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 Southeastern Asia, island in the Indian Ocean, south of Indonesia

Geographic Coordinates:

 10 30 S, 105 40 E


 Total: 135 sq km
Land: 135 sq km
Water: 0 sq km

Area - Comparative:

 About three-quarters the size of Washington, DC

Land Boundaries:

 0 km


 138.9 km (Rank: 154)

Maritime Claims:

 Territorial sea: 12 nm
Contiguous zone: 12 nm
Exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm


 Tropical with a wet season (December to April) and dry season; heat and humidity moderated by trade winds


 Steep cliffs along coast rise abruptly to central plateau

Elevation Extremes:

 Lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
Highest point: Murray Hill 361 m

Natural Resources:

 Phosphate, beaches

Land Use:

 Arable land: 0%
Permanent crops: 0%
Other: 100% (mainly tropical rainforest; 63% of the island is a national park) (2005)

Natural Hazards:

 The narrow fringing reef surrounding the island can be a maritime hazard

Environment - Current Issues:

 Loss of rainforest; impact of phosphate mining

Geography - Note:

 Located along major sea lanes of Indian Ocean

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 Noun: Christmas Islander(s)
Adjective: Christmas Island

Ethnic Groups:

 Chinese 70%, European 20%, Malay 10%

Note: no indigenous population (2001)


 English (official), Chinese, Malay


 Buddhist 36%, Muslim 25%, Christian 18%, other 21% (1997)


 1,402 (July 2010 est.)

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: NA
15-64 years: NA
65 years and over: NA

Population Growth Rate:

 0% (2010 est.)

Sex Ratio:

 NA (2009 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: NA
Male: NA
Female: NA

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: NA
Male: NA
Female: NA

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Country Name:

 Conventional long form: Territory of Christmas Island
Conventional short form: Christmas Island


 Name: The Settlement
Geographic coordinates: 10 25 S, 105 43 E
Time difference: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative Divisions:

 None (territory of Australia)

Dependency Status:

 Non-self governing territory of Australia; administered from Canberra by the Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government


 None (territory of Australia)

National Holiday:

 Australia Day, 26 January (1788)


 Christmas Island Act of 1958-59 (1 October 1958) as amended by the Territories Law Reform Act of 1992

Legal System:

 Legal system is under the authority of the governor general of Australia and Australian law


 18 years of age

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952) represented by the Australian governor general

Head of government: Administrator Brian LACY (since 5 October 2009)

Elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the Australian prime minister; administrator appointed by the governor general of Australia and represents the monarch and Australia

Legislative Branch:

 Unicameral Christmas Island Shire Council (9 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

Elections: held every two years with half the members standing for election; last held on 17 October 2009 (next to be held in 2011)

Election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 9

Judicial Branch:

 Supreme Court; District Court; Magistrate's Court

Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 None (territory of Australia)

Diplomatic Representation From the US:

 None (territory of Australia)

Flag Description:

 Territorial flag; divided diagonally from upper hoist to lower fly; the upper triangle is green with a yellow image of the Golden Bosun Bird superimposed, the lower triangle is blue with the Southern Cross constellation, representing Australia, superimposed; a centered yellow disk displays a green map of the island

Note: the flag of Australia is used for official purposes

National Symbols:

 Golden bosun bird

National Anthem:

 Note: as a territory of Australia, "Advance Australia Fair" remains official as the national anthem, while "God Save the Queen" serves as the royal anthem (see Australia)


 (territory of Australia)

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Economy - Overview:

 Phosphate mining had been the only significant economic activity, but in December 1987 the Australian government closed the mine. In 1991, the mine was reopened. With the support of the government, a $34 million casino opened in 1993, but closed in 1998.


 Revenues: $NA
Expenditures: $NA


 Tourism, phosphate extraction (near depletion)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: NA
Hydro: NA
Nuclear: NA
Other: NA

Exports - Commodities:


Imports - Commodities:

 Consumer goods

Exchange Rates:

 Convert Australian Dollar to Any Currency

Australian dollars (AUD) per US dollar -
1.0902 (2010)
1.2822 (2009)
1.2059 (2008)
1.2137 (2007)
1.3285 (2006)

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Telephone System:

 General assessment: service provided by the Australian network

Domestic: GSM mobile-cellular telephone service replaced older analog system in February 2005

International: country code - 61-8; satellite earth station - 1 (Intelsat provides telephone and telex service) (2005)

Broadcast Media:

 1 community radio station; broadcasts of several Australian radio and television stations are received via satellite (2009)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 0 (2006)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 0 (TV broadcasts received via satellite from mainland Australia) (2006)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 2,542 (2010)

Internet Users:

 464 (2001)

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 1 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2010)


 Total: 18 km
Standard gauge: 18 km 1.435-m (not in operation) (2010)


 Total: 140 km
Paved: 30 km
Unpaved: 110 km (2007)

Ports and Terminals:

 Flying Fish Cove

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Military - Note:

 Defense is the responsibility of Australia

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Last Updated: December 2011

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