The social differences between the rich and the poor are large, partly as a result of the unequal distribution of aid. City dwellers in the larger main islands have generally performed better than farmers and fishermen on the less developed outer islands. There is sometimes lack of both running water and electricity.
While most micronesia now has access to clean water, just over half have access to functioning sewers. According to the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) in 2015, the country was below average both globally and regionally.
- Countryaah Official Site: Official statistics for population in Micronesia, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
Most of the residents live in large families whose members take responsibility for helping each other with their livelihoods. Many of the Micronesian communities are traditionally strictly hierarchical and customer affiliation usually determines the social position.
In recent decades, however, the social system has been influenced by more modern Western influences, especially among young people. Respect for superiors, for example, has diminished. The changes have also led to new eating habits that have made welfare diseases such as heart problems, diabetes and obesity a widespread health problem (see Ethics and Use). According to the World Health Organization, the Micronesia Federation has one of the highest rates of diabetes in its population in the world – 30 percent in 2014.
Health care is financed with US aid and works relatively well. Outbreaks of dengue fever occur and waterborne illnesses such as cholera are periodically a problem. The social insurance systems are undeveloped, but there are, for example, public pensions.
Men and women are equal before the law, but in reality women are often subordinate to men. There are no laws against abuse and rape within the marriage. Some women are employed at the middle management level in the public sector, but the representation of women in the governing bodies is small.
The law prohibits prostitution. However, the country has problems with human trafficking, so-called trafficking, especially with women who are tricked into the United States with promises of well-paid jobs but who instead end up in prostitution. Prostitution also occurs on fishing vessels in the waters around the Micronesian islands, even with children involved. Following pressure from the United States, the Micronesian Parliament in 2012 passed a law prohibiting trafficking. The situation has since improved.
Gay relationships are forbidden and punishable.
FACTS – SOCIAL CONDITIONS
Infant Mortality: 26 per 1000 births (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean water: 88.4 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to toilets: 88.3 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a percentage of GDP: 13.1 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person: US $ 387 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament: percent (2018)