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 Oceania, island in the South Pacific Ocean, south of the Marshall Islands

Geographic Coordinates:

 0 32 S, 166 55 E


 Total: 21 sq km
Land: 21 sq km
Water: 0 sq km

Area - Comparative:

 About 0.1 times the size of Washington, DC

Land Boundaries:

 0 km


 30 km (Rank: 190)

Maritime Claims:

 Territorial sea: 12 nm
Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


 Tropical with a monsoonal pattern; rainy season (November to February)


 Sandy beach rises to fertile ring around raised coral reefs with phosphate plateau in center

Elevation Extremes:

 Lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Highest point: unnamed elevation along plateau rim 61 m

Natural Resources:

 Phosphates, fish

Land Use:

 Arable land: 0%
Permanent crops: 0%
Other: 100% (2005)

Natural Hazards:

 Periodic droughts

Environment - Current Issues:

 Limited natural freshwater resources, roof storage tanks collect rainwater but mostly dependent on a single, aging desalination plant; intensive phosphate mining during the past 90 years - mainly by a UK, Australia, and NZ consortium - has left the central 90% of Nauru a wasteland and threatens limited remaining land resources

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:

 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; only 53 km south of Equator

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 Noun: Nauruan(s)
Adjective: Nauruan

Ethnic Groups:

 Nauruan 58%, other Pacific Islander 26%, Chinese 8%, European 8%


 Nauruan (official, a distinct Pacific Island language), English (widely understood, spoken, and used for most government and commercial purposes)


 Protestant 45.8% (Nauru Congregational 35.4%, Nauru Independent Church 10.4%), Roman Catholic 33.2%, other 14.1%, none 4.5%, unspecified 2.4% (2002 census)


 9,322 (July 2011 est.)

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 33% (male 1,398/female 1,682)
15-64 years: 65.3% (male 2,996/female 3,093)
65 years and over: 1.6% (male 68/female 85) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 24.2 years
Male: 24.4 years
Female: 23.9 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 0.611% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 27.78 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 6.11 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 -15.55 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


 Urban population: 100% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 0.6% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 0.837 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 8.66 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 11.15 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 6.58 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 65.35 years
Male: 61.27 years
Female: 68.75 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 3.08 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Health Expenditures:

 12.1% of GDP (2009)

Physicians Density:

 0.714 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Drinking Water Source:

 Urban: 90% of population
Total: 90% of population
Urban: 10% of population
Total: 10% of population (2008)

Sanitation Facility Access:

 Urban: 50% of population
Total: 50% of population
Urban: 50% of population
Total: 50% of population (2008)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 9 years
Male: 9 years
Female: 10 years (2008)

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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

Government Type:



 No official capital; government offices in Yaren District
Time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative Divisions:

 14 districts; Aiwo, Anabar, Anetan, Anibare, Baiti, Boe, Buada, Denigomodu, Ewa, Ijuw, Meneng, Nibok, Uaboe, Yaren


 31 January 1968 (from the Australia-, NZ-, and UK-administered UN trusteeship)

National Holiday:

 Independence Day, 31 January (1968)


 29 January 1968; amended 17 May 1968

Legal System:

 Mixed legal system of common law based on the English model and customary law

International Law Organization Participation:

 Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


 20 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: President Sprent DABWIDO (since 15 November 2011); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

Head of government: President Sprent DABWIDO (since 15 November 2011)

Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from among the members of parliament

Elections: president elected by parliament for a three-year term; election last held on 10 November 2011 (next to be held in 2014)

Election results: a no-confidence vote on 15 November 2011 removed Frederick PITCHER as president after six days; Sprent DABWIDO elected in a parliamentary vote of 9 to 8

Legislative Branch:

 Unicameral parliament (18 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve three-year terms)

Elections: last held on 19 June 2010 (next to be held in 2013)

Election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 18

Judicial Branch:

 Supreme Court

Political Parties and Leaders:

 Democratic Party [Kennan ADEANG]; Nauru First (Naoero Amo) Party; Nauru Party (informal); note - loose multiparty system

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders:

 Woman Information and News Agency (women's issues)

International Organization Participation:


Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Marlene I. MOSES
Chancery: 800 2nd Avenue, Suite 400 D, New York, NY 10017
Telephone: [1] (212) 937-0074
FAX: [1] (212) 937-0079
Consulate(s): Agana (Guam)

Diplomatic Representation From the US:

 The US does not have an embassy in Nauru; the US Ambassador to Fiji is accredited to Nauru

Flag Description:

 Blue with a narrow, horizontal, yellow stripe across the center and a large white 12-pointed star below the stripe on the hoist side; blue stands for the Pacific Ocean, the star indicates the country's location in relation to the Equator (the yellow stripe) and the 12 points symbolize the 12 original tribes of Nauru

National Anthem:

 Name: "Nauru Bwiema" (Song of Nauru)
Lyrics/music: Margaret HENDRIE/Laurence Henry HICKS

Note: adopted 1968

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Economy - Overview:

 Revenues of this tiny island 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. In 2005 an Australian company entered into an agreement to exploit remaining supplies. 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. 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. As a result of heavy spending from the trust funds, the government faced virtual bankruptcy. To cut costs the government has frozen wages and reduced overstaffed public service departments. Nauru lost further revenue in 2008 with the closure of Australia's refugee processing center, making it almost totally dependent on food imports and foreign aid. Housing, hospitals, and other capital plant are deteriorating. The cost to Australia of keeping the government and economy afloat continues to climb. Few comprehensive statistics on the Nauru economy exist with estimates of Nauru's GDP varying widely.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $60 million (2005 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:


GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $5,000 (2005 est.)

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: NA%
Industry: NA%
Services: NA%

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Note: employed in mining phosphates, public administration, education, and transportation (1992)

Unemployment Rate:

 90% (2004 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line:


Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: NA%
Highest 10%: NA%


 Revenues: $13.5 million
Expenditures: $13.5 million (2005)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):


Agriculture - Products:



 Phosphate mining, offshore banking, coconut products

Industrial Production Growth Rate:


Electricity - Production:

 32 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 100%
Hydro: 0%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 29.76 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - Production:

 0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 1,300 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 1,044 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)


 $64,000 (2005 est.)

Exports - Commodities:



 $20 million (2004 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

 Food, fuel, manufactures, building materials, machinery

Debt - External:

 $33.3 million (2004 est.) (2004 est.)

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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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 1,900 (2009)

Telephones - Cellular:

 6,200 (2010)

Telephone System:

 General assessment: adequate local and international radiotelephone communication provided via Australian facilities

Domestic: NA

International: country code - 674; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Broadcast Media:

 1 government-owned television 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 (2009)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 1, FM 0, shortwave 0 (1998)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 1 (1997)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 4,158 (2010)

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 1 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2010)


 Total: 24 km
Paved: 24 km (2002)

Ports and Terminals:


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Military Branches:

 No regular military forces; Nauru Police Force (2009)

Manpower Available For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 2,542 (2010 est.)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 1,823
Females age 16-49: 2,034 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 74
Female: 78 (2010 est.)

Military - Note:

 Nauru maintains no defense forces; under an informal agreement, defense is the responsibility of Australia

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Last Updated: December 2011

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