What Islands Are in Micronesia?

What Islands Are in Micronesia?
Micronesia, which means small island in Greek, is an area of Oceania. Located 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii, it is roughly three-quarters of the way between Hawaii and Indonesia. It comprises approximately 3 million miles of the Pacific and includes more than 2,000 islands. The majority of the islands are uninhabited. The population of the islands is estimated to be less than 500,000.

Federated States of Micronesia

Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Yap make up the Federated States of Micronesia. They comprise 607 islands, of which only 65 are inhabited. They are also known as the eastern and western Caroline Islands. They comprise 270.8 square miles of land, distributed over a million square miles of ocean. Volcanic in nature, all of the states, except Kosrae, have numerous atolls.

U.S. Associated Islands

The Mariana Islands are part of two U.S. jurisdictions, Guam, which is a U.S. territory, and the Northern Mariana Islands, which are a U.S. Commonwealth. These islands are in the northern portion of Micronesia. They consist of 10 volcanic islands, of which four are inhabited: Agrihan, Anatahan, Alamagan and Pagan. The southern portion of Micronesia consists of five coralline limestone islands and four of these are inhabited: Guam, Rota, Tinian and Saipan.

Wake Island, a coral atoll with approximately 12 miles of coastline, is located approximately two-thirds of the way from Honolulu to Guam. It is an unincorporated territory of the United States managed by the U.S. Air Force. There is also a missile facility there operated by the U.S. Army. The Marshall Islands have made a territorial claim on this island.

Independent Islands

The Marshall Islands have been independent since 1986 and are thus one of the the world's youngest independent nations. They are comprised of 29 coral atolls and five single islands, spread over approximately a million square miles. They are one of only four atoll nations in the world. The capital of the Marshall Islands is Majuro Atoll.

Palau is an island nation 500 miles east of the Philippines and 2,000 miles south of Tokyo. It became independent of the U.S. in 1994 and is one of the world's smallest nations. Under the agreement with the U.S., the U.S. military does retain access to the island for 50 years. It has a population of approximately 20,000 and is comprised of 16 states. The most populated islands are Angaur, Babeldaob, Peleliu and Koror. Koror is the largest, containing approximately two-thirds of the country's population. There are also many uninhabited rock islands that are part of Palau.


There is a wide variety among the islands in accommodations. Some islands, like Guam, Saipan, Palau and Rota, have international hotels and are quite developed. However, some Marshall Island accommodations are thatched huts with few amenities. Regardless of the location, you will find a diversity of water activities. Snorkel or dive in the coral reefs or look for sunken objects. Kayaking and swimming are also popular activities.

Article Written By Lynn Farris

Lynn Farris has been conducting management studies, writing technical articles and contributing to local newspapers since 1984. Having traveled throughout the world, Farris now lives in Costa Rica, teaches English and writes a column for the "National Examiner" on Costa Rica. Farris holds a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts in speech communications and psychology from Case Western Reserve University.

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