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Countries > Kiribati (Republic of) Kiribati (Republic of) Flag

Languages   2 languages are spoken in Kiribati (Republic of). We have 3286 products available for those languages.

Capital: Tarawa
Population: 83,000
Click to Listen Play the National Anthem
Kiribati (Republic of) Map


Location: Oceania, group of islands in the Pacific Ocean, straddling the equator, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to Australia; note - on 1 January 1995, Kiribati unilaterally moved the International Date Line from the middle of the country to include its easternmost islands and make it the same day throughout the country

Geographic coordinates: 1 25 N, 173 00 E

Map references: Oceania

total: 717 sq km
land: 717 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:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 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: 51%
permanent crops : 0%
permanent pastures: NA%
forests and woodland:NA%
other: 49% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: typhoons can occur any time, but usually November to March; occasional tornadoes

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, Endangered Species, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note: 20 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


Population: 96,335 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 40.2% (male 19,588; female 19,092)
15-64 years : 56.6% (male 26,905; female 27,625)
65 years and over: 3.2% (male 1,339; female 1,786) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.28% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 31.58 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate: 8.76 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years :1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years:0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:52.63 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 60.54 years
male: 57.61 years
female : 63.62 years (2002 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.32 children born/woman (2002 est.)

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

Ethnic groups: Micronesian

Religions: Roman Catholic 52%, Protestant (Congregational) 40%, some Seventh-Day Adventist, Muslim, Baha'i, Latter-day Saints, and Church of God (1999)

Languages: I-Kiribati, English (official)

Literacy: NA


Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Kiribati
conventional short form: Kiribati
note : pronounced kiribas
former: Gilbert Islands

Data code: KR

Government type: republic

National capital: Tarawa

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 Teburoro TITO (since 1 October 1994); Vice President Beniamina TIINGA (since NA December 2000); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Teburoro TITO (since 1 October 1994); Vice President Beniamina TIINGA (since NA December 2000); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
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 their members and then those candidates compete in a general election; president is elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 27 November 1998 (next to be held by November 2002); vice president appointed by the president
election results: Teburoro TITO reelected president; percent of vote - Teburoro TITO 52.3%, Dr. Harry TONG 45.8%, Amberoti NIKORA 1.9%, Taberannang TIMEON 0%

Legislative branch: unicameral House of Parliament or Maneaba Ni Maungatabu (42 seats; 39 elected by popular vote, one ex officio member - the attorney general, one appointed to represent Banaba, and one other; members serve four-year terms)
elections :last held 23 September 1998 (next to be held by October 2002)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Maneaban Te Mauri Party 14, National Progressive Party 11, independents 14

Judicial branch: Court of Appeal, judges at all levels are appointed by the president; High Court, judges at all levels are appointed by the president

Political parties and leaders: Maneaban Te Mauri Party [Teburoro TITO]; National Progressive Party [Teatao TEANNAKI] I
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

International organization participation: ACP, AsDB, C, ESCAP, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, IDA, IFC, IMF, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, ITU, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation in the US: Kiribati does not have an embassy in the US

Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Kiribati; the ambassador to the Marshall Islands is accredited to Kiribati; Honolulu is a honorary consul

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 - overview: A remote country of 33 scattered coral atolls, Kiribati has few national resources. Commercially viable phosphate deposits were exhausted at the time of independence in 1979. Copra and fish now represent the bulk of production and exports. The economy has fluctuated widely in recent years. Real GDP growth has declined from about 10% in 1988 to about 2.6% in 1995. Economic development is constrained by a shortage of skilled workers, weak infrastructure, and remoteness from international markets. The financial sector is at an early stage of development. Foreign financial aid, largely from the UK and Japan, is a critical supplement to GDP, equal in amount to 25%-50% of GDP in recent years. Remittances from overseas I-Kiribati account for more than $5 million each year.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $79 million (2001 est.), supplemented by a nearly equal amount from external sources

GDP - real growth rate:1.5% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $840 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture : 30%
services: 63% (1998 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 2.5% (2001 est.)

Labor force:
total: 7,870 economically active, not including subsistence farmers (1985 est.)

Unemployment rate: 2%; underemployment 70% (1992 est.)

revenues:$28.4 million
expenditures: $37.2 million, including capital expenditures of $NA million (2000 est.)

Industries: fishing, handicrafts

Industrial production growth rate: 0.7% (1991 est.)

Electricity - capacity: 5,000 kW (1994)

Electricity - production: 7 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 6.51 million kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products: copra, taro, breadfruit, sweet potatoes, vegetables; fish

total value: $6 million (f.o.b., 1998)
commodities: copra 62%, coconuts, seaweed, fish
partners: Japan, Bangladesh, US, Australia, Brazil, Poland (2000)

total value : $44 million (c.i.f., 1999)
commodities: foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, miscellaneous manufactured goods, fuel
partners:Australia, Japan, Fiji, Poland, US (2000)

Debt - external: $10 million (1999 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: $15.5 million (1995), largely from UK and Japan

Currency: 1 Australian dollar (AUD) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Australian dollars per US dollar - 1.9354 (January 2002), 1.9320 (2001), 1.7173 (2000), 1.5497 (1999), 1.5888 (1998), 1.3439 (1997)

Fiscal year: NA


Telephones: 3,800 (1999)

Telephone system:
domestic: NA
international : satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
note: Kiribati is being linked to the Pacific Ocean Cooperative Telecommunications Network, which should improve telephone service

Radio broadcast stations:AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 1 note: the FM and shortwave stations may be inactive (2002)

Radios: 17,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 1 (not reported to be active) (2002)

Televisions: 1,000 (1997)


Railways: 0 km

total: 670 km
paved : NA km
unpaved: 27 km are paved in South Tarawa (2001)

Waterways: small network of canals, totaling 5 km, in Line Islands

Ports and harbors: Banaba, Betio, English Harbor, Kanton

Merchant marine:
total: 1 ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,291 GRT/1,295 DWT
ships by type : passenger/cargo 1 (2002 est.)

Airports: 21 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
914 to 1,523 m: 13
under 914 m: 4 (2001)


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

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49 : NA

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: NA

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $NA

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA%

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

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