Pohnpei was ruled by tribal chiefs in ancient times. Palikir was formerly a tiny village of little consequence. The island of Pohnpei was discovered by the Portuguese and Spanish in the 15th century, but colonial settlement did not occur until the Spanish arrived in 1886.
Later Germany attained the Caroline Islands via purchase from Spain at the end of the Spanish–American War in 1898. During World War One control passed to the Japanese. Subsequent to World War II, the island was administered by the United States Government until FSM attained independence in 1979. During World War II, the Japanese built an airport near Kolonia.
The government of the Federated States of Micronesia decided to convert the Palikir area into a town to house the central administration of the islands as a purpose built the capital city. It was declared the capital of Micronesia in 1989.
US aid of US $15 million was made available to develop the site into a modern town. All government offices, some residential houses, and the residence of the President of the Federated States of Micronesia were built. It is now the hub of the federal administration of the country, despite still being a very small village.
Palikir is located in the northwestern centre of Pohnpei Island (formerly known as Ponape). Geologically the island terrain consists high mountains to low coral atolls. It is the largest, highest, wettest and most scenic island of the Federated States of Micronesia.
Palikir is 10 kilometres (6 miles) to the west of Kolonia, which is Pohnpei's largest town and state capital of Pohnpei State. Underwater reefs are found all round the coastal region of the island. Dolohmwar (Totolom) is the highest mountain in the island which rises to a height of 791 metres (2,595 feet). Palikir is surrounded by heavily wooded forest. It was declared the capital of Micronesia in 1989.
The climate is tropical with rainfall recorded throughout the year.
The nationality of the people is Micronesian with the most common ethnicities being Chuukese, Kosraen(s), Pohnpeian(s), and Yapese. English is the common and official language while each of the major islands have their own local language such as Trukese, Pohnpeian, Yapese, and Kosrean.
96% of the population is Christian with Roman Catholicism being the majority religion at over 50% of the population. The city has been categorized as having a "high degree of hardship with a typical hardship premium of 30%" from an international perspective.
Palikir is the federal capital of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), which attained independence from and free association with, the [United States] in May 1979. FSM has a constitutional government headed by a president .
The economy of the capital city is reflected in the economic resources of the Micronesian Islands (600 islands, atolls and islets (including Pohnpei Island)) as a whole.
The economy of the island consists basically of subsistence farming and fishing (fish processing and aquaculture). Products such as fish, bananas, black pepper, and garments are mainly exported to Japan. Imported items are food, manufactured goods, machinery and equipment and beverages.
The local economy is dependent on its tropical agricultural and plantation products of copra, breadfruit, taros, betel nuts, sweet potatoes, casava, tropical fruits and vegetables, trochus shells, and cacao and rice. Livestock farming such as pigs and poultry are raised. Fishing is also a major economic activity.
The country is independent, but in fact depend on financial support stemming from its Compact of Free Association with the US. As of 2012 the inflation rate was 2% and the cost of living (for imported goods) in Palikir is reportedly very high in comparison with other places in the world.
Bailey Olter, politician
Emelihter Kihleng, poet