Nauru Population: 9,692

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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.

    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
Location: Oceania, island in the South Pacific Ocean, south of the Marshall Islands
Geographic coordinates: 0 32 S, 166 55 E
Area: total: 21 sq km
land: 21 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Size comparison: about 0.1 times the size of Washington, DC
Land Boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 30 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
Climate: tropical with a monsoonal pattern; rainy season (November to February)
Terrain: sandy beach rises to fertile ring around raised coral reefs with phosphate plateau in center
Natural resources: phosphates, fish
Land use: agricultural land: 20% (2011 est.) arable land: 0% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 20% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 0% (2011 est.) forest: 0% (2011 est.)
other: 80% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 0 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: periodic droughts
Current Environment Issues: limited natural freshwater resources, roof storage tanks that collect rainwater and desalination plants provide water; a century of intensive phosphate mining beginning in 1906 left the central 90% of Nauru a wasteland; cadmium residue, phosphate dust, and other contaminants have caused air and water pollution with negative impacts on health; climate change has brought on rising sea levels and inland water shortages
International Environment Agreements: 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
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Nationality: noun: Nauruan(s)
adjective: Nauruan
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.) note: percentages represent main language spoken at home; Nauruan is spoken by 95% of the population, English by 66%, and other languages by 12%
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: 9,692 (July 2018 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 31.18% (male 1,323 /female 1,699)
15-24 years: 16.37% (male 764 /female 823)
25-54 years: 43.08% (male 2,112 /female 2,063)
55-64 years: 6.51% (male 249 /female 382)
65 years and over: 2.86% (male 101 /female 176) (2018 est.)
Median age: total: 26.7 years
male: 27.4 years
female: 25.8 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.51% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 23.2 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 5.9 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: -12.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 100% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: -0.06% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 0.84 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 0.78 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.65 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.57 male(s)/female
total population: 0.88 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 7.7 deaths/1,000 live births male: 9.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 67.8 years male: 63.6 years
female: 71.2 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.76 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Physicians density: 1.24 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
Hospital bed density: 5 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 96.5% of population
total: 96.5% of population

urban: 3.5% of population
total: 3.5% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 65.6% of population (2015 est.)
total: 65.6% of population (2015 est.)

urban: 34.4% of population (2015 est.)
total: 34.4% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: n/a
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: n/a
HIV/AIDS - deaths: n/a
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 61% (2016)
Education expenditures: n/a
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 9 years male: 9 years female: 10 years (2008)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 26.6% male: 20.9% female: 37.5% (2013)
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Nauru
conventional short form: Nauru
local long form: Republic of Nauru
local short form: Nauru
former: Pleasant Island
etymology: the island name may derive from the Nauruan word "anaoero" meaning "I go to the beach"
Government type: parliamentary republic
Capital: name: no official capital; government offices in the Yaren District
time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 14 districts; Aiwo, Anabar, Anetan, Anibare, Baitsi, Boe, Buada, Denigomodu, Ewa, Ijuw, Meneng, Nibok, Uaboe, Yaren
Independence: 31 January 1968 (from the Australia-, NZ-, and UK-administered UN trusteeship)
National holiday: Independence Day, 31 January (1968)
Constitution: history: effective 29 January 1968 amendments: proposed by Parliament; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of the Parliament membership; amendments to constitutional articles such as the republican form of government, protection of fundamental rights and freedoms, the structure and authorities of the executive and legislative branches also requires two-thirds majority of votes in a referendum; amended 1968, 2009, 2014 (2018)
Legal system: mixed legal system of common law based on the English model and customary law
Suffrage: 20 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch: 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/appointments: president indirectly elected by Parliament (eligible for a second term); election last held on 11 June 2013 (next to be held in 2016)

election results: Baron WAQA reelected president; Parliament vote - Baron WAQA (independent) 13, Roland KUN (Nauru First) 5
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)

elections: last held on 9 July 2016 (next to be held in 2019)

election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - independent 19; composition - men 17, women 2, percent of women 10.5%
Judicial branch: highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and several justices); note - in late 2017, the Nauruan Government revoked the 1976 High Court Appeals Act, which had allowed appeals beyond the Nauruan Supreme Court, and in early 2018, the government formed its own appeals court judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the president to serve until age 65

subordinate courts: District Court, Family Court
Political parties and leaders: Democratic Party [Kennan ADEANG] Nauru First (Naoero Amo) Party Nauru Party (informal) note: loose multiparty system
International organization participation: ACP, ADB, AOSIS, C, FAO, G-77, ICAO, ICCt, IFAD, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITU, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WHO
National symbol(s): frigatebird, calophyllum flower;
national colors: blue, yellow, white
National anthem: name: "Nauru Bwiema" (Song of Nauru)
lyrics/music: Margaret HENDRIE/Laurence Henry HICKS

note: adopted 1968
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Marlene Inemwin MOSES (since 13 March 2006)
chancery: 800 2nd Avenue, Suite 400 D, New York, NY 10017
telephone: [1] (212) 937-0074
FAX: [1] (212) 937-0079
Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Nauru; the US Ambassador to Fiji is accredited to Nauru
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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. Few comprehensive statistics on the Nauru economy exist; estimates of Nauru's GDP vary widely. 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 Nauruan government and economy afloat continues to climb.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $160 million (2017 est.) $153.9 million (2016 est.) $139.4 million (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2015 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $114 million (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4% (2017 est.) 10.4% (2016 est.) 2.8% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $12,300 (2017 est.) $11,800 (2016 est.) $11,600 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 98% (2016 est.) government consumption: 37.6% (2016 est.) investment in fixed capital: 42.2% (2016 est.) exports of goods and services: 11.2% (2016 est.) imports of goods and services: -89.1% (2016 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 6.1% (2009 est.) industry: 33% (2009 est.) services: 60.8% (2009 est.)
Agriculture - products: coconuts
Industries: phosphate mining, offshore banking, coconut products
Industrial production growth rate: n/a
Labor force: n/a
Labor force - by occupation:

note: most of the labor force is employed in phosphate mining, public administration, education, and transportation
Unemployment rate: 23% (2011 est.) 90% (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line: n/a
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: n/a
highest 10%: n/a
Budget: revenues: 103 million (2017 est.)
expenditures: 113.4 million (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 90.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -9.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 62% of GDP (2017 est.) 65% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5.1% (2017 est.) 8.2% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: $5 million (2017 est.) $2 million (2016 est.)
Exports: $125 million (2013 est.) $110.3 million (2012 est.)
Exports - commodities: phosphates
Exports - partners: Nigeria 38.6%, Japan 16.6%, Australia 15.9%, South Korea 13.7%, NZ 5.7% (2017)
Imports: $64.9 million (2016 est.) $143.1 million (2013 est.)
Imports - commodities: food, fuel, manufactures, building materials, machinery
Imports - partners: Australia 67.5%, Fiji 9.2%, India 8.1%, Singapore 5.4% (2017)
Debt - external: $33.3 million (2004 est.)
Exchange rates: Australian dollars (AUD) per US dollar - 1.311 (2017 est.) 1.3452 (2016 est.) 1.3452 (2015 est.) 1.3291 (2014 est.) 1.1094 (2013 est.)
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Electricity - production: 24 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 22.32 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 7,000 kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 86% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 14% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 470 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 449 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 76,540 Mt (2017 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 9,900
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 87 (July 2016 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: adequate local and international radiotelephone communication provided via Australian facilities; geography is a challenge for the islands; there is a need to service the tourism sector and thus the South Pacific Islands economy; mobile technology is booming (2018)

domestic: fixed-line 14 per 100 and mobile-cellular 87 per 100 (2018)

international: country code - 674; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
Broadcast media: 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 (2019)
Internet country code: .nr
Internet users: total: 5,100
percent of population: 53.5% (July 2016 est.)
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Airports: 1 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2017)
Roadways: total 30 km
(2002) paved: 24 km (2002)
unpaved: 6 km (2002)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Nauru
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Nauru maintains no defense forces; under an informal agreement, defense is the responsibility of Australia
Military branches: no regular military forces (2012)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: none
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   Source: CIA - The World Factbook


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