[Country map of Nauru]



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

Map references: Oceania

total area: 21 sq km
land area: 21 sq km
comparative area: about one-tenth the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 30 km

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

International disputes: none

Climate: tropical; monsoonal; rainy season (November to February)

Terrain: sandy beach rises to fertile ring around raised coral reefs with phosphate plateau in center

Natural resources: phosphates

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: limited natural fresh water resources, roof storage tanks collect rainwater; phosphate mining threatens limited remaining land resources
natural hazards: periodic droughts
international agreements: party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Marine Dumping; signed, but not ratified - Law of the Sea

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


Population: 10,149 (July 1995 est.)

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

Population growth rate: 1.33% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 18.03 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 5.1 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 40.6 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 66.68 years
male: 64.3 years
female: 69.18 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.08 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Nauruan(s)
adjective: Nauruan

Ethnic divisions: Nauruan 58%, other Pacific Islander 26%, Chinese 8%, European 8%

Religions: Christian (two-thirds Protestant, one-third Roman Catholic)

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

Literacy: NA%

Labor force:
by occupation: NA


conventional long form: Republic of Nauru
conventional short form: Nauru
former: Pleasant Island

Digraph: NR

Type: republic

Capital: no official capital; government offices in Yaren District

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

Independence: 31 January 1968 (from the Australia, New Zealand, and UK-administered UN trusteeship)

National holiday: Independence Day, 31 January (1968)

Constitution: 29 January 1968

Legal system: own Acts of Parliament and British common law

Suffrage: 20 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch:
chief of state and head of government: President Bernard DOWIYOGO (since 12 December 1989); election last held 19 November 1992 (next to be held NA November 1995); results - Bernard DOWIYOGO elected by Parliament
cabinet: Cabinet; appointed by the president from the parliament

Legislative branch: unicameral
Parliament: elections last held on 14 November 1992 (next to be held NA November 1995); results - percent of vote NA; seats - (18 total) independents 18

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: none

Member of: AsDB, C (special), ESCAP, ICAO, INTELSAT (nonsignatory user), INTERPOL, ITU, SPARTECA, SPC, SPF, UPU

Diplomatic representation in US:
consulate(s): Agana (Guam)

US diplomatic representation: the US Ambassador to Fiji is accredited to Nauru

Flag: 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


Overview: Revenues come from the export of phosphates, the reserves of which are expected to be exhausted by the year 2000. Phosphates have given Nauruans one of the highest per capita incomes in the Third World. Few other resources exist, so most necessities must be imported, including fresh water from Australia. The rehabilitation of mined land and the replacement of income from phosphates are serious long-term problems. Substantial amounts of phosphate income are invested in trust funds to help cushion the transition.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $100 million (1993 est.)

National product real growth rate: NA%

National product per capita: $10,000 (1993 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%

Unemployment rate: 0%

revenues: $69.7 million
expenditures: $51.5 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1986 est.)

Exports: $93 million (f.o.b., 1984)
commodities: phosphates
partners: Australia, NZ

Imports: $73 million (c.i.f., 1984)
commodities: food, fuel, manufactures, building materials, machinery
partners: Australia, UK, NZ, Japan

External debt: $33.3 million

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

capacity: 14,000 kW
production: 30 million kWh
consumption per capita: 3,036 kWh (1993)

Industries: phosphate mining, financial services, coconut products

Agriculture: coconuts; other agricultural activity negligible; almost completely dependent on imports for food and water

Economic aid:
recipient: Western (non-US) countries (1970-89), $2 million

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), 1.2834 (1991), 1.2799 (1990)

Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June


total: 3.9 km; note - used to haul phosphates from the center of the island to processing facilities on the southwest coast

total: 27 km
paved: 21 km
unpaved: improved earth 6 km

Ports: Nauru

Merchant marine: none

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


Telephone system: 1,600 telephones; adequate local and international radio communications provided via Australian facilities
local: NA
intercity: NA
international: 1 INTELSAT (Pacific Ocean) earth station

broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 0, shortwave 0
radios: 4,000

broadcast stations: 0
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: no regular armed forces; Directorate of the Nauru Police Force

Defense expenditures: $NA; note - no formal defense structure