|Official Country Name:||Federated States of Micronesia|
|Region (Map name):||Oceania|
|Language(s):||English, Trukese, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Kosrean|
Micronesia, a group of 600 islands in the North Pacific Ocean, is an independent country made up of four districts: Pohnpei, Chuuk, Yap, and Kosrae. Prior to establishing its sovereignty in 1978, Micronesia was part of a trust territory created by the United Nations following World War II (the United States was trustee). Democratic elections were held the following year, and Micronesia joined the United Nations in 1991. The estimated population is 135,000. English is the official and most common language, but local dialects like Trukese, Pohnpeian, Yapese, and Kosrean are also spoken. The literacy rate is 89 percent. Micronesia's President leads both the state and the government, and heads a 14-seat unicameral Congress. In 1986, Micronesia and the United States entered a Compact of Free Association, meaning the U.S. would provide more than $1 billion in financial and technical assistance to the island nation. This agreement expired in 2001, leaving the Micronesian economy extremely fragile. Other than foreign aid, the economy relies on farming and fishing. The potential to develop tourism exists, but it is hindered by lack of adequate facilities, the country's underdeveloped infrastructure and its remote location.
Since 1998, Micronesia is experiencing increased media freedom. There is no daily newspaper. The Pohnpei district boasts three English-language publications. A bi-weekly publication called Micronesia Focus has published since 1993, The FSM News, a newspaper founded in 1994, which appears monthly, and the National Union, begun in 1979, which prints every two weeks. The National Union, a free publication, focuses on national government news and accepts no advertising. The Yap shirt also produces a newspaper called the Yap State Bulletin. Like the National Union, this free publication appears every two weeks, highlights government news, and contains no advertisements.
There are six radio stations, one FM and five AM, and three television stations. There is one Internet service provider.
"Country Profile: Micronesia," BBC News. (n.d.). Available from http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/asia-pacific .
"Federated States of Micronesia," University of Queensland, Australia's CocoNET Wireless (1995). Available from http://www.uq.edu.au .
"History," Government of the Federated States of Micronesia (2002). Available from http://www.fsmgov.org/info/hist.html .
"Micronesia," CIA World Fact Book (2001). Available from http://www.cia.gov .
Jenny B. Davis