Location: Pacific Ocean
Time zone: GMT/UTC plus 10-11 hours
Daylight savings time: no
Current time: 15:08 (Chuuk, Yap), 16:08 (Pohnpei, Kosrae)
Currency: Micronesian dollar/US dollar
Dialling code: +691
Internet suffix: .fm
Micronesia is a Pacific archipelago country consisting of hundreds of islands, known for its beaches, lagoons and good diving. It is considered very safe from a security perspective, although it is deemed vulnerable to natural disasters while medical facilities can underdeveloped.
Overall security situation: secure
Crime rate: very low
Murder rate: slightly above the world average
Gun ownership levels: thought to be low
Kidnapping hotspot: no
Maritime piracy hotspot: no
Do landmines/unexploded munitions pose a significant risk in parts of the country: no
Micronesia is one of the most secure parts of the world. The crime rate is very low with limited incidents, infrequent violence and generally good police coverage.
While the official guns-per-capita ratio is not known it is thought to be low in comparison to the rest of the world.
The public is largely content while demonstrations are usually infrequent, peaceful and professionally managed.
The risk of terrorism is deemed to be extremely low.
Aviation safety levels: potential concerns
Annual road fatality rates: low
Vehicles drive on the: right
Infrastructure quality: poor
Urban ATM availability: moderate
Electricity supply: 120V 60Hz
Electricity supply reliability: poor
Plug types: A and B
Plug type A (2 flat pins, not grounded/earthed)
Plug type B (2 flat pins and 1 rounded pin, grounded/earthed, socket compatible with plug type A)
Is tap water drinkable: yes but precautions are advised and/or occasional health scares have been reported which necessitate periodic care
Healthcare quality: significant gaps in healthcare provision
Infectious disease prevalence: some infectious diseases are prevalent
Travellers should consult a medical practitioner prior to their trip but the following vaccines may be considered before travelling to the country, depending on factors such as specific destination, planned activities, intended time and length of stay as well as personal medical conditions (in some cases no additional vaccines may be required at all):
- Hepatitis A
- Standard vaccinations (ie those commonly used in the developed world, such as diphtheria, measles, mumps, polio, rubella, tuberculosis and tetanus)
Malaria risk: none
Yellow fever presence: no
Dengue fever prevalence: frequent cases
Rabies prevalence: low risk
HIV prevalence in society: low
Hepatitis A prevalence: high
Hepatitis B prevalence: low
Hepatitis E prevalence: not highly endemic
Cholera status: low risk
Chikungunya virus presence: present
Zika virus presence: not recently reported
Japanese encephalitis presence: no
Cutaneous leishmaniasis presence: non-endemic
Visceral leishmaniasis presence: non-endemic
Onchocerciasis presence: non-endemic
Schistosomiasis presence: none
Tick-borne encephalitis status: low/non-existent risk
Chagas disease presence: none
Typhoid fever presence: sporadic
African trypanosomiasis presence: none
Plague status: not thought to be present
Rift Valley fever status: not present
Lassa fever status: not present
Polio status: not endemic
Ebola outbreaks: no
Meningococcal meningitis hotspot: no
Climate: tropical; heavy year-round rainfall, especially in the eastern islands; located on southern edge of the typhoon belt with occasionally severe damage
Terrain: islands vary geologically from high mountainous islands to low, coral atolls; volcanic outcroppings on Pohnpei, Kosrae, and Chuuk
Natural disaster risk: moderately high
Natural hazards: typhoons occur all year, but especially between July and November; flooding; landslides
Tropical storms: common
Volcanic activity: low/none
Previous earthquake(s) with over 1,000 fatalities: no
Government type: constitutional government in free association with the US; the Compact of Free Association entered into force on 3 November 1986 and the Amended Compact entered into force in May 2004
Socio-economic development score: 5/10 (medium levels of socio-economic development)
Adult literacy rate: 90%
Unemployment rate: high (although much in the way of social welfare is provided on a community level, mitigating any associated insecurity risks)
Civil liberties: well respected
Investment rating: sub-investment grade / speculative grade / junk status
Corruption levels: moderate
Same-sex sexual activity: legal
Death penalty: abolished
Languages: English (official and common language), Chuukese, Kosrean, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Ulithian, Woleaian, Nukuoro, Kapingamarangi
Ethnic groups: Chuukese/Mortlockese 49.3%, Pohnpeian 29.8%, Kosraean 6.3%, Yapese 5.7%, Yap outer islanders 5.1%, Polynesian 1.6%, Asian 1.4%, other 0.8%
Beliefs: Roman Catholic 54.7%, Protestant 41.1% (includes Congregational 38.5%, Baptist 1.1%, Seventh Day Adventist 0.8%, Assembly of God .7%), Mormon 1.5%, other 1.9%, none 0.7%, unspecified 0.1%
- The following advice has been compiled by travel safety specialists and ex-special forces personnel.
- However, please note that it is of a general nature only and may not reflect the reality of your circumstances.
- Ensure you have proper insurance cover in place.
- Select good quality accommodation and properly prepare for any tasks, excursions or other activities you have to undertake.
- Be mindful of local laws and cultural norms, bearing in mind that they might be different to what you are accustomed to.
Safe country guidelines
- Even in relatively safe parts of the world, accidents, illnesses and other incidents can still affect traveller safety.
- Make sure you know how to find help if you need it (such as the local emergency service numbers).
- There may still be a risk of opportunistic crime so be mindful of your belongings and take responsibility for your own actions.
- If rainfall, flooding, extreme temperatures or other types of severe weather are a concern, check the local weather patterns to find out if there are times of the year where the risk is much higher.
- Consider avoiding travel to at-risk destinations during these times.
- Try to stay in good quality accommodation.
- Take appropriate clothing and footwear.
- Take appropriate protection for any sensitive equipment you wish to bring.
- Note that storms, flooding and other types of harsh weather can overload infrastructure, lead to traffic jams and power cuts.
- Flooding and heavy rainfall can also raise the risk of landslides, as well as insect- and water-borne diseases in some parts of the world.
- As such, be prepared to delay, alter or even cancel travel plans to affected or high-risk areas.
- Be prepared for potentially poor-quality roads and other forms of transportation.
- This can make it difficult to get around.
- Consider obtaining a high-quality vehicle that can handle difficult terrain if you intend to travel anywhere with particularly bad-quality roads.
- Bear in mind that traffic safety conditions may be poor.
- Try to ensure that any accommodation or workplace is located in a good quality building.
- Bear in mind that in the event of an accident or emergency, the emergency response services may have very limited resources available.
- Try to use reputable airlines.
- Check the safety records of any companies you use to charter flights.
- Check the weather forecast in advance of travel – particularly for domestic flights.
- Consider delaying your trip or using an alternative means of transport rather than taking a risky flight.
- Bear in mind that healthcare facilities and services may be less extensive than what you are used to at home.
- Facilities and services may be particularly limited in rural areas.
- Pharmacies may not offer the same medications you might be accustomed to being able to purchase at home.
- If you use any medications on a regular basis, consider taking extra supplies.
- It may also be advisable to have them accompanied by a note from your doctor.
- In the event of serious or complicated illness or injury it may be necessary for a patient to be evacuated out of the country.
- Ensure that there is sufficient medical insurance in place to cover such an event.