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The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) 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 (important crops include bananas, taros, and yams) and fishing are the principal economic activities, with tourism of increasing importance. More than half of the taxpaying wage earners are government employees, with most of the remainder dependent on spending by ...

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