The United Federation of Planets, also referred to as the Federation or UFP, is an interstellar nation composed of planetary governments and colonies. The various members of the Federation are organized under the unifying goals of universal liberty, equality, peaceful coexistence, trade, science, exploration, and mutual defense. Its territory encompasses at least several dozen sectors in both the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, spread across nearly 8,000 light-years of space. As of stardate 3219.8, the Federation was spread across more than 1,000 worlds. In 2268 there were at least 30 members, and by 2373, there were more than 150 members of the Federation, and over 1,000 semi-autonomous colonies.
Many of the Federation member worlds were originally Human colonies, which is why Humans make up the majority of Starfleet personnel.
Up until 2406, the Federation was a unicameral Federated Republic. However, the Federation had been run from 2406 to 2408 by Doenitz's shadow government as a dictatorship. Back to a republic status in 2408, the Federation has never been the same since.