Kiribati



Official Country Name
Kiribati

Kiribati Overview
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.

Kiribati Economy
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 equals more than 10% of GDP. Remittances from seamen on merchant ships abroad account for more than $5 million each year. Kiribati receives around $15 million annually for the government budget from an Australian trust fund.

Kiribati Location
Kiribati is located in 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

Region
Kiribati is located in Oceania

Kiribati Population
Kiribati has population of 105,432 (July 2006 est.)

Kiribati Climate
Kiribati has tropical; marine, hot and humid, moderated by trade winds

Kiribati Terrain
mostly low-lying coral atolls surrounded by extensive reefs

Kiribati Natural Resources
phosphate (production discontinued in 1979)

Ethnic Groups in Kiribati
Kiribati has the following ethnic groups - Micronesian 98.8%, other 1.2% (2000 census)

Kiribati Religions
Roman Catholic 52%, Protestant (Congregational) 40%, other (includes Seventh-Day Adventist, Muslim, Baha'i, Latter-day Saints, Church of God) 8% (1999)

Kiribati Languages
I-Kiribati, English (official)

Kiribati Capital
Kiribati capital is Tarawa

Kiribati Currency
Kiribati currency is Australian dollar

Map of Kiribati