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Flag of Nauru
Map of Nauru
Introduction Nauru
The exact origins of the Nauruans are unclear, since their language does not resemble any other in the Pacific. The island was annexed by Germany in 1888 and its phosphate deposits began to be mined early in the 20th century by a German-British consortium. Nauru was occupied by Australian forces in World War I and 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 its independence in 1968 and joined the UN in 1999 as the world's smallest independent republic.
Geography Nauru
Oceania, island in the South Pacific Ocean, south of the Marshall Islands
Geographic coordinates:
0 32 S, 166 55 E
Map references:
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
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 location along plateau rim 61 m
Natural resources:
phosphates, fish
Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Natural hazards:
periodic droughts
Environment - current issues:
limited natural fresh water 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
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
People Nauru
13,287 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 36.9% (male 2,507/female 2,391)
15-64 years: 61.2% (male 4,004/female 4,123)
65 years and over: 2% (male 139/female 123) (2006 est.)
Median age:
total: 20.6 years
male: 20 years
female: 21.2 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.81% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
24.76 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
6.7 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.13 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 9.78 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 12.29 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.14 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 63.08 years
male: 59.5 years
female: 66.84 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
3.11 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Nauruan(s)
adjective: Nauruan
Ethnic groups:
Nauruan 58%, other Pacific Islander 26%, Chinese 8%, European 8%
Christian (two-thirds Protestant, one-third Roman Catholic)
Nauruan (official, a distinct Pacific Island language), English widely understood, spoken, and used for most government and commercial purposes
definition: NA
total population: NA
male: NA
female: NA
Government Nauru
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 (Constitution Day)
Legal system:
acts of the Nauru Parliament and British common law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
20 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Ludwig SCOTTY (since 22 June 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Ludwig SCOTTY (since 22 June 2004)
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 23 October 2004 (next to be held NA 2007)
election results: Ludwig SCOTTY was unopposed in the parliamentary elections for president
Legislative branch:
unicameral Parliament (18 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve three-year terms)
elections: last held 23 October 2004 (next to be held not later than 2007)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - Nauru First Party 3, independents 15
note: the president dissolved parliament on 30 September 2004 and set new elections for 23 October 2004
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court
Political parties and leaders:
loose multiparty system; Democratic Party [Kennan ADEANG]; Nauru Party (informal); Nauru First (Naoero Amo) Party
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Vinci Niel CLODUMAR
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; 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
Economy Nauru
Economy - overview:
Revenues of this tiny island have traditionally come from exports of phosphates, now significantly depleted. An Australian company in 2005 entered into an agreement intended to exploit remaining supplies. Few other resources exist with most necessities being imported, mainly from Australia, its former occupier and later major source of support. 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 faces virtual bankruptcy. To cut costs the government has frozen wages and reduced overstaffed public service departments. In 2005, the deterioration in housing, hospitals, and other capital plant continued, and the cost to Australia of keeping the government and economy afloat continued 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 (official exchange rate):
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: 0.1% employed in mining phosphates, public administration, education, and transportation
Unemployment rate:
90% (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
-3.6% (1993)
revenues: $13.5 million
expenditures: $13.5 million (2005)
Agriculture - products:
phosphate mining, offshore banking, coconut products
Industrial production growth rate:
Electricity - production:
30 million kWh (2004)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
27.9 million kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2004)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption:
1,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA bbl/day (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA bbl/day (2001)
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2004 est.)
$64,000 f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Exports - partners:
South Africa 63.7%, South Korea 7.6%, Canada 6.6% (2005)
$20 million c.i.f. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
food, fuel, manufactures, building materials, machinery
Imports - partners:
South Korea 43.8%, Australia 36.2%, US 5.9%, Germany 4.3% (2005)
Debt - external:
$33.3 million (2002)
Economic aid - recipient:
$20 million mostly from Australia (2005)
Currency (code):
Australian dollar (AUD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Australian dollars per US dollar - 1.3095 (2005), 1.3598 (2004), 1.5419 (2003), 1.8406 (2002)
Fiscal year:
1 July - 30 June
Communications Nauru
Telephones - main lines in use:
1,900 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
1,500 (2002)
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)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1, FM 0, shortwave 0 (1998)
7,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (1997)
500 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
52 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)
Internet users:
300 (2002)
Transportation Nauru
1 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2006)
total: 30 km
paved: 24 km
unpaved: 6 km (1999 est.)
Ports and terminals:
Military Nauru
Military branches:
no regular military forces; Nauru Police Force (2005)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 2,874 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Military - note:
Nauru maintains no defense forces; under an informal agreement, defense is the responsibility of Australia
Transnational Issues Nauru
Disputes - international:

This page was last updated on 18 January, 2007