The total land area of Ifalik is only 1.47 square kilometres (0.57 sq mi), but it encloses a 20 metres (66 ft) deep lagoon of 2.43 square kilometres (0.94 sq mi). The total area is about six square kilometers.
Ifalik is known as a “warrior island”. Prior to European contact, its warriors invaded the outer islands in Yap as well as some of the outer islands in Chuuk. Atolls under the attack included, Lamotrek, Faraulep, Woleai, Elato, Satawal, Ulithi, and Poluwat (outer islet of Chuuk).
As with all of the Caroline Islands, sovereignty passed to the Empire of Germany in 1899. The island came under the control of the Empire of Japan after World War I, and was subsequently administered under the South Pacific Mandate. Following World War II, the island came under the control of the United States of America and was administered as part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands from 1947, and became part of the Federated States of Micronesia from 1979.