Palau (sometimes spelled Belau or Pelew), officially the Republic of Palau (Palauan: Beluu r a Belau), is an island country located in the western Pacific Ocean. 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 city, Ngerulmud, located on nearby Babeldaob. The country was originally settled around 3,000 years ago by migrants from the Philippines, with a Negrito population sustained until around 900 years ago. The islands were first visited by Europeans in the 18th century, and were made part of the Spanish East Indies in 1885.
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