[Country map of Cocos (Keeling) Islands]

Cocos (Keeling) Islands

(territory of Australia)


Location: Southeastern Asia, group of islands in the Indian Ocean, south of Indonesia, about one-half of the way from Australia to Sri Lanka

Map references: Southeast Asia

total area: 14 sq km
land area: 14 sq km
comparative area: about 24 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
note: includes the two main islands of West Island and Home Island

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 2.6 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 3 nm

International disputes: none

Climate: pleasant, modified by the southeast trade wind for about nine months of the year; moderate rain fall

Terrain: flat, low-lying coral atolls

Natural resources: fish

Land use:
arable land: NA%
permanent crops: NA%
meadows and pastures: NA%
forest and woodland: NA%
other: NA%

Irrigated land: NA sq km

current issues: there are no natural fresh water resources on the island, groundwater does accumulate in natural underground reservoirs
natural hazards: cyclones may occur in the early months of the year
international agreements: NA

Note: two coral atolls thickly covered with coconut palms and other vegetation


Population: 604 (July 1995 est.)

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

Population growth rate: 0.98% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: NA births/1,000 population

Death rate: NA deaths/1,000 population

Net migration rate: NA migrant(s)/1,000 population

Infant mortality rate: NA deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: NA years
male: NA years
female: NA years

Total fertility rate: NA children born/woman

noun: Cocos Islander(s)
adjective: Cocos Islander

Ethnic divisions:
West Island: Europeans
Home Island: Cocos Malays

Religions: Sunni Muslims

Languages: English

Labor force: NA


conventional long form: Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands
conventional short form: Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Digraph: CK

Type: territory of Australia

Capital: West Island

Administrative divisions: none (territory of Australia)

Independence: none (territory of Australia)

National holiday: NA

Constitution: Cocos (Keeling) Islands Act of 1955

Legal system: based upon the laws of Australia and local laws

Suffrage: NA

Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)
head of government: Administrator B. CUNNINGHAM (since NA)
cabinet: Islands Council; Chairman of the Islands Council Haji WAHIN bin Bynie (since NA)

Legislative branch: unicameral Islands Council

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: NA

Member of: none

Diplomatic representation in US: none (territory of Australia)

US diplomatic representation: none (territory of Australia)

Flag: the flag of Australia is used


Overview: Grown throughout the islands, coconuts are the sole cash crop. Copra and fresh coconuts are the major export earners. Small local gardens and fishing contribute to the food supply, but additional food and most other necessities must be imported from Australia.

National product: GDP $NA

National product real growth rate: NA%

National product per capita: $NA

Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%

revenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

Exports: $NA
commodities: copra
partners: Australia

Imports: $NA
commodities: foodstuffs
partners: Australia

External debt: $NA

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

capacity: 1,000 kW
production: 2 million kWh
consumption per capita: 2,980 kWh (1990)

Industries: copra products

Agriculture: gardens provide vegetables, bananas, pawpaws, coconuts

Economic aid: none

Currency: 1 Australian dollar ($A) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Australian dollars ($A) per US$1 - 1.3058 (January 1995), 1.3667 (1994), 1.4704 (1993), 1.3600 (1992), 1.2836 (1991), 1.2799 (1990)

Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June


Railroads: 0 km

total: NA km
paved: NA km
unpaved: NA km

Ports: none; lagoon anchorage only

Merchant marine: none

total: 1
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1


Telephone system: NA telephones
local: NA
intercity: NA
international: linked by telephone, telex, and facsimile communications via satellite with Australia

broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 0, shortwave 0
radios: 250 (1985)

broadcast stations: 0
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Note: defense is the responsibility of Australia