Federated States of Micronesia Cultural Groups

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Micronesia’s estimated population in 1999 was 550,401. The most populated island was Guam 155,623 and the most populated island group was the Federated States of Micronesia 133,144. In descending order, the population of other islands/island groups were Kiribati 91,985, Northern Mariana Islands 71,912, Marshall Islands 68,126, Palau 18,766, and Nauru 11,845.

Guam has an ethnically diverse resident population: Chamorro 47%; Filipino 25%; Chinese, Japanese, Korean and other 18%; and Caucasian 10%. One fourth of the population consists of U.S. military personnel and dependents.

The Northern Mariana Islands are inhabited by Chamorro, Micronesian, Caucasian, and Asian peoples. Tourism has also propelled a population growth in the last two decades. Also, the garment industry has attracted many Asian immigrants.

The Federated States of Micronesia population consists of nine Micronesian and Polynesian groups, the largest being Chuukese 47% and Pohnpeian 24%. The Compact of Free Association permits people from the Federated States of Micronesia to live freely in the U.S. and currently about 15,000 do. Palau has a composite population of Polynesian, Malayan, and Melanesian races.

The Marshall Islands are 90% Marshallese and 10% U.S., Filipino, Chinese, New Zealander, and Korean. Rather than having an ethnic mix, Kiribati is uniformly Micronesian. Nauru is 58% Nauruan, 26% other Pacific Islander, 8% Chinese and 8% European.

Micronesians are predominantly Christian. Guam is 98% Roman Catholic and the Northern Mariana Islands are also heavily Roman Catholic. The Federated States of Micronesia are 50% Roman Catholic and 47% Protestant. Two-third’s of the Palau population is Christian and a third belong to Modekngei, an indigenous religion. People in the Marshall Islands are predominantly Protestant and 5% Latter-day Saints. Kiribati is 53% Roman Catholic, 30% Congregational, 10% Latter-day Saints, and the rest divided among Christian churches. Nauru is 58% Protestant, 24% Roman Catholic, and 8% Confucian and Taoist.[1]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Micronesia,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1987-2001.