Introduction ::Nauru

    The exact origins of the Nauruans are unclear since their language does not resemble any other in the Pacific region. Germany annexed the island in 1888. A German-British consortium began mining the island's phosphate deposits early in the 20th century. Australian forces occupied Nauru in World War I; it subsequently became a League of Nations mandate. After the Second World War - and a brutal occupation by Japan - Nauru became a UN trust territory. It achieved independence in 1968 and joined the UN in 1999 as the world's smallest independent republic.

Geography ::Nauru

    Oceania, island in the South Pacific Ocean, south of the Marshall Islands
    0 32 S, 166 55 E
    total: 21 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 240
    land: 21 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    about 0.1 times the size of Washington, DC
    0 km
    30 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    tropical with a monsoonal pattern; rainy season (November to February)
    sandy beach rises to fertile ring around raised coral reefs with phosphate plateau in center
    lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: unnamed elevation along plateau rim 61 m
    phosphates, fish
    arable land: 0%
    permanent crops: 20%
    other: 80% (2011)
    periodic droughts
    limited natural freshwater resources, roof storage tanks collect rainwater but mostly dependent on a single, aging desalination plant; intensive phosphate mining during the past 90 years - mainly by a UK, Australia, and NZ consortium - has left the central 90% of Nauru a wasteland and threatens limited remaining land resources
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    Nauru is one of the three great phosphate rock islands in the Pacific Ocean - the others are Banaba (Ocean Island) in Kiribati and Makatea in French Polynesia; only 53 km south of Equator

People and Society ::Nauru

Government ::Nauru

    conventional long form: Republic of Nauru
    conventional short form: Nauru
    local long form: Republic of Nauru
    local short form: Nauru
    former: Pleasant Island
    no official capital; government offices in Yaren District
    time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    14 districts; Aiwo, Anabar, Anetan, Anibare, Baiti, Boe, Buada, Denigomodu, Ewa, Ijuw, Meneng, Nibok, Uaboe, Yaren
    31 January 1968 (from the Australia-, NZ-, and UK-administered UN trusteeship)
    Independence Day, 31 January (1968)
    29 January 1968; amended 17 May 1968
    mixed legal system of common law based on the English model and customary law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    20 years of age; universal and compulsory
    chief of state: President Baron WAQA (since 11 June 2013); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Baron WAQA (since 11 June 2013)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from among the members of parliament
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: president elected by parliament for a three-year term; election last held on 11 June 2013 (next to be held in 2016)
    election results: Baron WAQA elected in a parliamentary vote of 13 to 5
    unicameral parliament (19 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve three-year terms)
    elections: last held on 8 June 2013 (next to be held in 2016)
    election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 19
    highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of a chief justice and 1 judge)
    judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the president to serve until age 65
    subordinate courts: District Court, Family Court
    Democratic Party [Kennan ADEANG]
    Nauru First (Naoero Amo) Party
    Nauru Party (informal)
    note: loose multiparty system
    Woman Information and News Agency (women's issues)
    chief of mission: Ambassador Marlene I. MOSES
    chancery: 800 2nd Avenue, Suite 400 D, New York, NY 10017
    telephone: [1] (212) 937-0074
    FAX: [1] (212) 937-0079
    consulate(s): Agana (Guam)
    the US does not have an embassy in Nauru; the US Ambassador to Fiji is accredited to Nauru
    blue with a narrow, horizontal, yellow stripe across the center and a large white 12-pointed star below the stripe on the hoist side; blue stands for the Pacific Ocean, the star indicates the country's location in relation to the Equator (the yellow stripe) and the 12 points symbolize the 12 original tribes of Nauru
    name: "Nauru Bwiema" (Song of Nauru)
    lyrics/music: Margaret HENDRIE/Laurence Henry HICKS
    note: adopted 1968

Economy ::Nauru

    Revenues of this tiny island traditionally have come from exports of phosphates. Few other resources exist, with most necessities being imported, mainly from Australia, its former occupier and later major source of support. In 2005 an Australian company entered into an agreement to exploit remaining supplies. Primary reserves of phosphates were exhausted and mining ceased in 2006, but mining of a deeper layer of "secondary phosphate" in the interior of the island began the following year. The secondary phosphate deposits may last another 30 years. The rehabilitation of mined land and the replacement of income from phosphates are serious long-term problems. In anticipation of the exhaustion of Nauru's phosphate deposits, substantial amounts of phosphate income were invested in trust funds to help cushion the transition and provide for Nauru's economic future. As a result of heavy spending from the trust funds, the government faced virtual bankruptcy. To cut costs the government has frozen wages and reduced overstaffed public service departments. Nauru lost further revenue in 2008 with the closure of Australia''s refugee processing center, making it almost totally dependent on food imports and foreign aid. Housing, hospitals, and other capital plant are deteriorating. The cost to Australia of keeping the government and economy afloat continues to climb. Few comprehensive statistics on the Nauru economy exist with estimates of Nauru''s GDP varying widely.
    $60 million (2005 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 224
    $5,000 (2005 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    agriculture: 6.1%
    industry: 33%
    services: 60.8% (2009 est.)
    phosphate mining, offshore banking, coconut products
    note: employed in mining phosphates, public administration, education, and transportation
    90% (2004 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 201
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    revenues: $13.5 million
    expenditures: $13.5 million (2005)
    1 July - 30 June
    NA% (2011 est.)
    $64,000 (2005 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 220
    $20 million (2004 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 220
    food, fuel, manufactures, building materials, machinery
    $33.3 million (2004 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    Australian dollars (AUD) per US dollar -
    0.9658 (2012)
    0.9695 (2011 est.)
    1.0902 (2010)
    1.2822 (2009)
    1.2059 (2008)

Energy ::Nauru

Communications ::Nauru

Transportation ::Nauru

Military ::Nauru