Nauru

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

Nauru was inhabited by Micronesian and Ploynesian settlers by around 1000 B.C. In 1798, the British spotted the island.  Germany annexed Nauru in 1888. Australia captured Nauru from Germany during World War I, and in 1919, it became a joint Australian-British-New Zealand mandate with Australian administration. Nauru opted for independence in 1968.

Geography

Area

total: 21 sq km

land: 21 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Climate

tropical with a monsoonal pattern; rainy season (November to February)

Natural resources

phosphates, fish

People and Society

Population

9,811 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

Nauruan 88.9%, part Nauruan 6.6%, I-Kiribati 2%, other 2.5% (2007 est.)

Languages

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%) (2011 est.)

Religions

Protestant 60.4% (includes Nauru Congregational 35.7%, Assembly of God 13%, Nauru Independent Church 9.5%, Baptist 1.5%, and Seventh Day Adventist 0.7%), Roman Catholic 33%, other 3.7%, none 1.8%, unspecified 1.1% (2011 est.)

Population growth rate

0.42% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

parliamentary republic

Capital

name: no official capital; government offices in the Yaren District

Executive branch

chief of state: President Lionel AINGIMEA (since 27 August 2019); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Lionel AINGIMEA (since 27 August 2019)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral parliament (19 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by majority vote using the "Dowdall" counting system by which voters rank candidates on their ballots; members serve 3-year terms)

Economy

Economic overview

upper-middle-income Pacific island country; phosphate resource exhaustion made island interior uninhabitable; licenses fishing rights; houses Australia’s Regional Processing Centre; former known tax haven; largely dependent on foreign subsidies

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$150 million (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$13,500 (2019 est.)

Agricultural products

coconuts, tropical fruit, vegetables, pork, eggs, pig offals, pig fat, poultry, papayas, cabbages

Industries

phosphate mining, offshore banking, coconut products

Exports

$30 million (2018 est.)

Exports - partners

Thailand 34%, Australia 16%, United States 13%, South Korea 10%, Philippines 9%, Japan 7%, France 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

fish, calcium phosphates, low-voltage protection equipment, air conditioners, leather apparel (2019)

Imports

$90 million (2018 est.)

Imports - partners

Taiwan 52%, Australia 28% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, construction vehicles, tug boats, poultry meats, cars (2019)


Page last updated: Friday, May 13, 2022