Cook Islands 1997Cook%20Islands

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Cook Islands
Cook Islands 


Cook Islands - Introduction 1997
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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 1997
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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: 21 14 S, 159 46 W

Map referenceOceania

Total: 240 km²
Land: 240 km²
Water: 0 km²
Comparative: 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: NEGL
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 9%
Permanent crops: 13%
Permanent pastures: NA%
Forests and woodland: NA%
Other: 78% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: NA km²

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: typhoons (November to March)


Cook Islands - People 1997
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Population: 19,776 (July 1997 est.)
Growth rate: 1.08% (1997 est.)

Noun: Cook Islander(s)
Adjective: Cook Islander

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

Languages: English (official), Maori

Religions: Christian (majority of populace are members of the 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: 1.08% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 22.7 births/1000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 5.2 deaths/1000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: -6.65 migrant(s)/1000 population (1997 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: NA

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: NA male(s)/female
Under 15 years: NA male(s)/female
15-64 years: NA male(s)/female
65 years and over: NA male(s)/female
Total population: NA male(s)/female

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 24.7 deaths/1000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 71.14 years
Male: 69.2 years
Female: 73.1 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.22 children born/woman (1997 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: NA

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Cook Islands - Government 1997
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Country name
Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: Cook Islands

Government type: self-governing parliamentary democracy

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: based on New Zealand law and English common law

International law organization participation


Suffrage: NA years of age; universal adult

Executive branch
Chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II of the UK (since 6 February 1952), represented by Apenera SHORT (since NA); New Zealand High Commissioner Darryl DUNN (since NA 1994), representative of New Zealand
Head of government: Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey A. HENRY (since 1 February 1989); Deputy Prime Minister Inatio AKARURU (since 1 February 1989)
Cabinet: Cabinet chosen by the prime minister; collectively responsible to Parliament
Elections: none; the queen is a hereditary monarch; the queen's representative is appointed by the queen; the New Zealand high commissioner is appointed by the New Zealand Government; following legislative elections, the leader of the party that wins the most seats usually becomes prime minister

Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament (25 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
Elections: last held 6 March 1994 (next to be held by NA 1999)
Election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Cook Islands Party 20, Democratic Party 3, Democratic 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), FAO, ICAO, ICFTU, IFAD, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), IOC, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UNESCO, WHO, WMO

Diplomatic representation
In the us: none (self-governing in free association with New Zealand)
From the us: none (self-governing in free association with New Zealand)

Flag descriptionflag of Cook%20Islands: blue, with the flag of the UK 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 1997
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Economy overview: Like other South Pacific island nations, the Cook Islands' economic development is hindered by the isolation of the country from foreign markets, lack of natural resources, periodic devastation from natural disasters, and inadequate infrastructure. Agriculture provides the economic base with major exports made up of copra and citrus fruit. Manufacturing activities are limited to a fruit-processing plant and several clothing factories. Trade deficits are made up for by remittances from emigrants and by foreign aid, largely from New Zealand. In 1996, the government declared bankruptcy, citing a $120 million public debt. Efforts to exploit tourism potential and expanding the mining and fishing industries have not been enough to adequately deal with the financial crisis. In an effort to stem further erosion of the tenuous economic situation, the government slashed public service salaries by 50%, condensed the number of government ministries from 52 to 22, reduced the number of civil servants by more than half, began selling government assets, and closed all overseas diplomatic posts except for the one in New Zealand.

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: 17%
Industry: 6%
Services: 77% (FY90/91)

Agriculture products: copra, citrus, pineapples, tomatoes, bananas, yams, taro, coffee

Industries: fruit processing, tourism

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Labor force
Total: 6,601 (1993)
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: $N/A
Expenditures: $N/A, including capital expenditures of $N/A

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

Total value: $3.9 million (f.o.b., 1993)
Commodities: copra, fresh and canned citrus fruit, clothing, coffee, fish
Partners: NZ 80%, Japan, Hong Kong

Total value: $67 million (c.i.f., 1993)
Commodities: foodstuffs, textiles, fuels, timber
Partners: NZ 49%, Italy, Australia

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 - 1.4247 (January 1997), 1.4543 (1996), 1.5235 (1995), 1.6844 (1994), 1.8495 (1993), 1.8584 (1992)

Cook Islands - Energy 1997
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 20 million kWh (1994)

Electricity consumption
Per capita: NA kWh

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 1997
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system
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: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Cook Islands - Military 1997
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Cook Islands - Transportation 1997
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 7 (1996 est.)
With paved runways total: 1
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 1 (1996 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 6
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 3
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 3 (1996 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 1
15-24 to 2437 m: 1 (1996 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 6
15-24 to 2437 m: 3
914 to 1523 m: 3 (1996 est.)



Railways: 0 km



Merchant marine: total:1 cargo ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,464 GRT/2,181 DWT (1996 est.)

Ports and terminals

Cook Islands - Transnational issues 1997
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Disputes international: none

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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