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Pitcairn Islands country facts

Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie, and Oeno Islands Australia-Oceania Adamstown 48 inhabitants 47 sq km 1.02 inhabitants/sq km New Zealand dollars (NZD) overseas territory of the United Kingdom population evolution



Pitcairn Island was discovered in 1767 by the British and settled in 1790 by the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian companions. Pitcairn was the first Pacific island to become a British colony (in 1838) and today remains the last vestige of that empire in the South Pacific. Outmigration, primarily to New Zealand, has thinned the population from a peak of 233 in 1937 to less than 50 today.



Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about midway between Peru and New Zealand

Geographic coordinates

25 04 S, 130 06 W

Area (sq km)

total: 47 sq km
land: 47 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative (sq km)

about three tenths the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries (km)

0 km

Coastline (km)

51 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 3 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


tropical; hot and humid; modified by southeast trade winds; rainy season (November to March)


rugged volcanic formation; rocky coastline with cliffs

Elevation extremes (m)

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Big Ridge 347 m

Natural resources

miro trees (used for handicrafts), fish
note: manganese, iron, copper, gold, silver, and zinc have been discovered offshore

Land use (%)

arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2011)

Irrigated land (sq km)


Natural hazards

typhoons (especially November to March)

Environment - current issues

deforestation (only a small portion of the original forest remains because of burning and clearing for settlement)

Geography - note

Britain's most isolated dependency; only the larger island of Pitcairn is inhabited but it has no port or natural harbor; supplies must be transported by rowed longboat from larger ships stationed offshore

People and Society


noun: Pitcairn Islander(s)
adjective: Pitcairn Islander

Ethnic groups (%)

descendants of the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian wives

Languages (%)

English (official), Pitkern (mixture of an 18th century English dialect and a Tahitian dialect)

Religions (%)

Seventh-Day Adventist 100%


48 (July 2014 est.)   evolution and prospects (1950-2100)

Population growth rate (%)

0% (2014 est.)

Urbanization (%)

urban population: 0% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 0% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Sex ratio (male(s)/female)


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

total: NA
male: NA
female: NA

Life expectancy at birth (years)

total population: NA
male: NA
female: NA

Total fertility rate (children born/woman)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate (%)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS


HIV/AIDS - deaths


Literacy (%)



Country name

conventional long form: Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie, and Oeno Islands
conventional short form: Pitcairn Islands

Dependency status

overseas territory of the UK

Government type



name: Adamstown
geographic coordinates: 25 04 S, 130 05 W
time difference: UTC-9 (4 hours behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

none (overseas territory of the UK)


none (overseas territory of the UK)

National holiday

Birthday of Queen ELIZABETH II, second Saturday in June (1926); Discovery Day, 2 July (1767)


several previous; latest made 10 February 2010, presented 17 February 2010, effective 4 March 2010 (2010)

Legal system

local island by-laws


18 years of age; universal with three years residency

Executive branch

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by UK High Commissioner to New Zealand and Governor (nonresident) of the Pitcairn Islands Victoria M. TREADELL (since May 2010); Commissioner (nonresident) Leslie JAQUES (since September 2003) serves as liaison between the governor and the Island Council
head of government: Mayor and Chairman of the Island Council Shawn CHRISTIAN (since 13 November 2013)
cabinet: NA
elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor and commissioner appointed by the monarch; island mayor elected by popular vote for a three-year term; election last held in November 2013 (next to be held not later than December 2016)
election results: Shawn CHRISTIAN elected mayor and chairman of the Island Council

Legislative branch

unicameral Island Council (10 seats; mayor, deputy mayor, 5 members elected by popular vote, 3 ex officio members including governor, deputy governor, and commissioner; deputy mayor and elected members serve two-year terms)
elections: last held on 13 November 2013 (next to be held not later than December 2015)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - 5 independents

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Pitcairn Court of Appeal (consists of the court president, 2 judges, and the Supreme Court chief justice (ex-officio member); Pitcairn Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and 2 judges)
note - appeals beyond the Pitcairn Court of Appeal are heard by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London);the Court of Appeal was established in 2000 by an Order in Council
judge selection and term of office: all judges of both courts appointed by the governor of the Pitcairn Islands on the instructions of the Queen of England through the Secretary of State; all judges appointed until retirement, normally at age 75
subordinate courts: Magistrate's Court

Political parties and leaders


Political pressure groups and leaders


International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Diplomatic representation from the US

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Flag description

blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Pitcairn Islander coat of arms centered on the outer half of the flag; the green, yellow, and blue of the shield represents the island rising from the ocean; the green field features a yellow anchor surmounted by a bible (both the anchor and the bible were items found on the HMS Bounty); sitting on the crest is a Pitcairn Island wheelbarrow from which springs a slip of miro (a local plant)

National anthem

name: "We From Pitcairn Island"
lyrics/music: unknown/Frederick M. LEHMAN
note: serves as a local anthem; as a territory of the United Kingdom, "God Save the Queen" is official (see United Kingdom)


Economy - overview

The inhabitants of this tiny isolated economy exist on fishing, subsistence farming, handicrafts, and postage stamps. The fertile soil of the valleys produces a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including citrus, sugarcane, watermelons, bananas, yams, and beans. Bartering is an important part of the economy. The major sources of revenue are the sale of postage stamps to collectors and the sale of handicrafts to passing ships.

GDP (purchasing power parity)


Labor force

15 (2004)

Labor force - by occupation (%)

note: no business community in the usual sense; some public works; subsistence farming and fishing


revenues: $746,000
expenditures: $1.028 million (FY04/05)

Agriculture - products

honey; wide variety of fruits and vegetables; goats, chickens; fish


postage stamps, handicrafts, beekeeping, honey



Exports - commodities (%)

fruits, vegetables, curios, stamps



Imports - commodities (%)

fuel oil, machinery, building materials, flour, sugar, other foodstuffs

Exchange rates

Currency converter
New Zealand dollars (NZD) per US dollar -
1.247 (2013)
1.2334 (2012)
1.3874 (2010)
1.6002 (2009)
1.4151 (2008)

Fiscal year

1 April - 31 March


Telephone system

general assessment: satellite-based phone services
domestic: local phone service with international connections via Internet
international: country code - 872; satellite earth station - 1 (Inmarsat)

Broadcast media

satellite TV from Fiji-based Sky Pacific offering a wide range of international channels

Internet country code


Internet hosts

26 (2012)

Communications - note

satellite-based local phone service and broadband Internet connections available in all homes


Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Adamstown (on Bounty Bay)


Military - note

defense is the responsibility of the UK

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international


Largest cities of Pitcairn Islands

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

# City Population