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  Kiribati  
Flag of Kiribati
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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
  Government
  Economy
  Communications
  Transportation
  Military
  Transnational Issues

Anyone going to Kiribati should first take a look at this page. You need all the info you can get about Kiribati before you go there. You really need to absorb the info on this page before going to Kiribati .

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Map of Kiribati

DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Kiribati
Background:
Definition Field Listing
The Gilbert Islands were granted self-rule by the UK in 1971 and complete independence in 1979 under the new name of Kiribati. The US relinquished all claims to the sparsely inhabited Phoenix and Line Island groups in a 1979 treaty of friendship with Kiribati.

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   Geography    Kiribati
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Oceania, group of 33 coral atolls in the Pacific Ocean, straddling the equator; the capital Tarawa is about one-half of the way from Hawaii to Australia; note - on 1 January 1995, Kiribati proclaimed that all of its territory lies in the same time zone as its Gilbert Islands group (GMT +12) even though the Phoenix Islands and the Line Islands under its jurisdiction lie on the other side of the International Date Line
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
1 25 N, 173 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Oceania
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 811 sq km
land: 811 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes three island groups - Gilbert Islands, Line Islands, Phoenix Islands
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
four times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
1,143 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical; marine, hot and humid, moderated by trade winds
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
mostly low-lying coral atolls surrounded by extensive reefs
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location on Banaba 81 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
phosphate (production discontinued in 1979)
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 2.74%
permanent crops: 50.68%
other: 46.58% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
NA sq km
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
typhoons can occur any time, but usually November to March; occasional tornadoes; low level of some of the islands make them very sensitive to changes in sea level
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
heavy pollution in lagoon of south Tarawa atoll due to heavy migration mixed with traditional practices such as lagoon latrines and open-pit dumping; ground water at risk
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
21 of the 33 islands are inhabited; Banaba (Ocean Island) in Kiribati is one of the three great phosphate rock islands in the Pacific Ocean - the others are Makatea in French Polynesia, and Nauru

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   People    Kiribati
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
100,798 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 39.3% (male 20,087; female 19,566)
15-64 years: 57.3% (male 28,523; female 29,280)
65 years and over: 3.3% (male 1,434; female 1,908) (2004 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 19.8 years
male: 19.4 years
female: 20.3 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.25% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
30.99 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8.49 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 49.9 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 55.04 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 44.49 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 61.32 years
male: 58.34 years
female: 64.44 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.24 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: I-Kiribati (singular and plural)
adjective: I-Kiribati
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
predominantly Micronesian with some Polynesian
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Roman Catholic 52%, Protestant (Congregational) 40%, some Seventh-Day Adventist, Muslim, Baha'i, Latter-day Saints, and Church of God (1999)
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
I-Kiribati, English (official)
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: NA
total population: NA
male: NA
female: NA

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   Government    Kiribati
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of Kiribati
conventional short form: Kiribati
note: pronounced keer-ree-bahss
former: Gilbert Islands
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
republic
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Tarawa
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
3 units; Gilbert Islands, Line Islands, Phoenix Islands; note - in addition, there are 6 districts (Banaba, Central Gilberts, Line Islands, Northern Gilberts, Southern Gilberts, Tarawa) and 21 island councils - one for each of the inhabited islands (Abaiang, Abemama, Aranuka, Arorae, Banaba, Beru, Butaritari, Kanton, Kiritimati, Kuria, Maiana, Makin, Marakei, Nikunau, Nonouti, Onotoa, Tabiteuea, Tabuaeran, Tamana, Tarawa, Teraina)
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
12 July 1979 (from UK)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 12 July (1979)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
12 July 1979
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Anote TONG (since 10 July 2003); Vice President Teima ONORIO; note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Anote TONG (since 10 July 2003); Vice President Teima ONORIO; note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: 12-member Cabinet appointed by the president from among the members of the House of Parliament
elections: the House of Parliament chooses the presidential candidates from among their members and then those candidates compete in a general election; president is elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 4 July 2003 (next to be held not later than July 2007); vice president appointed by the president
election results: Anote TONG 47.4%, Harry TONG 43.5%, Banuera BERINA 9.1%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral House of Parliament or Maneaba Ni Maungatabu (42 seats; 39 elected by popular vote, one ex officio member - the attorney general, one appointed to represent Banaba, and one other; members serve four-year terms)
elections: first round elections last held 29 November 2002; second round elections held 6 December 2002 (next to be held by November 2006)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - BTK 17, MTM 16, independents 7, other 2 (includes attorney general)
note: new legislative elections were held in two rounds - the first round on 9 May 2003 and the second round on 14 May 2003
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Court of Appeal; High Court; 26 Magistrates' courts; judges at all levels are appointed by the president
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Boutokaan Te Koaua Party or BTK [Taberannang TIMEON]; Maneaban Te Mauri Party or MTM [Teburoro TITO]; Maurin Kiribati Pati or MKP [leader NA]; National Progressive Party or NPP [Dr. Harry TONG]
note: there is no tradition of formally organized political parties in Kiribati; they more closely resemble factions or interest groups because they have no party headquarters, formal platforms, or party structures
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACP, AsDB, C, FAO, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IOC, ITU, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WMO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
Kiribati does not have an embassy in the US; there is an honorary consulate in Honolulu
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
the US does not have an embassy in Kiribati; the ambassador to the Marshall Islands is accredited to Kiribati
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
the upper half is red with a yellow frigate bird flying over a yellow rising sun, and the lower half is blue with three horizontal wavy white stripes to represent the ocean

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   Economy    Kiribati
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
A remote country of 33 scattered coral atolls, Kiribati has few natural resources. Commercially viable phosphate deposits were exhausted at the time of independence from the UK in 1979. Copra and fish now represent the bulk of production and exports. The economy has fluctuated widely in recent years. Economic development is constrained by a shortage of skilled workers, weak infrastructure, and remoteness from international markets. Tourism provides more than one-fifth of GDP. The financial sector is at an early stage of development as is the expansion of private sector initiatives. Foreign financial aid from UK, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and China is a critical supplement to GDP, equal to 25%-50% of GDP in recent years. Remittances from workers abroad account for more than $5 million each year.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $79 million - supplemented by a nearly equal amount from external sources (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.5% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $800 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 30%
industry: 7%
services: 63% (1998 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.5% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7,870 economically active, not including subsistence farmers (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2%; underemployment 70% (1992 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $28.4 million
expenditures: $37.2 million, including capital expenditures of NA (2000 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
copra, taro, breadfruit, sweet potatoes, vegetables; fish
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
fishing, handicrafts
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.7% (1991 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.51 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
190 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$35 million f.o.b. (2002)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
copra 62%, coconuts, seaweed, fish
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Japan 56.3%, South Korea 21.9%, Australia 6.3%, US 6.3% (2003 est.)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$83 million c.i.f. (2002)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, miscellaneous manufactured goods, fuel
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Australia 39.6%, Fiji 24.5%, New Zealand 7.5%, Japan 5.7%, South Korea 5.7% (2003 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$10 million (1999 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$15.5 million largely from UK and Japan (2001 est.)
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
Australian dollar (AUD)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
AUD
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Australian dollars per US dollar - 1.5419 (2003), 1.8406 (2002), 1.9334 (2001), 1.7248 (2000), 1.55 (1999)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
NA

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   Communications    Kiribati
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4,500 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
500 (2002)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
note: country code - 686; Kiribati is being linked to the Pacific Ocean Cooperative Telecommunications Network, which should improve telephone service
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 1
note: the shortwave station may be inactive (2002)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
1 (not reported to be active) (2002)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.ki
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2,000 (2002)

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   Transportation    Kiribati
Highways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 670 km
paved: NA km
unpaved: NA km (1999 est.)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
5 km (small network of canals in Line Islands) (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Banaba, Betio, English Harbour, Kanton
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 1,291 GRT/1,295 DWT
by type: passenger 1 (2003 est.)
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
20 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 17
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 12
under 914 m: 4 (2003 est.)
   Military    Kiribati
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
no regular military forces; Police Force (carries out law enforcement functions and paramilitary duties; small police posts are on all islands)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Military - note:
Definition Field Listing
Kiribati does not have military forces; defense assistance is provided by Australia and NZ

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   Transnational Issues    Kiribati
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
none

Large portions of this information is from the US government open source publication "The World Factbook", other content copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. You may use this information without permission for educational or other non-profit purposes if you refer to us as the source, contact us if you want to use this commercially.


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