Definition of Youth

The Palau national youth policy defines youth as between 15-34 years, but extends the principles of the policy to those outside the specific age range.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 0
  • 0
  • XX
  • Female
  • 0
  • 0
  • --

  • There is no legislation specifying the minimum age at marriage for men and women. Male homosexual acts illegal. Female homosexual acts legal. Source: UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Children between 10-14 years are presumed incapable of committing any crime, except the crimes of murder and rape. Source:  National Code of Palau

Majority Age



Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • -- Male (15-24) %
  • -- Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • --Male %
  • -- Female %
  • Year: No data.
  • Source: UNESCO

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 58.30% Male (13-15) %
  • 42.40% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
Palau adopted its national youth policy in 2005, and added an implementation framework in 2009.

The national youth policy (2005) “provides guiding principles for the development” of young people in Palau. The policy has two main goals:

  1. Youth must be empowered to become productive and contributing members of the community.
  2. A system must be created, where the right to access quality public services and sharing of national resources is maximized for young Palauans.
It focuses on ten priority areas: Youth and Nationalism/Patriotism; Youth and Health; Youth and Education; Youth and Employment; Youth and Justice; Sports and Recreations; Youth Participation in National Development; Youth and Their Voices; Youth and Their Participation in Decision-Making and Resource Appropriation; Youth and Culture & Fine Arts.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The Division of Youth within the Ministry of Community and Cultural Affairs is responsibility for youth affairs and the development of youth programs. According to the national youth policy (2005), a Youth Policy Committee comprised of a number of ministerial and NGO representatives supported its development and is responsible for its implementation. However, a situation analysis (2008) noted that “in reality the Youth Office has limited capacity to oversee the policy” with only two staff members and no funding beyond salaries.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
According to their official Facebook Page, the National Youth Council of Palau (NYCP) has elected youth offices and is designed to be “the focal body of all youths and young people of Palau.” The NYCP is a member of the regional Pacific Youth Council. According to a situation analysis (2008), a National Youth Congress, comprising of appointed youth representatives by the governor of each regional state, had previously existed but was currently non-functional due to no allocated funds.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
USD 920,387
According to the 2012 ROP Statistical Yearbook, the total expenditure of the Ministry of Community & Cultural Affairs in 2011 was USD 920,387. It is unclear what proportion of this was allocated to youth affairs. Palau uses the US dollar. According to the World Bank, Palau spent 7.27% of its GDP on education in 2002, but does not calculate what this translates to in terms of percentage of government expenditure.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed August 2013).

Additional Background

The UNICEF situation analysis (2008) provides background information to life for young people in Palau.
In 2005, there were 6,167 youth resident in Palau equivalent to 31% of the resident population. The youth population was more concentrated in the urban Koro-Airai area (82%) than was the general population (72%). Thirteen percent of youth lived in rural Babeldaob and five percent lived in the outlying islands.
Based on 2005 census data, 77 percent of resident youth aged 25-34 are high school graduates and 7 percent are college graduates (with bachelor’s degrees). Females have higher levels of educational attainment than males. Eighty-three percent of females have at least a high school diploma compared with only 72 percent of males.
The national youth policy (2005) outlines a brief situation analysis.
The data indicate not only a low fertility rate but also a decreasing trend. This has become an important issue in national development in that it signifies a slow population growth over the next decades.
A large proportion of the young people, who fall within the defined youth population, by legal definition, should still be in school. Data from 21st Century Community Learning Center indicates approximately 20% of Palau's high school students drop out of school every year. This begins around 8th grade where approximately 5% drop out.
Many within this population are involved in the use of various drugs, from hard drugs such as metamphetamine, to betel nuts. Policies require improvements to meet the needs of the community.
Some of the younger people are still caught in situations of domestic violence or violence in the school setting. Some members of this age group have fallen into the category of perpetrators of domestic violence. While the trend for all categories of injury and violence seems to indicate a general decrease, the overall levels are still bothersome for this age group, particularly, when violence and injuries occur in the school premises.
Analysis of the 1991 Household Income and Expenditure data and the 1995 census data suggests that up to 25% of households might be described as living in 'relative poverty" (unable to afford a standard of living in accordance with prevailing community expectations). Households in rural areas and those headed by women, senior citizens or youth are at a particular economic disadvantage.