Kiribati 1989Kiribati

 Kiribati | | | | | |
| | | :  |



Kiribati - Introduction 1989
top of page

Background: The Gilbert Islands were granted self-rule by the UK in 1971 and complete independence in 1979 under the new name of Kiribati. The US relinquished all claims to the sparsely inhabited Phoenix and Line Island groups in a 1979 treaty of friendship with Kiribati.

Kiribati - Geography 1989
top of page


Geographic coordinates

Map reference


Land boundaries: none

Coastline: 1,143 km

Maritime claims
Exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical; marine, hot and humid, moderated by trade winds

Terrain: mostly low-lying coral atolls surrounded by extensive reefs


Natural resources: phosphate (production discontinued in 1979)
Land use

Land use: NEGL% arable land; 51% permanent crops; 0% meadows and pastures; 3% forest and woodland; 46% other

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards

Note: Banaba or Ocean Island is one of the three great phosphate rock islands in the Pacific (the others are Makatea in French Polynesia and Nauru)

Kiribati - People 1989
top of page

Population: 68,828 (July 1989), growth rate 1.5% (1989)

Nationality: noun - Kiribatian(s; adjective - Kiribati

Ethnic groups: Micronesian

Languages: English (official), Gilbertese

Religions: 48% Roman Catholic, 45% Protestant (Congregational), some Seventh-Day Adventist and Baha'i

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate: 30 births/1000 population (1989)

Death rate: 11 deaths/1000 population (1989)

Net migration rate: - 4 migrants/1000 population (1989)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: typhoons can occur any time, but usually November to March; 20 of the 33 islands are inhabited

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 58 deaths/1000 live births (July 1989)

Life expectancy at birth: 53 years male, 57 years female (July 1989)

Total fertility rate: 4.2 children born/woman (1989)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: 90%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Kiribati - Government 1989
top of page

Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Kiribati

Government type: republic

Capital: Tarawa

Administrative divisions: 3 units; Gilbert Islands, Line Islands, Phoenix Islands; note - a new administrative structure of 6 districts (Banaba, Central Gilberts, Line Islands, Northern Gilberts, Southern Gilberts, Tarawa) may have been changed to 20 island councils (one for each of the inhabited islands) named Abaiang, Abemama, Aranuka, Arorae, Banaba, Beru, Butaritari, Kiritimati, Kuria, Maiana, Makin, Marakei, Nikunau, Nonouti, Onotoa, Tabiteuea, Tabuaeran, Tamana, Tarawa, Teraina

Dependent areas

Independence: 12 July 1979 (from UK; formerly Gilbert Islands)

National holiday: Independence Day, 12 July (1979)

Constitution: 12 July 1979

Legal system

International law organization participation


Suffrage: universal over age 18

Executive branch: Chief of State and Head of Government - President Ieremia T. TABAI (since 12 July 1979; Vice President Teatao TEANNAKI (since 20 July 1979)

Legislative branch: NA

Judicial branch

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ADB, Commonwealth, ESCAP (associate member), GATT (de facto), ICAO, IMF, SPF, WHO

Diplomatic representation
In the us: Ambassador (vacant) lives in Tarawa (Kiribati; US - none

Flag descriptionflag of Kiribati: the upper half is red with a yellow frigate bird flying over a yellow rising sun and the lower half is blue with three horizontal wavy white stripes to represent the ocean

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Kiribati - Economy 1989
top of page

Economy overview: Living standards are well below those of most countries in the region. During the 1980s economic growth has been flat. In the five years preceding 1987, real GDP declined in three of those years, ending the period with a GDP below that of 1982. The economy is dependent on tuna fish and copra exports. Resource constraints severely limit other potential exports. The small land area and poor soils prevent the production of most agricultural commodities. There is little manufacturing. Most paid employment is in the public sector.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: coconuts, copra; subsistence crops of roots and tubers, vegetables, melons, bananas; pigs, chickens; domestic fishing

Industries: fishing, handicrafts

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Labor force: 7,870 economically active (1985 est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 2% (1985; underemployment estimated to be higher

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues $21.2 million; expenditures $20.2 million, including capital expenditures of $7.4 million (1987)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: NA

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $2.3 million (f.o.b., 1987 est.)
Commodities: fish 55%, copra 42%
Partners: EC 20%, Marshall Islands 12%, US 8%, American Samoa 4% (1985)

Imports: $17.5 million (c.i.f., 1987 est.)
Commodities: foodstuffs, fuel, transportation equipment
Partners: Australia 39%, Japan 21%, NZ 6%, UK 6%, US 3% (1985)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $2.0 million (December 1987 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Australian dollars ($A) per US$1 - 1.3654 (March 1988), 1.4267 (1987), 1.4905 (1986), 1.4269 (1985)

Kiribati - Energy 1989
top of page

Electricity access

Electricity production

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Kiribati - Communication 1989
top of page

Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Kiribati - Military 1989
top of page

Military expenditures
Dollar figure: NA

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Kiribati - Transportation 1989
top of page

National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 22 total; 21 usable; 4 with permanent-surface runways; 5 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways





Waterways: small network of canals, totaling 5 km, in Line Islands

Merchant marine

Ports and terminals

Kiribati - Transnational issues 1989
top of page

Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


You found a piece of the puzzle

Please click here to complete it