The State of Yap (Yapese: Wa'ab or Waqab) is one of the four states of the Federated States of Micronesia, located in the westernmost portion of the country. The state borders Palau to the southwest, Guam to the north, and Chuuk State to the east. According to the state's population census carried out in 2020, the total population is 11,577 residing across a total area of 119.54 sq km (46.15 sq mi), though a large majority of the area is water. The only town area in the state, Colonia, serves as the state capital.

Yap State
Nam nu Wa'ab
State of Yap
Flag of Yap
Official seal of Yap State
Nickname: 
The Island of Stone Money
Map of the State of Yap
Map of the State of Yap
Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia
Coordinates: 9°31′N 138°07′E / 9.52°N 138.12°E / 9.52; 138.12
CountryFederated States of Micronesia
CapitalColonia
Government
 • GovernorCharles Chieng
Area
 • Total119.54 km2 (46.15 sq mi)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total11,577
 • Density97/km2 (250/sq mi)
DemonymYapese
Time zoneUTC+10
Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)
96943
ISO 3166 codeFM-YAP
Websitewww.yapstate.gov.fm
1886 Spanish nautical map, shows Olimaraos, Piagailoe (West Fayu), Pikelot, Elato, Lamotrek, and Woleai islands

What is now current-day Yap State and some parts of Chuuk State were the historical Yapese Empire, which at its peak, controlled 1,300 km of the western Pacific comprising all the inhabited islands and atolls between Yap and Chuuk. The rulers of the chiefdom of Gagil in Yap maintained sovereignty of these islands to the east and extracted resources and tribute, maintaining close economic and political relationships with the different island groups.[1] After losing its influence and becoming incorporated territories of Spain, the German Empire, the Japanese Empire, and the United States through the UN-mandated Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI), Yap and the islands and atolls between Yap and Chuuk formed Yap State upon the founding of the FSM.

According to the FSM Statistics Office, the population of Colonia and the municipalities of the State of Yap was 11,577 in 2020.[2] The state has a total land area of 102 km2 (39 sq mi).

History edit

The islands are thought to have been populated from the Malay Archipelago. In approximately 950 AD, it was the seat of the Yapese Empire, contemporary to the Tu'i Tonga Empire. The outer islands, now part of the Yap state, were settled from Polynesia.

The island nation formerly used rai stones as currency. Since this stone money had to be made from a rock that could not be extracted on the island, its value derived from the dangers taken on expeditions to obtain it, mainly from Palau.[3]

The Portuguese were the first Westerners to visit the island in 1525 when the navigator Diogo da Rocha arrived in Ulithi and stayed there for four months.[4]

The Caroline Islands were under Spanish rule from the 16th century under Johannes von Yaplett until the end of the 19th century. Still, most of the communities on the islands of the present state of Yap had little contact with Europeans and lived in complete independence. In 1885, following a conflict between Spain and Germany, the arbitration of Pope Leo XIII confirmed possession to Spain against commercial advantages for Germany. On June 30, 1899, after the Spanish–American War, Spain sold the Carolines, the Palau Islands, and the majority of the Marianas to the German Empire.[3] At the start of the First World War, in 1914, the Empire of Japan occupied the area. This occupation was formally recognized within the framework of the Mandate of the Pacific Islands created in 1919 by the League of Nations.[5]

The Caroline Islands came under the control of the United States in 1944, which administered them as a Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands under a UN mandate received in 1947.[6] The state was once the Yap District of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.[7] On May 10, 1979, Yap ratified the Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia and became an integral part of this new nation with official independence on November 3, 1986.[8][3]

Geography edit

 
A detailed map of the Yap Main Islands.
 
The Yap Monarch, the State Bird of Yap. The bird is native exclusively to the Yapese Main Islands.

The State of Yap is the westernmost state of the Micronesian Federation. Further eastwards in order are the states of Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae. It consists of the four main islands of Rumung, Maap, Gagil-Tamil, and Yap Proper (Marbaa') and 134 smaller islands southwest and east of Yap. The state stretches from the Yap main islands towards the east to Chuuk for 1,200 to 1,500 kilometers (750 to 930 mi; 650 to 810 nmi).[9]

The Yapese Main Islands are located approximately 800 kilometers (500 mi; 430 nmi) southwest of Guam, 3,200 kilometers (2,000 mi; 1,700 nmi) from Tokyo, 2,000 kilometers (1,200 mi; 1,100 nmi) from Manila, and 8,000 kilometers (5,000 mi; 4,300 nmi) from Honolulu.

Languages edit

The State of Yap has five official languages: English, Ulithian, Woleaian, Satawalese and Yapese.[10]

Demographics edit

According to the FSM Statistics Division, the 2020 population of Yap State is 11,577. The state has the third-largest population among the states in the FSM, with Chuuk and Pohnpei leading in this order.[11] The population of the state consists mainly of the local Yapese, Ulithians, Woleaians and Satawalese people; however, the state has been seeing a rise in the number of foreign citizens from countries such as the United States, Japan, Palau and the Philippines.

Religion edit

According to the 2018 International Religious Freedom Report compiled by the United States Department of State, an estimated 80% of the state population is Catholic, and the remainder is Protestant. Religious affiliation tends to follow clan lines. A majority of foreign citizens in the FSM and the state is made up of Filipino Catholics.[12]

Municipalities edit

 
Falalap, Woleai Atoll

The State of Yap is divided into 21 municipalities, with each municipality having several village units incorporated through customs and historically set boundary lines.[13] Each municipality can be placed in one of five main island groupings: Rumung, Maap, Gagil-Tamil, Marbaa' and the Neighboring Islands. The first four groupings are part of Yap Proper.

These municipalities are listed with their populations at the 2010 Census:[14]

Municipalities (Population, 2010 Census)
Yap Main Islands (7,371) Neighboring Islands (4,006)
Rumung Maap Gagil-Tamil Marbaa'
Rumung (58) Maap (621) Gagil (863) Fanif (509) Eauripik (114)
Tamil (1,231) Weloy (1,031) Elato (105)[15]
Dalipebinaw (397) Fais (294)
Kanifay (314) Faraulep (193)[16]
Rull (2,095) Ifalik (578)
Gilman (252) Lamotrek (329)
Ngulu (6)
Satawal (501)[17]
Sorol (0)
Ulithi (847)
Woleai (1,039)

Not included: Pikelot.

Politics and government edit

The State of Yap is one of the four federal states of the Federated States of Micronesia. As a democratic federation, each state can retain a large number of power within the state as well as a certain level of sovereignty typical of federal states. As such, the State adheres to the FSM National and Yap State constitutions to develop policies and regulations.

The State Government is unique because it consists of four government branches, each serving a specific function for policymaking. The Executive Branch consists of the Governor as well as the Lieutenant Governor, along with the members of the government departments affiliated with the branch. The Executive Branch is responsible for executing laws and administering government services. The Yap State Legislature makes up the Legislative Branch, responsible for creating, debating, and passing bills for the Executive Branch to approve into law and enforce. The Yap State Court makes up the Judicial Branch, responsible for ensuring laws passed do not violate the state and national constitutions. The unique traditional branch vests its power into two groups of Yapese chiefs. The group of Yap Main Island chiefs is known as the Council of Pilung, and the group of Yapese outer island chiefs is known as the Council of Tamol. The two councils make sure whether proposed bills do not violate local traditional customs and regulate cultural issues.[9]

Information about some state government leaders and administrative staff is included below.

Legislative Branch: Legislature of the State of Yap
Roles/Responsibilities Individual
Speaker of the Legislature Hon. Vincent A Figir
Vice Speaker Hon. John J Masiwemai
Floor Leader Hon. Jerry G. Fagolimul
Chairman, Committee on Finance Hon. Nicholas Figirlaarwon
Vice Chairman, Committee on Finance Hon. Kensley Ikosia
Chairman, Committee on Health and Welfare Hon. Theodore "Ted" Rutun
Vice Chairman, Committee on Health and Welfare Hon. Jesse Raglmar-Subolmar
Chairman, Committee on Resources, Education and Development Hon. Joseph Giliko'
Vice Chairman, Committee on Resources, Education and Development Hon. John Mafel
Other Members Hon. Joseph B. Tiuchemal
Chief Clerk Dee N. Libian
Assistant Chief Clerk Ben Chosmal
Budget Officer Elaine T. Chugen
Administrative Secretary Elizabeth Laayow
Legislative Counsel Leelkan Dabchuren, Esq.
Assistant Legislative Counsel Genevieve M. Mangefel
 
A bridge in Yap Island in 1932 during the Japanese Administration of the islands.
Executive Branch
Roles/Responsibilities Individual
Governor Hon. Jesse J. Salalu
Lieutenant Governor [VACANT]
Attorney General [VACANT]
Chief, Division of Public Safety Daniel G. Ramngen
Director, Administrative Services Gabriel Ramoloilug
Director, Planning and Budget Francis Itimai
Director, Youth and Civic Affairs Constantine Yowblaw
Director, Department of Resources & Development Arlene S. Chugen
Director, Department of Public Works & Transportation Jonathan Marmar
Director, Department of Health Services Dr. Aileen Tareg
Director, Department of Education Pamela Legdesog
Judicial Branch: Yap State Court
Roles/Responsibilities Individual
Chief Justice Hon. Cyprian Manmaw
Associate Justice Hon. Jesse Torwan
Hon. Jonathan M. Tun
Yap State Court Counsel Seema Shaw, Esq.
Clerk of Court Julianne Giley
Court Administrator Libuw Pongliyab
 
Yapese dancers in traditional dress celebrating Yap Day through a men's standing dance.
Traditional Leaders: Council of Pilung, Council of Tamol
Roles/Responsibilities Individual
Chairman, Council of Pilung Hon. Bruno Tharngan
Chairman, Council of Tamol Hon. Ramon Peyal
Select Government Agencies/Organisations
Roles/Responsibilities Individual
Public Defender [VACANT]
MLSC, Dir. Attorney John T. Mootmag, Esq.
Director, Yap Environmental Protection Agency Christina Fillmed
Director, Yap Community Action Program Sabino Sauchomal
Director, Yap Investment Trust Patricia D. Moonfel
Director, Yap Fishing Authority Paul Ayin
Director, Yap State Public Service Corporation Faustino Yangmog
Director, Yap State Public Library Erica Ruepin
Director, Yap Visitors Authority Don Evans
Director, Yap Sports Council Office Lawrence Uwelur

Climate edit

Climate data for Yap
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 33
(91)
34
(93)
34
(93)
35
(95)
35
(95)
34
(94)
34
(93)
36
(96)
34
(94)
34
(94)
34
(94)
36
(96)
36
(96)
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 30.1
(86.2)
30.2
(86.4)
31.1
(88.0)
31.2
(88.2)
30.9
(87.6)
30.7
(87.3)
30.6
(87.1)
30.8
(87.4)
30.9
(87.6)
30.9
(87.6)
30.4
(86.7)
30.7
(87.3)
30.7
(87.3)
Daily mean °C (°F) 26.8
(80.2)
26.9
(80.4)
27.5
(81.5)
27.6
(81.7)
27.3
(81.1)
27.1
(80.8)
27.1
(80.8)
27.1
(80.8)
27.2
(81.0)
27.3
(81.1)
27.1
(80.8)
27.2
(81.0)
27.2
(81.0)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 23.5
(74.3)
23.5
(74.3)
24.0
(75.2)
24.1
(75.4)
23.8
(74.8)
23.6
(74.5)
23.4
(74.1)
23.4
(74.1)
23.5
(74.3)
23.7
(74.7)
23.8
(74.8)
23.7
(74.7)
23.7
(74.7)
Record low °C (°F) 19
(67)
19
(66)
19
(66)
19
(67)
18
(65)
19
(66)
18
(65)
19
(66)
19
(66)
17
(63)
18
(65)
17
(63)
17
(63)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 186
(7.33)
152
(5.98)
151
(5.96)
146
(5.76)
230
(9.06)
322
(12.69)
369
(14.54)
386
(15.20)
343
(13.51)
304
(11.97)
230
(9.07)
228
(8.99)
3,050
(120.06)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 16.8 13.4 13.7 12.6 17.1 20.2 21.2 20.9 19.3 20.1 18.7 17.6 211.6
Average relative humidity (%) 82 81 80 79 81 83 84 84 84 84 83 83 82
Mean monthly sunshine hours 210.8 211.9 251.1 255.0 244.9 201.0 189.1 176.7 180.0 170.5 192.0 198.4 2,481.4
Source 1: Weatherbase[18]
Source 2: Hong Kong Observatory (sun, precipitation 1961–1990)[19]

Economy edit

 
US patrol vessels in Tamil Harbor, Yap Island.
 
Traditional meeting house on Yap

The GDP per capita in 2018 was US$4,510, while the total GDP in 2018 was US$52 million.[20] According to the 2010 Labor Market Statistics data compiled by the FSM Statistics Office, 67% of the total state population is in the labor force, the highest percentage of people in the labor force in the entire nation. Most of those in the labor force are in formal work, while the rest are in home production, including subsistence.[21]

Yap has a relatively small tourism industry, with the Yap Visitors Bureau reporting only 4,000 annual visitors from 2010 to 2017.[22] China's Exhibition & Travel Group has announced plans to develop a 4,000-unit resort on the island.[22] Businesses that contribute to the state's tourism share of state GDP are Manta Ray Resort and Spa, ESA, and Yap Pacific Dive Resort.

The largest retail businesses in the State are Yap Cooperative Association (YCA) General Store, Guang Mao Enterprises, and EMI Enterprises. These businesses contribute primarily to the State's retail and wholesale sectors.

The State also has a small but essential financial sector that supports the population's investment and capital needs, local small- and medium-enterprises (SMEs), the government and state institutions, and the academic sector. It has five financial services institutions: the Bank of Guam (BOG),[23] the Bank of the Federated States of Micronesia (BFSM), Community Ayuw Services Credit Union, Western Union, and the FSM Development Bank.[24]

The State is now expected to be one of the fastest-growing economies in the country as technological innovation is highly encouraged. Although the FSM communications industry is largely monopolized by the state-operated FSM Telecommunications Corporation based in Pohnpei, Yap saw the rise of the tech startup company iBoom when the company is expected to utilise the National Government's Digital FSM Project 2017 grant funding from the World Bank to connect each home, work office, etc.[25] iBoom is expected to challenge previous monopoly of the FSM Telecom Corporation through competitive pricing and services.

Transportation edit

 
Yap International Airport

Yap International Airport receives service from United Airlines as well as Pacific Mission Aviation. The state also has a small dockyard, colloquially known as Gampek, in Colonia just south of Tamil Harbor that services maritime vessels for inter-state and cross-border transport and freight.

Education edit

Post-secondary institutions:

State secondary schools:[26]

Private Secondary and Elementary Schools:

Notable people edit

  • John Mangefel: FSM Founding Father; First State Governor
  • Petrus Tun: FSM Founding Father; first FSM Vice President; Second State Governor
  • Jennifer Chieng: Boxer and mixed martial artist (MMA)

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Petersen, G. (2000). Indigenous Island Empires: Yap and Tonga Considered. The Journal of Pacific History, 35(1), 8-9. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25169463.
  2. ^ "Population Statistics – FSM Statistics". Archived from the original on 2021-04-21. Retrieved 2021-06-06.
  3. ^ a b c "Yap Islands | archipelago, Micronesia | Britannica". www.britannica.com. Retrieved 2023-03-01.
  4. ^ "The History of Yap Island from 1500 B.C. to Present". www.visityap.com. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 2023-03-01.
  5. ^ PacificWrecks.com. "Pacific Wrecks". pacificwrecks.com. Retrieved 2023-03-01.
  6. ^ "Yap Island". www.u-s-history.com. Retrieved 2023-03-01.
  7. ^ Kleiber, Eleanor. "Research Guides: Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands Archives: Introduction". guides.library.manoa.hawaii.edu. Retrieved 2023-03-01.
  8. ^ "Micronesia's constitution – 1975" (PDF).
  9. ^ a b "Yap – Legal Information System of the Federated States of Micronesia". fsmlaw.org. Archived from the original on 2021-04-21. Retrieved 2021-05-29.
  10. ^ "Yap, Federated States of Micronesia". Pacific Resources for Education and Learning. Archived from the original on 2006-10-14. Retrieved 2006-10-24.
  11. ^ "Population Statistics – FSM Statistics". Archived from the original on 2021-04-21. Retrieved 2021-05-29.
  12. ^ "International Religious Freedom Report for 2018" (PDF). US Department of State. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 March 2021. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  13. ^ "Census 1987 with village population figures" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-03-27. Retrieved 2012-06-17.
  14. ^ "2010 Census Basic Table – Yap". Archived from the original on 2021-09-12. Retrieved 2022-03-01.
  15. ^ Includes Olimarao Atoll.
  16. ^ Includes Gaferut Atoll/Fayo.
  17. ^ Includes Piagailoe Atoll/West Fayu.
  18. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Yap, Federated States of Micronesia". Weatherbase. Archived from the original on 6 November 2018. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
  19. ^ "Climatological Information for Yap, Pacific Islands, United States". Hong Kong Observatory. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
  20. ^ McKinlay, Glenn (August 2019). "Federated States of Micronesia Fiscal Year 2018 Statistical Appendices" (PDF). The Pacific Islands Training Initiative (PITI-VITI). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-06-05. Retrieved 2022-06-04.
  21. ^ "Labour Market Statistics detailed". FSM Statistics Office. Archived from the original on 26 April 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  22. ^ a b Lin, Daniel (15 August 2017). "This Pacific Island Is Caught in a Global Power Struggle (And It's Not Guam)". 'National Geographic'. Archived from the original on 20 June 2018. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  23. ^ "Bank of Guam". Archived from the original on 2022-02-17. Retrieved 2022-03-01.
  24. ^ "FSM Development Bank". Archived from the original on 2022-02-05. Retrieved 2022-03-01.
  25. ^ McClure, Joyce (2021-03-10). "The little island that could: Yap takes the lead in digital communications for FSM". pactimes. Archived from the original on 2021-06-06. Retrieved 2021-06-06.
  26. ^ "Higher Education in the Federated States of Micronesia". Embassy of the Federated States of Micronesia Washington DC. Archived from the original on 2017-10-14. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  27. ^ "ABOUT YCHS". Yap Catholic High School. Archived from the original on 2018-06-20. Retrieved 22 February 2018.

External links edit