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Australia - Oceania :: Pitcairn Islands Print
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  • Introduction :: Pitcairn Islands
  • Background field listing
    Pitcairn Island was discovered in 1767 by the British and settled in 1790 by the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian companions. Pitcairn was the first Pacific island to become a British colony (in 1838) and today remains the last vestige of that empire in the South Pacific. Outmigration, primarily to New Zealand, has thinned the population from a peak of 233 in 1937 to less than 50 today.
  • Geography :: Pitcairn Islands
  • Location field listing
    Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about midway between Peru and New Zealand
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    25 04 S, 130 06 W
    Map references field listing
    Area field listing
    total: 47 sq km
    land: 47 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 234
    Area - comparative field listing
    about three-tenths the size of Washington, DC
    Land boundaries field listing
    0 km
    Coastline field listing
    51 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    Climate field listing
    tropical; hot and humid; modified by southeast trade winds; rainy season (November to March)
    Terrain field listing
    rugged volcanic formation; rocky coastline with cliffs
    Elevation field listing
    lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Palwala Valley Point on Big Ridge 347 m
    Natural resources field listing
    miro trees (used for handicrafts), fish, note, manganese, iron, copper, gold, silver, and zinc have been discovered offshore
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 0% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 0% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 0% (2011 est.)
    forest: 74.5% (2011 est.)
    other: 25.5% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    0 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    less than 50 inhabitants on Pitcairn Island, most reside near the village of Adamstown
    Natural hazards field listing
    occasional tropical cyclones (especially November to March), but generally only heavy tropical storms; landslides
    Environment - current issues field listing
    deforestation (only a small portion of the original forest remains because of burning and clearing for settlement)
    Geography - note field listing
    Britain's most isolated dependency; only the larger island of Pitcairn is inhabited but it has no port or natural harbor; supplies must be transported by rowed longboat from larger ships stationed offshore
  • People and Society :: Pitcairn Islands
  • Population field listing
    50 (2020 est. est.)
    country comparison to the world: 238
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Pitcairn Islander(s)
    adjective: Pitcairn Islander
    Ethnic groups field listing
    other descendants of the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian wives
    Languages field listing
    English (official), Pitkern (mixture of an 18th century English dialect and a Tahitian dialect)
    Religions field listing
    Seventh-Day Adventist 100%
    Population growth rate field listing
    0% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    Population distribution field listing
    less than 50 inhabitants on Pitcairn Island, most reside near the village of Adamstown
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 0% of total population (2012)
    rate of urbanization: NA
    Sex ratio field listing
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: NA (2018)
    male: NA
    female: NA
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: NA (2017 est.)
    male: NA
    female: NA
    Total fertility rate field listing
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    Major infectious diseases field listing
    degree of risk: high (2020)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
    vectorborne diseases: malaria
  • Government :: Pitcairn Islands
  • Country name field listing
    conventional long form: Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie, and Oeno Islands
    conventional short form: Pitcairn Islands
    etymology: named after Midshipman Robert PITCAIRN who first sighted the island in 1767
    Dependency status field listing
    overseas territory of the UK
    Government type field listing
    parliamentary democracy
    Capital field listing
    name: Adamstown
    geographic coordinates: 25 04 S, 130 05 W
    time difference: UTC-9 (4 hours behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    etymology: named after John Adams (1767–1829), the last survivor of the Bounty mutineers who settled on Pitcairn Island in January 1790
    Administrative divisions field listing
    none (overseas territory of the UK)
    Independence field listing
    none (overseas territory of the UK)
    National holiday field listing
    Birthday of Queen ELIZABETH II, second Saturday in June (1926); Discovery Day (Pitcairn Day), 2 July (1767)
    Constitution field listing
    history: several previous; latest drafted 10 February 2010, presented 17 February 2010, effective 4 March 2010
    Citizenship field listing
    see United Kingdom
    Suffrage field listing
    18 years of age; universal with three years residency
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by UK High Commissioner to New Zealand and Governor (nonresident) of the Pitcairn Islands Laura CLARK (since 25 January 2018)
    head of government: Mayor and Chairman of the Island Council Charlene WARREN-PEU (since 1 January 2020)
    cabinet: none
    elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor and commissioner appointed by the monarch; island mayor directly elected by majority popular vote for a 3-year term; election last held on 6 November 2019 (next to be held not later than December 2022)
    election results: Charlene WARREN-PEU elected mayor and chairman of the Island Council; Island Council vote - NA
    Legislative branch field listing
    description: unicameral Island Council (10 seats; 4 members directly elected by proportional representation vote, 1 nominated by the elected Council members, 2 appointed by the governor, and 3 ex-officio members - the governor, deputy governor, and commissioner; elected members serve 1-year terms)
    elections: last held in November 2017 (next to be held not later than December 2019)
    election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - 5 independent; composition - men 5, women 5, percent of women 50%
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Pitcairn Court of Appeal (consists of the court president, 2 judges, and the Supreme Court chief justice, an ex-officio member); Pitcairn Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and 2 judges); note - appeals beyond the Pitcairn Court of Appeal are referred to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London)
    judge selection and term of office: all judges of both courts appointed by the governor of the Pitcairn Islands on the instructions of the Queen of England through the Secretary of State; all judges can serve until retirement, normally at age 75
    subordinate courts: Magistrate's Court
    Political parties and leaders field listing
    International organization participation field listing
    SPC, UPU
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    none (overseas territory of the UK)
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    none (overseas territory of the UK)
    Flag description field listing
    blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Pitcairn Islander coat of arms centered on the outer half of the flag; the green, yellow, and blue of the shield represents the island rising from the ocean; the green field features a yellow anchor surmounted by a bible (both the anchor and the bible were items found on the HMS Bounty); sitting on the crest is a Pitcairn Island wheelbarrow from which springs a flowering twig of miro (a local plant)
    National anthem field listing
    name: We From Pitcairn Island
    lyrics/music: unknown/Frederick M. LEHMAN

    note: serves as a local anthem; as a territory of the UK, "God Save the Queen" is official (see United Kingdom)

  • Economy :: Pitcairn Islands
  • Economy - overview field listing
    The inhabitants of this tiny isolated economy exist on fishing, subsistence farming, handicrafts, and postage stamps. The fertile soil of the valleys produces a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including citrus, sugarcane, watermelons, bananas, yams, and beans. Bartering is an important part of the economy. The major sources of revenue are the sale of postage stamps to collectors and the sale of handicrafts to passing ships.
    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing


    Agriculture - products field listing
    honey; wide variety of fruits and vegetables; goats, chickens; fish
    Industries field listing
    postage stamps, handicrafts, beekeeping, honey
    Labor force field listing
    15 (2004)
    country comparison to the world: 232
    Labor force - by occupation field listing

    note: no business community in the usual sense; some public works; subsistence farming and fishing

    Budget field listing
    revenues: 746,000 (FY04/05)
    expenditures: 1.028 million (FY04/05)
    Fiscal year field listing
    1 April - 31 March
    Exports field listing


    Exports - commodities field listing
    honey, fruits, vegetables, curios, postage stamps
    Imports field listing


    Imports - commodities field listing
    fuel oil, machinery, building materials, flour, sugar, other foodstuffs
    Exchange rates field listing
    New Zealand dollars (NZD) per US dollar -
    1.416 (2017 est.)
    1.4279 (2016 est.)
    1.4279 (2015)
    1.4279 (2014 est.)
    1.2039 (2013 est.)
  • Communications :: Pitcairn Islands
  • Telecommunication systems field listing
    general assessment: satellite-based phone services; rural connectivity a challenge; 2G services widespread; demand for mobile broadband due to mobile services providing Internet source; the launch of the Kacific-1 satellite in 2019 will improve telecommunications in the region (2020)
    domestic: local phone service with international connections via Internet (2018)
    international: country code - 872; satellite earth station - 1 Inmarsat
    note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media field listing
    satellite TV from Fiji-based Sky Pacific offering a wide range of international channels
    Internet country code field listing
    Internet users field listing
    total: 54
    percent of population: 100% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 229
    Communications - note field listing
    satellite-based local phone service and broadband Internet connections available in all homes
  • Transportation :: Pitcairn Islands
  • Roadways field listing
    total: 0 km
    country comparison to the world: 224
    Ports and terminals field listing
    major seaport(s): Adamstown (on Bounty Bay)
  • Military and Security :: Pitcairn Islands
  • Military - note field listing
    defense is the responsibility of the UK
  • Transnational Issues :: Pitcairn Islands
  • Disputes - international field listing