Statistical information Kiribati 1996Kiribati

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

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Kiribati - Introduction 1996
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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 1996
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Location: Oceania, group of islands in the Pacific Ocean, straddling the equator and the International Date Line, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to Australia

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 717 km²
Land: 717 km²
Comparative: slightly more than four times the size of Washington, DC
Comparative note: Includes three island groups_Gilbert Islands, Line Islands, Phoenix Islands

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 1,143 km

Maritime claims
Exclusive economic 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

Extremes lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Extremes highest point: unnamed location on Banaba 81 m

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

Land use
Arable land: 0%
Permanent crops: 51%
Permanent pastures: 0%
Forests and woodland: 3%
Other: 46%

Irrigated land: NA

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Kiribati - People 1996
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80,919 (July 1996 est.)
79,386 (July 1995 est.)

Growth rate:
1.89% (1996 est.)
1.95% (1995 est.)

Noun: I-Kiribati (singular and plural)
Adjective: I-Kiribati

Ethnic groups: Micronesian

Languages: English (official), Gilbertese

Roman Catholic 52.6%
Protestant (Congregational) 40.9%
Seventh-Day Adventist, Baha'i, Church of God, Mormon 6% (1985)

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:
1.89% (1996 est.)
1.95% (1995 est.)

Birth rate:
27.13 births/1000 population (1996 est.)
31.25 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

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

Net migration rate: -0.31 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)
0.56 migrants/1000 population 1995 est. Infant Mortality Rate:
52.9 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)
98.4 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: NA
Current issues Natural hazards: typhoons can occur any time, but usually November to March; occasional tornadoes
International agreements: party to_Biodiversity, Endangered Species, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection; signed, but not ratified_Climate Change
International agreements note: 20 of the 33 islands are inhabited; Banaba (Ocean Island) in Kiribati is one of the three great phosphate rock islands in the Pacific Ocean_the others are Makatea in French Polynesia and Nauru

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 62.02 years (1996 est.), 54.16 years (1995 est.)
Male: 60.25 years (1996 est.), 52.56 years (1995 est.)
Female: 64.03 years (1996 est.), 55.78 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate:
3.21 children born/woman (1996 est.)
3.73 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

Kiribati - Government 1996
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Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of Kiribati
Conventional short form: Kiribati
Former: Gilbert Islands

Government type: Republic

Capital: Tarawa

Administrative divisions: 3 units; Gilbert Islands, Line Islands, Phoenix Islands
Note: In addition, there are 6 districts (Banaba, Central Gilberts, Line Islands, Northern Gilberts, Southern Gilberts, Tarawa) and 21 island councils (Abaiang, Abemama, Aranuka, Arorae, Banaba, Beru, Butaritari, Kanton, Kiritimati, Kuria, Maiana, Makin, Marakei, Nikunau, Nonouti, Onotoa, Tabiteuea, Tabuaeran, Tamana, Tarawa, Teraina; note_one council for each of the inhabited islands)

Dependent areas

Independence: 12 July 1979 (from U.K.)

National holiday: Independence Day, 12 July (1979)

Constitution: 12 July 1979

Legal system: NA

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state and head of government: President (Beretitenti) Teburoro TITO (since 1 October 1994) was elected by popular vote; note_the House of Assembly chooses the presidential candidates from among their members and then those candidates compete in a general election; election last held 30 September 1994 (next to be held by NA 1999); results_Teburoro TITO 51.2%, Tewareka TENTOA 18.3%, Roniti TEIWAKI 16.0%, Peter Taberannang TIMEON 14.5%; Vice President (Kauoman-ni-Beretitenti) Tewareka TENTOA (since 12 October 1994) was appointed by the president
Cabinet: Cabinet; appointed by the president from an elected parliament

Legislative branch: Unicameral House of Assembly (Maneaba Ni Maungatabu):Elections last held on 22 July 1994 (next to be held by NA 1999; results_percent of vote by party NA; seats_(40 total; 39 elected) Maneaban Te Mauri 13, National Progressive Party 7, independents 19

Judicial branch: Court of Appeal, judges at all levels are appointed by the president; High Court, judges at all levels are appointed by the president

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ACP, AsDB, C, ESCAP, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, IDA, IFC, IMF, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, ITU, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UNESCO, UPU, WHO

Diplomatic representation

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 1996
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Economy overview: A remote country of 33 scattered coral atolls, Kiribati has few national resources. Commercially viable phosphate deposits were exhausted at the time of independence in 1979. Copra and fish now represent the bulk of production and exports. The economy has fluctuated widely in recent years. Real GDP growth has declined from about 10% in 1988 to about 2.6% in 1995. Economic development is constrained by a shortage of skilled workers, weak infrastructure, and remoteness from international markets. The financial sector is at an early stage of development. Foreign financial aid, largely from the UK and Japan, is a critical supplement to GDP, equal in amount to 25%-50% of GDP in recent years.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate:
2.6% (1995 est.)
2.9% (1993 est.)

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 23% of GDP (including fishing; copra and fish contribute about 65% to exports; subsistence farming predominates; food crops_taro, breadfruit, sweet potatoes, vegetables; not self-sufficient in food


Industrial production growth rate: Growth rate 0.7% (1992 est.), accounts for less than 4% of GDP

Labor force: 7,870 economically active, not including subsistence farmers (1985 est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 2%; underemployment 70% (1992 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $32.5 million (1995 est.), $29.6 million (1993 est.)
Expenditures: $54.3 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1995 est.), $32.8 million, including capital expenditures of $14 million (1993 est.)

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

total value. $6.3 million (f.o.b., 1995 est.)
$4.2 million (f.o.b., 1992 est.)

Copra 50%
Seaweed 16%
Fish 15%


Total value:
$38.6 million (c.i.f., 1995 est.)
$33.1 million (c.i.f., 1992 est.)

Machinery and equipment
Miscellaneous manufactured goods

Australia 40%
Japan 18%
Fiji 17%
NZ 6%
U.S. 4% (1991)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $2 million (December 1989 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Australian dollars ($A) per US$1: 1.3477 (January 1996), 1.3486 (1995), 1.3667 (1994), 1.4704 (1993), 1.3600 (1992), 1.2835 (1991), 1.2799 (1990)

Kiribati - Energy 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 13 million kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 131 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

Kiribati - Communication 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 1,400 telephones
Local: NA
Intercity: NA
International: 1 INTELSAT (Pacific Ocean) earth station

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Kiribati - Military 1996
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Kiribati - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 20
15-24 to 2437 m: 4
Under 914 m: 5
914 to 1523 m: 11 (1995 est.)

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways





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

Merchant marine
Total: 2 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 3,248 GRT/4,496 DWT
Ships by type: oil tanker 1, short-sea passenger 1 (1995 est.)

Ports and terminals

Kiribati - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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