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FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA
Population

Population

The Federation of Micronesia had a population of 104,196 in 2017. The population density then averaged about 150 inhabitants per km2. Ethnically, the vast majority of the population belongs to the Micronesians. Several thousand Polynesians live on two remote atolls. There are also some small but important American and Asian communities on the larger islands. About 22.5% of the population lives in urban or semi-urban areas. Larger concentrations of emigrants live in Honolulu, Guam and California, among others.

The population growth rate in 2017 was -0.52%. The average life expectancy for women is about 75.3 years and for men about 71.1 years. The birth and death rates per 1,000 inhabitants in 2017 were 20 and 4.2 respectively. The infant mortality rate in that year was 19.8 per 1000 live births.

Kosrae

Kosrae has about 7700 inhabitants, about 7% of the total population of the Micronesian Federation. About 2600 live in the Lelu and Tofol area, 1500 in Malem, 1150 in the Utwe region, 2200 in Tafunsak and about 300 on other islands.

Pohnpei

Pohnpei has about 37,000 inhabitants and 95% of them live on Pohnpei Island. Twenty per cent are from Kapingamarangi, Mortlock, Pingelap, Mokil, Kosrae, Palau, the Philippines, the United States, Japan or Australia. Although Pohnpei society is quite westernised, many Pohnpeians still have titles referring to the traditional clan system. Kolonia is the largest 'town' in the Federation with a population of about 3300.

Kapingamarangi Village or Porakiet, in Western Colonia, is home to many people of Polynesian descent from the Kapingamarangi and Nukuoro atolls. After the rebellion on Sokehs Island in the early 20th century, all Pohnpeians were forced to leave the island. Residents of Mortlock and the atolls Pingelap, Mokil and Sapwuafik took their place and descendants still live on Sokehs Island.

It is remarkable that on Pingelap Island about 10% of the population is totally colour blind (achromatopsia), especially considering that total colour blindness is quite rare all over the world.

Chuuk

Chuuk is one of the most populated islands in Micronesia, with a population of approximately 58,000. Approximately one third of these live on Weno Island, making it one of the most densely populated in Micronesia.

Each Chuuk island has a dominant clan whose members are direct descendants of the first inhabitants of the island. The head of each clan (chief) does not have much say over the other inhabitants of the island, unlike in the past.

Yap

Yap has about 12,000 inhabitants, 65% of whom live in Yap Proper. Yap Proper has ten municipalities with about 100 villages. At the end of the 19th century, Yap had about 45,000 inhabitants, but due to diseases brought by the Europeans, the population decreased rapidly. Physical characteristics stem from the Western Pacific with features of Filipinos, Palauans and Indonesians. During the colonial period, there were few marriages between people of Yap and Japanese or Europeans, which is unique in Micronesian history. They just married according to their caste system and foreigners stayed out of it. Depending on how one looks at it, Yap currently still has seven or nine castes.

Despite four colonial powers, the culture of Yap remained virtually untouched and old customs and traditions are still maintained. For example, residents of Yap often still walk around in traditional clothing. The people who live on Yap's most remote islands are some of the most isolated in the world and still live almost as they did centuries ago.

Sources

Galbraith, K. / Micronesia Lonely Planet

Levy, N.M. / Micronesia handbook Moon

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2022
Copyright: Team The World of Info