Population: 103,500 (est.)
Language(s): English, Gilbertese
- The Kiribati dollar and Australian dollar is the official currency of Kiribati.
- Christian groups form about 96% of the Kiribati population by census counts and persons with no religious affiliation account for less than 1% of the population.
- Kiribati follows a ‘Presidential Republic’ system (single-party state).
- Kiribati consists of 33 islands.
- This island nation is one of the poorest nations in the world. Exports in copra and fish and tourism are the major sources of income for this country.
- The island of Kiritimati (Christmas Island) boasts of being the largest island in the world, in terms of land area.
Kiribati, officially the Republic of Kiribati, is an island nation located in the central tropical Pacific Ocean. The permanent population is just over 100,000 (2011), and the island nation is composed of 32 atolls and one raised coral island, dispersed over 3.5 million square kilometres, (1,351,000 square miles) straddling the equator, and bordering the International Date Line at its easternmost point.
The name Kiribati is the local pronunciation of “Gilberts”, derived from the main island chain, the Gilbert Islands, who in turn were named after the British explorer Thomas Gilbert, who discovered the islands. The capital, South Tarawa, consists of a number of islets connected through a series of causeways, located in the Tarawa archipelago. Kiribati became independent from the United Kingdom in 1979. It is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the IMF and the World Bank, and became a full member of the United Nations in 1999.