 7,000 inhabitants. 

The largest town of the country - in respect of land area - is called Weno and is located on Chuuk island.

10. The highest peak of Micronesia is called Nahnalaud which means big mountain in English. Nahnalaud is also often referred to as Mount Nanlaud and is on Pohnpei island with a height of 782 m/ 2,556 ft.

11. There are many waterfalls and caves on these four Micronesian islands. Kepirohi is a 20 m/ 66 ft high and 30 m/ 98 ft wide waterfall and is one of the most popular attractions in Pohnpei.

kepirohi waterfallKepirohi waterfalls

12. The Federated States of Micronesia gained independence from the United States of America in 1979. 

Facts about Micronesia | People 

13. About 100,000 people live in the Federated States of Micronesia.  About three quarters of all Micronesians live in the coastal areas of the higher lying islands. 

14. The official language of Micronesia is English. Seventeen indigenous languages are spoken in the island nation. Chuukese and Pohnpeian have the most mother tongue speakers, about 45,000 and 30,000 respectively.

15. About 97% of all Micronesians are Christians, mainly Catholics (just a bit more than half of all people).

16. The most popular sports in Micronesia is baseball.

17. The women on Pohnpei wear colourful skirts called "urohs".

pohnpei dress micronesiaTraditional dress in Micronesia

18. Youth unemployment rates are high. About one in five of all Micronesians between the ages of 15 and 24 years is unemployed.

Facts about Micronesia
Animals

19. In the Federated States of Micronesia there are many species of birds but no predatory animals and no snakes. Pods of dolphins, turtles and many species of tropical fish are commonly encountered.

Giant manta rays can be encountered on the reefs of Yap and Pohnpei. There you can also see the beautiful reef anemones.

micronesia reef anemoneTropical reef anemone

20. Over 172 types of hard coral and 10 types of soft coral as well as over 250 species of reef fish live in the waters of Micronesia. Black tip sharks and grey reef sharks that are common in the reef are known to be quite harmless and will not attack if not provoked.

micronesia sharksSharks in the waters around Yap island

Micronesia Facts | FSM Economy

21. The currency of the Federated States of Micronesia is called US dollar.

22. The main agricultural products are cassava, sweet potatoes, coconuts and bananas.

23. The main trading partners are the USA, China, Thailand and Japan.

Facts about Micronesia | Food

23. The staple food of the Micronesian islands are taro, yam, coconuts, bananas and bread fruit. 

bread fruitBread fruit

Pigs are raised in Pohnpei and on Kosrae and the ocean provides plenty of shellfish, crabs and seafood.

oranges ed spatuletail sskOranges on FSM stamp - image by spatuletail/shutterstock

24. Seedless citrus fruits as well as oranges, limes and tasty tangerines grow on Kosrae. 

25. The island of Pohnpei is renowned for its splendid pepper which is ranked amongst the world's best. Pepper is harvested several times around the year.

Facts about Micronesia | Resources

Sources for Facts about Micronesia page:

  • FSM Tourism. "About FSM." VisitMicronesia. Last accessed 31 August 2023
  • Central Intelligence Agency. "Federated States of Micronesia." WorldFactBook. Last updated 29 August 2023. Last accessed 31 August 2023
  • IslandFoodCommunity. "Let's go local." Islandfood. Last accessed 31 August 2023

Image Credits on Facts about Micronesia: photo stock from shutterstock and wikicommons, if not otherwise stated. Micronesia island view image by Adam Constanza/shutterstock.com; stamp image by spatuletail/shutterstock.com

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