The most common causes of death are (1993) diseases of the circulatory system, cancer, accidents, poisonings and violence. The need for healthcare is well met. The same year, the social insurance system included retirement and disability pensions in Palau. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of PLW and acronym for Palau.
People and society
The largest population is Palauians and people of mixed Melanesian, Micronesian, Austronesian and Malay origin; these make up 72.5 percent of the population. Filipinos are the second largest ethnic group with 16.3 percent of the population. Others are partly Japanese, Chinese and Korean in origin. About 6,000 Palauians reside abroad. (The World Factbook, 2015)
Life expectancy at birth is 76.23 years for women and 69.69 years for men (2015).
49.4 percent of the population are Roman Catholics and 30.9 percent are Protestants. 8.7 percent are parishes to the local monotheistic religion of fashionkngei (a mixture of Christianity, traditional Palauian religion and future predictions). 5.3 percent are Seventh-day Adventists.
The official languages are Palauian and English. In three states (Angorol, Hatohobei and Sonsorol), local languages (sonorolese, tobian) are official; In Angaur, Japanese is also the official language.
Geography and environment
The archipelago has an extension northeast-southwest of approximately 640 kilometers. Babeldaob (Babelthuap) is the largest island with the country’s highest point Mount Ngerchelchuus, 242 meters above sea level. In a group with Babeldaob, the islands of Koror and Peleliu are within the same barrier reef. All of them, in addition to the island of Angaur further south, are of volcanic origin. Kayangel and Ngeruangel are coral islands. The 6 small and isolated Southwest Islands southwest of the main islands are limestone islands.
Palau has more than 25 larger islands and 300 smaller islands and islets. There are many small saltwater lakes. Largest freshwater lake is Ngardok Lake on Babeldaob.
Palau has Micronesia’s richest plant and animal life. The volcanic islands and coral islands have very different vegetation. On the volcanic islands, there are mangrove forests and coconut trees along the coast and rainforest within. Of 1215 vascular species, 67 species are endemic (native).
The only native land mammals are some bat species. Humans introduced pigs, dogs, mice, rats and chickens. There are several species of whales in the sea; dugong (a sea cow) is threatened. There are more than 50 bird species, of which 10 are endemic. Delta crocodile is found in mangroves, among other things.
There are more than 1400 fish species and about 700 species of coral animals, and many mussels. Saltwater Lake Jellyfish Lake is known for special jellyfish that migrate daily from one end of the lake to the other.
The climate is tropical. The annual average temperature is about 28 degrees and there are small seasonal variations. It rains all year, mostly between July and October, and annual average rainfall is about 3800 millimeters.