Hawaii is home to 16,680 Micronesians that have moved to the state under a treaty allowing for visa-free travel to work and live in the U.S.

It represents an increase of 12% since 2013, the last time a count was done. The figure represents 1 percent of Hawaii’s total population.

The 2018 enumeration puts the number of FAS migrants — it stands for “freely associated states” and refers to the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia — on Guam at 18,874, an increase of 9% from 2013. The figure represents 11% of Guam’s population.

We Are Oceania Micronesian Festival crowd.
Students at the 2018 Micronesian Youth Summit, an event geared toward middle and high school students, organized by nonprofit group We Are Oceania. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

In the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands COFA migrant numbers decreased 5% to 2,535, accounting for 5% of the CNMI population.

The full census report can be found here.

The U.S. Department of the Interior uses the census estimates to determine Compact Impact grant funding to the islands. The money is used by local governments “to help defray costs associated with increased demands placed on health, education, and social services, or infrastructure related to such services provided to individuals,” according to a press release Monday.

The agency this week distributed $34 million for fiscal year 2019: $16.8 million for Guam, $14.8 million for Hawaii and $2.2 million for the CNMI.

Under current law, mandatory Compact Impact funding expires in 2023, while U.S. relationships with the FSM, the RMI and Palau will continue.

Read Civil Beat’s series The Micronesians to learn more about this important immigrant group.

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