Micronesia, Federated States of

Micronesia flagFederated States of Micronesia (FSM) is a country in the North Pacific Ocean. It is made up of 607 islands in the Caroline Island group. The FSM has four states that are named for the largest islands: Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap. Palikir, on the island of Pohnpei, is the country’s capital city.

The FSM has two kinds of islands. Some islands have mountains and volcanoes. The other islands are ring-shaped islands called atolls. The soil on the volcanic islands is good for farming. Swamps lie along the shores, and thick rain forests cover the valleys. The atolls have poor soil and very few plants.

Many people in the FSM make a living by fishing and farming. Most of the people are Carolinians, also known as Micronesians, and some have Polynesian backgrounds. The official language of the FSM is English. However, most people use their own area’s languages.

Micronesia mapMost FSM people live in country areas, but the old ways of life are changing quickly. Many Carolinians are taking on the ways of life of the United States.

People have lived in what is now the FSM for more than 3,000 years. From 1885 to 1945, Spain, Germany, and Japan controlled the islands at different times. The United States took over the islands in 1945. In 1986, the FSM became an independent country. But the United States is still responsible for defense of the FSM.

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