Palau (i//, sometimes spelled Belau or Pelew), officially the Republic of Palau (Palauan: Beluu er a Belau), is an island country located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is geographically part of the larger island group of Micronesia, with the country's population of around 21,000 people spread out over 250 islands forming the western chain of the Caroline Islands. The islands share maritime boundaries with Indonesia, the Philippines, and the Federated States of Micronesia. The most populous island in the group is Koror, with the capital, Ngerulmud, located in Melekeok State on the nearby island of Babeldaob.
Micronesia (from Greek: μικρός "mikros" small + Greek: νῆσος "nēsos" island) is a subregion of Oceania, comprising thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean. It is distinct from Melanesia to the south, and Polynesia to the east. The Philippines lie to the west, and Indonesia to the southwest.
The term Micronesia was first proposed in 1831 by Jules Dumont d'Urville to denote an ethnic and geographical grouping of islands distinct from Polynesia and Melanesia.