[Country map of Christmas Island]

Christmas Island

(territory of Australia)


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

Map references: Southeast Asia

total area: 135 sq km
land area: 135 sq km
comparative area: about 0.8 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 138.9 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 3 nm

International disputes: none

Climate: tropical; heat and humidity moderated by trade winds

Terrain: steep cliffs along coast rise abruptly to central plateau

Natural resources: phosphate

Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
meadows and pastures: 0%
forest and woodland: 0%
other: 100%

Irrigated land: NA sq km

current issues: NA
natural hazards: almost completely surrounded by a reef which can be a maritime hazard
international agreements: NA

Note: located along major sea lanes of Indian Ocean


Population: 889 (July 1995 est.)

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

Population growth rate: -9% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: NA

Death rate: NA

Net migration rate: NA

Infant mortality rate: NA

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

Total fertility rate: NA

noun: Christmas Islander(s)
adjective: Christmas Island

Ethnic divisions: Chinese 61%, Malay 25%, European 11%, other 3%, no indigenous population

Religions: Buddhist 36.1%, Muslim 25.4%, Christian 17.7% (Roman Catholic 8.2%, Church of England 3.2%, Presbyterian 0.9%, Uniting Church 0.4%, Methodist 0.2%, Baptist 0.1%, and other 4.7%), none 12.7%, unknown 4.6%, other 3.5% (1981)

Languages: English

Labor force: NA
by occupation: all workers are employees of the Phosphate Mining Company of Christmas Island, Ltd.


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

Digraph: KT

Type: territory of Australia

Capital: The Settlement

Administrative divisions: none (territory of Australia)

Independence: none (territory of Australia)

National holiday: NA

Constitution: Christmas Island Act of 1958

Legal system: under the authority of the governor general of Australia

Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)
head of government: Administrator M. J. GRIMES (since NA)
cabinet: Advisory Council

Legislative branch: none

Judicial branch: none

Political parties and leaders: none

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: Phosphate mining had been the only significant economic activity, but in December 1987 the Australian Government closed the mine as no longer economically viable. Plans have been under way to reopen the mine and also to build a casino and hotel to develop tourism.

National product: GDP $NA

National product real growth rate: NA%

National product per capita: $NA

Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%

Unemployment rate: NA%

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

Exports: $NA
commodities: phosphate
partners: Australia, NZ

Imports: $NA
commodities: consumer goods
partners: principally Australia

External debt: $NA

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

capacity: 11,000 kW
production: 30 million kWh
consumption per capita: 17,800 kWh (1990)

Industries: phosphate extraction (near depletion)

Agriculture: NA

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: Flying Fish Cove

Merchant marine: none

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


Telephone system: NA telephones
local: NA
intercity: NA
international: NA

broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 0, shortwave 0
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 1
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Note: defense is the responsibility of Australia