Statistical information Cook Islands 1996Cook%20Islands

Map of Cook Islands | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
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Cook Islands in the World
Cook Islands in the World


Cook Islands - Introduction 1996
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Background: Named after Captain Cook, who sighted them in 1770, the islands became a British protectorate in 1888. By 1900, administrative control was transferred to New Zealand. Residents chose self-government with free association with New Zealand in 1965. The emigration of Cook Islanders to New Zealand in large numbers and resulting loss of skilled labor and government deficits are continuing problems.

Cook Islands - Geography 1996
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Location: Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 240 km²
Land: 240 km²
Comparative: slightly less than 1.3 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 120 km

Maritime claims
Continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: Tropical; moderated by trade winds

Terrain: Low coral atolls in north; volcanic, hilly islands in south

Extremes lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Extremes highest point: Te Manga 652 m

Natural resources: Negligible
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 4%
Permanent crops: 22%
Permanent pastures: 0%
Forests and woodland: 0%
Other: 74%

Irrigated land: NA

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Cook Islands - People 1996
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19,561 (July 1996 est.)
19,343 (July 1995 est.)

Growth rate:
1.11% (1996 est.)
1.13% (1995 est.)

Noun: Cook Islander(s)
Adjective: Cook Islander

Ethnic groups:
Polynesian (full blood) 81.3%
Polynesian and European 7.7%
Polynesian and other 7.7%
European 2.4%
Other 0.9%

Languages: English (official), Maori

Religions: Christian (majority of populace members of Cook Islands Christian Church)

Demographic profile
Age structure

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

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate:
1.11% (1996 est.)
1.13% (1995 est.)

Birth rate:
22.87 births/1000 population (1996 est.)
23.05 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate:
5.2 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.)
5.2 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: -6.58 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)
6.53 migrants/1000 population 1995 est. Infant Mortality Rate:
24.7 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)
24.7 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: NA
Current issues Natural hazards: typhoons (November to March)
International agreements: party to_Biodiversity, Climate Change, Law of the Sea

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 71.14 years
Male: 69.2 years
Female: 73.1 years (1996 est.)

Total fertility rate:
3.25 children born/woman (1996 est.)
3.27 children born/woman (1995 est.)

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: definition:NA

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Cook Islands - Government 1996
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Country name
Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: Cook Islands

Government type: Self-governing parliamentary government in free association with New Zealand; Cook Islands is fully responsible for internal affairs; New Zealand retains responsibility for external affairs, in consultation with the Cook Islands

Capital: Avarua

Administrative divisions: None

Dependent areas

Independence: None (became self-governing in free association with New Zealand on 4 August 1965 and has the right at any time to move to full independence by unilateral action)

National holiday: Constitution Day, 4 August

Constitution: 4 August 1965

Legal system: NA

International law organization participation


Suffrage: Universal adult at age NA

Executive branch
Chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (of the United Kingdom since 6 February 1952), a hereditary monarch, is represented by Apenera SHORT (since NA); New Zealand High Commissioner Darryl DUNN (since NA 1994), representative of New Zealand was appointed by the New Zealand Government
Head of government: Prime Minister Geoffrey HENRY (since 1 February 1989); Deputy Prime Minister Inatio AKARURU (since 1 February 1989)
Cabinet: Cabinet; collectively responsible to the Parliament

Legislative branch: Unicameral Parliament:Elections last held 24 March 1994 (next to be held NA); results_percent of vote by party NA; seats_(25 total) Cook Islands Party 20, Democratic Party 3, Alliance Party 2
Note: The House of Arikis (chiefs) advises on traditional matters, but has no legislative powers

Judicial branch: High Court

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: AsDB, ESCAP (associate), ICAO, ICFTU, IFAD, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), IOC, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UNESCO, WHO

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of Cook%20Islands: Blue, with the flag of the U.K. in the upper hoist-side quadrant and a large circle of 15 white five-pointed stars (one for every island) centered in the outer half of the flag

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Cook Islands - Economy 1996
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Economy overview: Agriculture provides the economic base. The major export earners are fruit, copra, and clothing. Manufacturing activities are limited to a fruit-processing plant and several clothing factories. Economic development is hindered by the isolation of the islands from foreign markets and a lack of natural resources and good transportation links. A large trade deficit is annually made up for by remittances from emigrants and by foreign aid, largely from New Zealand. Current economic development plans call for exploiting the tourism potential and expanding the mining and fishing industries. Despite these plans, the Cook Islands will continue to face severe financial problems.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: NA

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: Accounts for 12% of GDP, export crops_copra, citrus fruits, pineapples, tomatoes, bananas; subsistence crops_yams, taro

Fruit processing

Industrial production growth rate: Growth rate NA; accounts for 5% of GDP

Labor force: 5,810
By occupation Agriculture: 29%
By occupation Government: 27%
By occupation Services: 25%
By occupation Industry: 15%
By occupation Other: 4% (1981)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: NA

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $38 million
Expenditures: $34.4 million, including capital expenditures of NA (1993 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: 1 April_31 March

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: total value. $3.4 million (f.o.b., 1990)
Fresh and canned fruit

NZ 80%

Imports: total value:$50 million (c.i.f., 1990)

NZ 49%

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $160 million (1994)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: New Zealand dollars (NZ$) per US$1: 1.5138 (January 1996), 1.5235 (1995), 1.6844 (1994), 1.8495 (1993), 1.8584 (1992), 1.7265 (1991), 1.6750 (1990)

Cook Islands - Energy 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 21 million kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 741 kWh (1993)

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

Cook Islands - Communication 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 4,180 telephones (1994)
Domestic: the individual islands are connected by a combination of satellite earth stations, microwave systems, and VHF and HF radiotelephone; within the islands, service is provided by small exchanges connected to subscribers by open wire, cable, and fiber-optic cable
International: 1 INTELSAT (Pacific Ocean) earth station

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Cook Islands - Military 1996
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Cook Islands - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 7
15-24 to 2437 m:

914 to 1523 m: 3

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways






Merchant marine: total:1 cargo ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,464 GRT/2,181 DWT

Ports and terminals

Cook Islands - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

Crystal Travel

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