Kiribati

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Introduction - Kiribati:

Country

Kiribati

Background

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.

Location - Kiribati:

Location

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 (UTC +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

1 25 N, 173 00 E

Map references

Oceania

Area

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

four times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries

0 km

Coastline

1,143 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Climate

tropical; marine, hot and humid, moderated by trade winds

Terrain

mostly low-lying coral atolls surrounded by extensive reefs

Elevation extremes

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location on Banaba 81 m

Natural resources

phosphate (production discontinued in 1979)

Land use

arable land: 2.74%
permanent crops: 47.95%
other: 49.31% (2005)

Irrigated land

NA

Natural hazards

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

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

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

Geography note

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

People - Kiribati:

Population

107,817 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 38.2% (male 20,886/female 20,322)
15-64 years: 58.4% (male 31,083/female 31,884)
65 years and over: 3.4% (male 1,554/female 2,088) (2007 est.)

Median age

total: 20.4 years
male: 19.9 years
female: 20.9 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate

2.235% (2007 est.)

Birth rate

30.48 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate

8.12 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.028 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.975 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.744 male(s)/female
total population: 0.986 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 46.02 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 51.03 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 40.75 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 62.45 years
male: 59.41 years
female: 65.63 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate

4.12 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rate

NA

Hiv aids people living with hiv aids

NA

Hiv aids deaths

NA

Nationality

noun: I-Kiribati (singular and plural)
adjective: I-Kiribati

Ethnic groups

Micronesian 98.8%, other 1.2% (2000 census)

Religions

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

Languages

I-Kiribati, English (official)

Literacy

definition: NA
total population: NA
male: NA
female: NA

Government - Kiribati:

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Kiribati
conventional short form: Kiribati
local long form: Republic of Kiribati
local short form: Kiribati
note: pronounced keer-ree-bahss
former: Gilbert Islands

Government type

republic

Capital

name: Tarawa
geographic coordinates: 1 19 N, 172 58 E
time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

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

12 July 1979 (from UK)

National holiday

Independence Day, 12 July (1979)

Constitution

12 July 1979

Legal system

NA

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

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
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 its members and then those candidates compete in a general election; president is elected by popular vote for a four-year term (eligible for two more terms); 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

unicameral House of Parliament or Maneaba Ni Maungatabu (42 seats; 39 members elected by popular vote, 1 ex officio member - the attorney general, 1 appointed to represent Banaba, and 1 other; to serve four-year terms)
elections: legislative elections were held in two rounds - the first round on 9 May 2003 and the second round on 14 May 2003 (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)

Judicial branch

Court of Appeal; High Court; 26 Magistrates courts; judges at all levels are appointed by the president

Political parties and leaders

Boutokaan Te Koaua Party or BTK [Taberannang TIMEON]; Maneaban Te Mauri Party or MTM [Teburoro TITO]; Maurin Kiribati Pati or MKP; 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

NA

International organization participation

ACP, AsDB, C, FAO, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IOC, ITU, ITUC, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WMO

Diplomatic representation in the us

Kiribati does not have an embassy in the US; there is an honorary consulate in Honolulu

Diplomatic representation from the us

the US does not have an embassy in Kiribati; the ambassador to Fiji is accredited to Kiribati

Flag description

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

Economy - Kiribati:

Economy overview

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. Private sector initiatives and a financial sector are in the early stages of development. 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.

Gdp purchasing power parity

$240 million (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate

$76.4 million (2005 est.)

Gdp real growth rate

0.3% (2005)

Gdp per capita ppp

$2,800 (2004 est.)

Gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 8.9%
industry: 24.2%
services: 66.8% (2004)

Labor force

7,870 economically active, not including subsistence farmers (2001 est.)

Labor force by occupation

agriculture: 2.7%
industry: 32%
services: 65.3% (2000)

Unemployment rate

2% official rate; underemployment 70% (1992 est.)

Population below poverty line

NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate consumer prices

0.5% (2005 est.)

Budget

revenues: $55.52 million
expenditures: $59.71 million; including capital expenditures of $NA (FY05)

Agriculture products

copra, taro, breadfruit, sweet potatoes, vegetables; fish

Industries

fishing, handicrafts

Industrial production growth rate

0.7% (1991 est.)

Electricity production

13 million kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption

12.09 million kWh (2004)

Electricity exports

0 kWh (2004)

Electricity imports

0 kWh (2004)

Oil production

0 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil consumption

200 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil exports

NA bbl/day

Oil imports

NA bbl/day

Oil proved reserves

0 bbl

Natural gas production

0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption

0 cu m (2004 est.)

Current account balance

-$19.87 million (2004)

Exports

$17 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)

Exports commodities

copra 62%, coconuts, seaweed, fish

Exports partners

US 22.8%, Belgium 21.5%, Japan 14.3%, Samoa 7.8%, Australia 7.5%, Malaysia 6.7%, Taiwan 5.6%, Denmark 4.6% (2006)

Imports

$62 million c.i.f. (2004 est.)

Imports commodities

foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, miscellaneous manufactured goods, fuel

Imports partners

Australia 33%, Fiji 27.1%, Japan 18.1%, NZ 6.9% (2006)

Debt external

$10 million (1999 est.)

Economic aid recipient

$16.7 million largely from UK and Japan (2004)

Currency code

Australian dollar (AUD)

Exchange rates

Australian dollars per US dollar - 1.3285 (2006), 1.3095 (2005), 1.3598 (2004), 1.5419 (2003), 1.8406 (2002)

Communications - Kiribati:

Fiscal year

NA

Telephones main lines in use

4,500 (2002)

Telephones mobile cellular

600 (2004)

Telephone system

general assessment: generally good quality national and international service
domestic: wire line service available on Tarawa and Kiritimati (Christmas Island); connections to outer islands by HF/VHF radiotelephone; wireless service available in Tarawa since 1999
international: country code - 686; Kiribati is being linked to the Pacific Ocean Cooperative Telecommunications Network, which should improve telephone service; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 1 (may be inactive) (2002)

Television broadcast stations

1 (possibly inactive) (2002)

Internet country code

.ki

Internet hosts

42 (2006)

Internet users

2,000 (2006)

Transportation - Kiribati:

Airports

19 (2006)

Airports with paved runways

total: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2006)

Airports with unpaved runways

total: 16
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 4 (2006)

Roadways

total: 670 km (1999)

Waterways

5 km (small network of canals in Line Islands) (2007)

Merchant marine

total: 2 ships (1000 GRT or over) 2,749 GRT/3,911 DWT
by type: cargo 1, passenger/cargo 1
foreign-owned: 1 (UAE 1) (2006)

Ports and terminals

Betio

Military - Kiribati:

Military branches

no regular military forces; Police Force (carries out law enforcement functions and paramilitary duties; small police posts are on all islands) (2007)

Manpower available for military service

males age 18-49: 21,938 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 18-49: 14,231 (2005 est.)

Military note

Kiribati does not have military forces; defense assistance is provided by Australia and NZ

Manpower reaching military service age annually

males age 18-49: 1,128 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures percent of gdp

NA

This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>


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