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Nauru country facts

Republic of Nauru Australia-Oceania N/A 9,488 inhabitants 21 sq km 451.81 inhabitants/sq km Australian dollars (AUD) population evolution



The exact origins of the Nauruans are unclear since their language does not resemble any other in the Pacific region. Germany annexed the island in 1888. A German-British consortium began mining the island's phosphate deposits early in the 20th century. Australian forces occupied Nauru in World War I; it subsequently became a League of Nations mandate. After the Second World War - and a brutal occupation by Japan - Nauru became a UN trust territory. It achieved independence in 1968 and joined the UN in 1999 as the world's smallest independent republic.



Oceania, island in the South Pacific Ocean, south of the Marshall Islands

Geographic coordinates

0 32 S, 166 55 E

Area (sq km)

total: 21 sq km
land: 21 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative (sq km)

about 0.1 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries (km)

0 km

Coastline (km)

30 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


tropical with a monsoonal pattern; rainy season (November to February)


sandy beach rises to fertile ring around raised coral reefs with phosphate plateau in center

Elevation extremes (m)

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed elevation along plateau rim 61 m

Natural resources

phosphates, fish

Land use (%)

arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 20%
other: 80% (2011)

Irrigated land (sq km)


Natural hazards

periodic droughts

Environment - current issues

limited natural freshwater resources, roof storage tanks collect rainwater but mostly dependent on a single, aging desalination plant; intensive phosphate mining during the past 90 years - mainly by a UK, Australia, and NZ consortium - has left the central 90% of Nauru a wasteland and threatens limited remaining land resources

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note

world's smallest island country; situated just 53 km south of the Equator; Nauru is one of the three great phosphate rock islands in the Pacific Ocean - the others are Banaba (Ocean Island) in Kiribati and Makatea in French Polynesia

People and Society


noun: Nauruan(s)
adjective: Nauruan

Ethnic groups (%)

Nauruan 58%, other Pacific Islander 26%, Chinese 8%, European 8%

Languages (%)

Nauruan 93% (official, a distinct Pacific Island language), English 2% (widely understood, spoken, and used for most government and commercial purposes), other 5% (includes I-Kiribati 2% and Chinese 2%)
note: percentages represent main language spoken at home; Nauruan is spoken by 95% of the population, English by 66%, and other languages by 12% (2011 est.)

Religions (%)

Protestant 60.4% (includes Nauru Congregational 35.7%, Assembly of God 13%, Nauru Independent Church 9.5%, Baptist 1.5%, and Seventh Day Adventist .7%), Roman Catholic 33%, other 3.7%, none 1.8%, unspecified 1.1% (2011 est.)


9,488 (July 2014 est.)   evolution and prospects (1950-2100)

Age structure (%)

0-14 years: 32.5% (male 1,359/female 1,720)
15-24 years: 16.9% (male 828/female 773)
25-54 years: 42.7% (male 2,013/female 2,040)
55-64 years: 6% (male 228/female 343)
65 years and over: 1.8% (male 73/female 111) (2014 est.)

Age structure in Nauru

Median age (years)

total: 25.3 years
male: 25.6 years
female: 25 years (2014 est.)

Population growth rate (%)

0.56% (2014 est.)

Birth rate (births/1,000 population)

25.61 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Death rate (deaths/1,000 population)

5.9 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Net migration rate (migrant(s)/1,000 population)

-14.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Urbanization (%)

urban population: 100% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 0.59% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Sex ratio (male(s)/female)

at birth: 0.84 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 0.79 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 0.91 male(s)/female (2014 est.)

Infant mortality rate (deaths/1,000 live births)

total: 8.21 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 10.54 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.27 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)

Life expectancy at birth (years)

total population: 66.4 years
male: 62.3 years
female: 69.83 years (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate (children born/woman)

2.93 children born/woman (2014 est.)

Health expenditures (% of GDP)

9.8% of GDP (2011)

Physicians density (physicians/1,000 population)

0.71 physicians/1,000 population (2010)

Drinking water source (% of population)

improved: urban: 96.3% of population
total: 96.3% of population
unimproved: urban: 3.7% of population
total: 3.7% of population (2012 est.)

Sanitation facility access (% of population)

improved: urban: 65.6% of population
total: 65.6% of population
unimproved: urban: 34.4% of population
total: 34.4% of population (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate (%)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS


HIV/AIDS - deaths


Obesity - adult prevalence rate (%)

71.1% (2008)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight (%)

4.8% (2007)

Education expenditures (% of GDP)


Literacy (%)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) (years)

total: 9 years
male: 9 years
female: 10 years (2008)


Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Nauru
conventional short form: Nauru
local long form: Republic of Nauru
local short form: Nauru
former: Pleasant Island

Government type



no official capital; government offices in Yaren District
time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

14 districts; Aiwo, Anabar, Anetan, Anibare, Baiti, Boe, Buada, Denigomodu, Ewa, Ijuw, Meneng, Nibok, Uaboe, Yaren


31 January 1968 (from the Australia-, NZ-, and UK-administered UN trusteeship)

National holiday

Independence Day, 31 January (1968)


effective 29 January 1968; amended 1968, 2009; note - in early 2013, further amendments were introduced (2013)

Legal system

mixed legal system of common law based on the English model and customary law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


20 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch

chief of state: President Baron WAQA (since 11 June 2013); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Baron WAQA (since 11 June 2013)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from among members of Parliament
elections: president elected by Parliament for a three-year term; election last held on 11 June 2013 (next to be held in 2016)
election results: Baron WAQA elected president on 11 June 2013

Legislative branch

unicameral parliament (19 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve three-year terms)
elections: last held on 8 June 2013 (next to be held in 2016)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 19

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of a chief justice and 1 judge)
judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the president to serve until age 65
subordinate courts: District Court, Family Court

Political parties and leaders

Democratic Party [Kennan ADEANG]
Nauru First (Naoero Amo) Party
Nauru Party (informal)
note: loose multiparty system

Political pressure groups and leaders

Woman Information and News Agency (women's issues)

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Marlene Inemwin MOSES (since 10 February 2006)
chancery: 800 2nd Avenue, Suite 400 D, New York, NY 10017
telephone: [1] (212) 937-0074
FAX: [1] (212) 937-0079
consulate(s): Agana (Guam)

Diplomatic representation from the US

the US does not have an embassy in Nauru; the US Ambassador to Fiji, currently Ambassador Frankie A. REED, is accredited to Nauru

Flag description

blue with a narrow, horizontal, yellow stripe across the center and a large white 12-pointed star below the stripe on the hoist side; blue stands for the Pacific Ocean, the star indicates the country's location in relation to the Equator (the yellow stripe) and the 12 points symbolize the 12 original tribes of Nauru

National anthem

name: "Nauru Bwiema" (Song of Nauru)
lyrics/music: Margaret HENDRIE/Laurence Henry HICKS
note: adopted 1968


Economy - overview

Revenues of this tiny island traditionally have come from exports of phosphates. Few other resources exist, with most necessities being imported, mainly from Australia, its former occupier and later major source of support. In 2005 an Australian company entered into an agreement to exploit remaining supplies. Primary reserves of phosphates were exhausted and mining ceased in 2006, but mining of a deeper layer of "secondary phosphate" in the interior of the island began the following year. The secondary phosphate deposits may last another 30 years. The rehabilitation of mined land and the replacement of income from phosphates are serious long-term problems. In anticipation of the exhaustion of Nauru's phosphate deposits, substantial amounts of phosphate income were invested in trust funds to help cushion the transition and provide for Nauru's economic future. As a result of heavy spending from the trust funds, the government faced virtual bankruptcy. To cut costs the government has frozen wages and reduced overstaffed public service departments. Nauru lost further revenue in 2008 with the closure of Australia's refugee processing center, making it almost totally dependent on food imports and foreign aid. Housing, hospitals, and other capital plant are deteriorating. The cost to Australia of keeping the government and economy afloat continues to climb. Few comprehensive statistics on the Nauru economy exist with estimates of Nauru's GDP varying widely.

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$60 million (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate)


GDP - real growth rate (%)


GDP - per capita (PPP)

$5,000 (2005 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin (%)

agriculture: 6.1%
industry: 33%
services: 60.8% (2009 est.)

Labor force - by occupation (%)

note: most of the labor force is employed in phosphate mining, public administration, education, and transportation

Unemployment rate (%)

90% (2004 est.)

Population below poverty line (%)


Household income or consumption by percentage share (%)

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%


revenues: $13.5 million
expenditures: $13.5 million (2005)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) (%)

NA% (2011 est.)

Agriculture - products



phosphate mining, offshore banking, coconut products

Industrial production growth rate (%)



$64,000 (2005 est.)

Exports - commodities (%)



$NA (2004 est.)

Imports - commodities (%)

food, fuel, manufactures, building materials, machinery

External debt ($)

$33.3 million (2004 est.)

Exchange rates

Currency converter
Australian dollars (AUD) per US dollar -
1.031 (2013)
0.9658 (2011 est.)
1.0902 (2010)
1.2822 (2009)
1.2059 (2008)

Fiscal year

1 July - 30 June


Electricity - production (kWh)

35 million kWh (2010 est.)

Electricity - consumption (kWh)

32.55 million kWh (2010 est.)

Electricity - exports (kWh)

0 kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - imports (kWh)

0 kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity (kW)

1,000 kW (2010 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels (% of total installed capacity)

100% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Crude oil - production (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - exports (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Crude oil - imports (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves (bbl)

0 bbl (1 January 2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption (bbl/day)

1,000 bbl/day (2011 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports (bbl/day)

1,075 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Natural gas - production (cu m)

0 cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - consumption (cu m)

0 cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - exports (cu m)

0 cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - imports (cu m)

0 cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves (cu m)

0 cu m (1 January 2013 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy (Mt)

168,800 Mt (2011 est.)


Telephones - main lines in use

1,900 (2009)

Telephones - mobile cellular

6,800 (2012)

Telephone system

general assessment: adequate local and international radiotelephone communication provided via Australian facilities
international: country code - 674; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Broadcast media

1 government-owned TV station broadcasting programs from New Zealand sent via satellite or on videotape; 1 government-owned radio station, broadcasting on AM and FM, utilizes Australian and British programs (2009)

Internet country code


Internet hosts

8,162 (2012)



1 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)

Roadways (km)

total: 30 km
paved: 24 km
unpaved: 6 km (2002)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Nauru


Military branches

no regular military forces (2012)

Manpower available for military service

males age 16-49: 2,542 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 16-49: 1,823
females age 16-49: 2,034 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually

male: 74
female: 78 (2010 est.)

Military - note

Nauru maintains no defense forces; under an informal agreement, defense is the responsibility of Australia

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international


Largest cities of Nauru

These are the 50 largest cities of Nauru ordered based on their number of inhabitants.

# City Population