National name - Republic of Nauru
Area - 21 sq km/8.1 sq mi
Language - Nauruan, English (both official)
Religion majority - Protestant, Roman Catholic
Time difference - GMT +12
Major holidays - 1, 31 January, 17 May, 1 July, 27 October,
25–26 December; variable: Good Friday, Easter Monday,
Physical features tropical coral island in southwest Pacific;
plateau encircled by coral cliffs and sandy beaches
Airports - one international airport; total passengers
carried: 164,000 (2001 est)
Railways - total length: 5.2 km/3.2 mi serving the
Roads - total road network: 30 km/19 mi, of which 80%
paved (1999 est)
Head of state and government - Marcus Stephen (former
Olympic weightlifter and winner of seven Commonwealth
Games Gold Medals)
Political system - liberal democracy
Political executive - limited presidency
Administrative divisions - 14 districts
Political parties - candidates are traditionally elected as
independents, grouped into pro- and antigovernment
factions; Democratic Party of Nauru (DPN) only formal
Death penalty - retains the death penalty for ordinary
crimes but can be considered abolitionist in practice
Armed forces - no standing army; Australia is responsible
for Nauru's defence
Health spend (% GDP) 11.3 (2000 est)
1798 British whaler Capt John Fearn first visited Nauru and named it Pleasant
1830s–80s The island was a haven for white runaway convicts and deserters.
1888 Annexed by Germany at the request of German settlers who sought
protection from local clan unrest.
1899 Phosphate deposits discovered; mining began eight years later, with
indentured Chinese labourers brought in to work British Australian-owned mines.
1914 Occupied by Australia on the outbreak of World War I.
1920 Administered by Australia on behalf of itself, New Zealand, and the UK until
independence, except 1942–43, when occupied by Japan, and two-thirds of the
population were deported briefly to Micronesia.
1951 Local Government Council set up to replace Council of Chiefs.
1956 Hammer DeRoburt became head chief of Nauru.
1968 Independence achieved, with ‘special member’ British Commonwealth status.
Hammer DeRoburt elected president.
1976 Bernard Dowiyogo elected president for first time.
1987 Kennan Adeang established the Democratic Party of Nauru.
1994 Australia agreed to an out-of-court settlement of A$107 million, payable
over 20 years, for environmental damage caused by phosphate mining which had
left 80% of land agriculturally barren.
2000 Bernard Dowiyogo elected president for sixth time. General elections saw
Rene Harris win the popular vote; he resigned and Dowiyogo was installed.
2001 Dowiyogo ousted in parliamentary vote; Harris re-elected president.
Australia paid Nauru to hold asylum seekers apprehended as they tried to enter
2002–03 Nauru continued to hold some 1,000 asylum seekers, after Canberra had
promised they would be gone. Some asylum seekers at detention centre staged
2003 Bernard Dowivogo became president; died a few months later. Ludwig
Scotty elected president; ousted in vote of no confidence. Rene Harris re-elected
2004 Nauru defaulted on loan payments; assets placed in receivership in
Australia, who sent officials to take care of Nauru's finances. President Harris
lost vote of confidence and was succeeded by Ludwig Scotty. Scotty sacked
parliament after it missed deadline to pass reform budget; he won unopposed in
2005 Nauru angered China by restoring diplomatic ties with Taiwan, after a three-
year break. Set up to fight money laundering, Financial Action Task Force removed
Nauru from its list of uncooperative nations. A US bank repossessed Air Nauru's
2006–07 Australia continued to send asylum seekers to Nauru, from Myanmar and
NAURU GENERAL INFORMATION
Currency - Australian dollar
GDP - (US$) 62 million (2005 est)
Real GDP growth - (% change on previous year) 3 (2005 est)
GNI - (US$) 220 million (2002 est)
GNI per capita (PPP) - (US$) 5,200 (2005 est)
Consumer price inflation - 4% (2001 est)
Unemployment - 0% (1996)
Foreign debt - (US$) 33 million (2002 est)
Major trading partners - Australia, New Zealand, Philippines,
Resources - phosphates
Industries - phosphate mining, financial services
Exports - phosphates. Principal market: South Africa 37.6%
Imports - food and live animals, building construction
materials, petroleum, machinery, medical supplies. Principal
source: Australia 59% (2004)
Arable land - 0% (2006 est)
Agricultural products - small-scale production; coconuts,
bananas, pineapples, screw-pines, livestock rearing (pigs and
chickens); almost all the country's requirements (including
most of its drinking water) are imported
Population - 13,300 (2006 est)
Population growth rate - 1.8% (2005–10)
Population density (per sq km) - 633 (2006 est)
Urban population (% of total) - 100 (2005 est)
Age distribution (% of total population) - 0–14 42%, 15–59
54%, 60+ 4% (2001 est)
Ethnic groups - about 68% indigenous Nauruan (mixture of
Micronesian, Polynesian, and Melanesian descent), about 18%
Pacific Islander, 8% European, 6% Chinese
Life expectancy - 59 (men); 66 (women) (2000–05)
Child mortality rate - (under 5, per 1,000 live births) 30
Education (compulsory years) - 11
Literacy rate - 99% (men); 99% (women) (2003 est)
COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA
Radios (per 1,000 people) 609 (1997)
TV sets (per 1,000 people) 46 (1997)
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