Information about the Micronesia

Micronesia is the name of a region in the Pacific Ocean. The Philippines lie to the west, Indonesia to the south west, Papua New Guinea and Melanesia to the south, and Polynesia to the south-east and east.

Geography and History

This region of Oceania consists of many hundreds of small islands spread over a large region of the western Pacific.

The term "Micronesia" was first proposed to distinguish the region in 1831 by Jules Dumont d'Urville; before this the term "Polynesia" was in use to generally describe the islands of the Pacific.

Politically, Micronesia is divided between eight territories:
  • the Federated States of Micronesia (sometimes referred to simply as "Micronesia", or alternatively abbreviated "FSM");
  • the Republic of the Marshall Islands;
  • the Republic of Palau;
  • the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands;
  • the Republic of Nauru;
  • the Republic of Kiribati;
  • the Territory of Guam.
  • the Territory of Wake Island.
Much of the area was to come under European domination quite early. Guam, the Northern Marianas, and the Caroline Islands (what would later become the FSM and Palau) were colonized early on by the Spanish. Full European expansion did not come, however, until the late 19th century, when the area would be divided between:
  • the United States, which took Guam and Wake Island;
  • Germany, which took Nauru and the Marshall, Caroline, and Northern Mariana Islands; and
  • the British Empire, which took the Gilbert Islands (Kiribati).
During the First World War, Germany's Pacific island territories were taken from it and were made into League of Nations Mandates. Nauru became an Australian mandate, while Germany's other territories were given as mandates to Japan. This remained the situation until Japan's defeat in the Second World War, when its mandates became a United Nations Trusteeship ruled by the United States, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. Today, all of Micronesia (with the exceptions of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and Wake Island, which are U.S. territories) are independent states.


The native languages of the various Micronesian indigenous peoples are classified under the Austronesian language family. Almost all of these languages belong to the Oceanic subgroup of this family; however, three exceptions are noted in Western Micronesia, which belong to the Western Malayo-Polynesian subgroup:
  • Chamorro in the Mariana Islands,
  • Yapese in the Federated States of Micronesia, and
  • Palauan in Palau.
This latter subgroup also includes quite a few languages spoken today in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia (Kirch, 2000: pp. 166-167).

On the eastern edge of the Federated States of Micronesia, the languages Nukuoro and Kapingamarangi represent an extreme westward extension of Polynesian.

The above includes excerpts from Wikipedia.org, the free encyclopedia:

What are the most spoken languages on earth?


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