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The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), with the Republic of Palau at its western extremity, comprises the archipelago of the Caroline Islands, some 300 miles to the east of the Philippines. The constituent states are the island groups (from west to east) of Yap, Chuuk (formerly Truk), Pohnpei (formerly Ponape), and Kosrae, each of which has its own indigenous language, with English as the official language of the Federation. Most inhabitants of the more than 600 islands are of either Micronesian or Polynesian extraction. Roman Catholicism predominates among the largely Christian population. Subsistence farming and fishing are the principal economic activities, with tourism of increasing importance. More than half of the tax-paying wage earners are government employees, with most of the remainder dependent on ...

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