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Micronesia has a high birth rate and one of the highest percentages of the world's population under the age of 18. The people of the eastern and central islands are mainly of Melanesian descent. The people of the western islands are generally of Southeast Asian descent.

The Micronesian tribes and peoples evolved in a relatively isolated environment so that they could maintain their indigenous culture for a long time. The Chamorro of the Mariana Islands were the only ones who were more or less forced to form a mengrass with the Spaniards as early as the seventeenth century. The Northern Mariana Islands and Guam are also home to many immigrants from countries outside Micronesia.

Kiribati had a population of approximately 108,145 in July 2017. On average, there are approximately 149 inhabitants per km2. People call themselves I-Kiribati. One third of the inhabitants live in South Tarawa where overpopulation is a threat. Women there give birth to an average of 4.5 children, so that the population is growing so fast that, for example, people are forced to move from the overpopulated Betio to the sparsely populated Kiritimati (Christmas Island).

Micronesians make up 90% of the population and there are also Polynesian, European and Chinese minorities. The majority (90%) of the population lives on the Gilberts Islands. The main island is Tarawa, with about 46,000 inhabitants, and the capital is Bairiki with about 30,000 inhabitants. Twenty of the 33 islands are inhabited. The Phoenix and Line Islands are uninhabited.

Kiribati has a relatively young population. 29.7% of the total population (2017) is between the ages of 0-14, 64.1% is between the ages of 15-64 and about 4.2% of the population is 65+. The population growth rate is 1.13% per year (2017). The number of births per 1000 inhabitants is 21.2. The average life expectancy is 66.5 years. (2017)


Galbraith, K. / Micronesia
Lonely Planet

Levy, N.M. /Micronesia handbook Moon

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated January 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info