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Nauru
  • 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
    Oceania
    total: 21 sq km
    land: 21 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 240
    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
    agricultural land: 20%
    arable land 0%; permanent crops 20%; permanent pasture 0%
    forest: 0%
    other: 80% (2011 est.)
    NA
    periodic droughts
    limited natural freshwater resources, roof storage tanks collect rainwater but mostly dependent on a single, aging desalination plant; a century of intensive phosphate mining beginning in 1906 - mainly by a UK, Australia, and NZ consortium - 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
    world's smallest island country; situated just 53 km south of the Equator; 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
  • People and Society :: NAURU

  • noun: Nauruan(s)
    adjective: Nauruan
    Nauruan 58%, other Pacific Islander 26%, Chinese 8%, European 8%
    Nauruan 93% (official, a distinct Pacific Island language), English 2% (widely understood, spoken, and used for most government and commercial purposes), other 5% (includes I-Kiribati 2% and Chinese 2%)
    note: percentages represent main language spoken at home; Nauruan is spoken by 95% of the population, English by 66%, and other languages by 12% (2011 est.)
    Protestant 60.4% (includes Nauru Congregational 35.7%, Assembly of God 13%, Nauru Independent Church 9.5%, Baptist 1.5%, and Seventh Day Adventist .7%), Roman Catholic 33%, other 3.7%, none 1.8%, unspecified 1.1% (2011 est.)
    9,540 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 225
    0-14 years: 32.45% (male 1,360/female 1,736)
    15-24 years: 16.13% (male 785/female 754)
    25-54 years: 43.19% (male 2,059/female 2,061)
    55-64 years: 6.11% (male 231/female 352)
    65 years and over: 2.12% (male 78/female 124) (2015 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total: 25.3 years
    male: 25.6 years
    female: 25 years (2014 est.)
    0.55% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    24.95 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    5.87 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    -13.63 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 218
    urban population: 100% of total population (2015)
    rate of urbanization: 0.19% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    at birth: 0.83 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 0.78 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.66 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.63 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.9 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
    total: 8.07 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 10.34 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 6.17 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    total population: 66.75 years
    male: 62.64 years
    female: 70.19 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    2.88 children born/woman (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    35.6% (2007)
    6.3% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    0.71 physicians/1,000 population (2010)
    improved:
    urban: 96.3% of population
    total: 96.3% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 3.7% of population
    total: 3.7% of population (2012 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 65.6% of population
    total: 65.6% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 34.4% of population
    total: 34.4% of population (2012 est.)
    NA
    NA
    NA
    45.1% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    4.8% (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    NA
    total: 9 years
    male: 9 years
    female: 10 years (2008)
  • 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
    republic
    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)
    effective 29 January 1968; amended 1968, 2009; note - in early 2013, further amendments were introduced to be passed or denied by the legislature (2013)
    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 members of Parliament
    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 president on 11 June 2013
    description: unicameral parliament (19 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by majority vote; members serve 3-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)
    ACP, ADB, AOSIS, C, FAO, G-77, ICAO, ICCt, IFAD, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITU, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WHO
    chief of mission: Ambassador Marlene Inemwin MOSES (since 10 February 2006)
    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
    frigatebird, calophyllum flower; national colors: blue, yellow, white
    name: "Nauru Bwiema" (Song of Nauru)
    lyrics/music: Margaret HENDRIE/Laurence Henry HICKS
    note: adopted 1968
  • Economy :: NAURU

  • Revenues of this tiny island - a coral atoll with a land area of 21 square kilometers - 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. 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. Earnings from Nauru’s export of phosphate remains an important source of income. 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. Although revenue sources for government are limited, the opening of the Australian Regional Processing Center for asylum seekers since 2012 has sparked growth in the economy. Revenue derived from fishing licenses under the vessel day scheme has also boosted government income. 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: 225
    $NA
    NA%
    $5,000 (2005 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    agriculture: 6.1%
    industry: 33%
    services: 60.8% (2009 est.)
    coconuts
    phosphate mining, offshore banking, coconut products
    NA%
    note: most of the labor force is employed in phosphate mining, public administration, education, and transportation
    23% (2011 est.)
    90% (2004 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    NA%
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    revenues: $57.8 million
    expenditures: $51.8 million (2010 est.)
    1 July - 30 June
    -2.1% (2013 est.)
    -0.8% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    $125 million (2013 est.)
    $150 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 220
    phosphates
    $143.1 million (2013 est.)
    $41.2 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 220
    food, fuel, manufactures, building materials, machinery
    $33.3 million (2004 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    Australian dollars (AUD) per US dollar -
    1.098 (2013)
    1.0358 (2013 est.)
    0.97 (2012 est.)
    0.9695 (2011 est.)
    1.0902 (2010)
  • Energy :: NAURU

  • 23.25 million kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 212
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 182
    6,040 kW (FY10/11 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 209
    100% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 191
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 207
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    0 bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    1,010 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 202
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 206
    1,075 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 193
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 176
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 110
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    168,700 Mt (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
  • Communications :: NAURU

  • total subscriptions: 0
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 218
    total: 6,800
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 73 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 214
    general assessment: adequate local and international radiotelephone communication provided via Australian facilities
    international: country code - 674; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
    1 government-owned TV station broadcasting programs from New Zealand sent via satellite or on videotape; 1 government-owned radio station, broadcasting on AM and FM, utilizes Australian and British programs (2009)
    AM 1, FM 0, shortwave 0 (1998)
    1 (1997)
    .nr
  • Transportation :: NAURU

  • 1 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 227
    total: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 30 km
    paved: 24 km
    unpaved: 6 km (2002)
    country comparison to the world: 220
    major seaport(s): Nauru
  • Military :: NAURU

  • no regular military forces (2012)
    males age 16-49: 2,542 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 1,823
    females age 16-49: 2,034 (2010 est.)
    male: 74
    female: 78 (2010 est.)
    Nauru maintains no defense forces; under an informal agreement, defense is the responsibility of Australia
  • Transnational Issues :: NAURU

  • none
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