|Republic of Nauru
|Form of government
||Parliamentary Democratic Republic
||UTC + 12
|Telephone area code
The Republic of Nauru is a single island in the
Pacific around 3,000 km northeast of Australia. With a
total area of 21.3 km², it is the third smallest
country in the world (after the Vatican and Monaco).
The coral island is oval in shape and has a
circumference of 19 km. A fringing reef that juts out of
the water at low tide surrounds the entire island. The
sandy beaches are followed by a strip of land up to 300
m wide, which is used for agriculture. The interior of
the island is occupied by a plateau that rises to 65 m
above sea level. Phosphate has been mined here for over
100 years. The degradation leaves behind a barren
landscape without vegetation.
The Naurus government is located in Yaren, there is
no official capital.
Nauru's location around 60 km south of the equator
determines the tropical climate on the island. The
temperatures are high all year round and average 27.5
ˇăC. The rainiest months are November to February, with a
total of between 1,600 mm and 2,000 mm annually. From
March to October the island lies in the area of
influence of the dry northeast trade wind.
Flora and fauna
Both flora and fauna are poor in Nauru. The interior
is now without vegetation due to the extensive phosphate
mining areas. Coconut palms and pandanus (screw trees),
banana trees and shrubs such as jasmine and hibiscus
grow on the coasts.
In the animal world, only the bird and underwater
world are rich in species. There are numerous seabirds
such as frigate birds, gannets, terns and shearwaters.
The island is also a station for many migratory birds
such as curlew and plover.
According to COUNTRYAAH, 13,500 people live on Nauru, the island is
very densely populated (with an average of 650 residents
per square kilometer). Around 5,000 people live in the
city of Yaren in the southwest of the island.
Just under 60% of the population are Nauruer, a mixed
race of Polynesians, Melanesians and Micronesians. The
second largest group of people are people from the
neighboring countries Kiribati and Tuvalu, who make up
around a quarter of the population and who are mainly
active in phosphate mining. Chinese and Europeans are 8%
of the population. New Zealanders have a share of about
6%. Virtually the entire population of Naurus is
Christian, with about two thirds of the Protestant and
one third of the Roman Catholic Church. The official
languages are Nauru and English.
The average life expectancy of the population is only
63 years, which is mainly attributed to poor nutrition.
A large part of the population suffers from obesity and
diabetes. Population growth is around 1.8%. School
attendance is compulsory for children between the ages
of six and 16, and literacy is practically
Nauru is a parliamentary republic in the British
Commonwealth of Nations and is politically organized
under the 1968 constitution. The head of state is the
President (Baron Waqa since June 2013), who is also head
of the government and foreign minister, appoints the
cabinet and chairs the Council of Ministers. He is
elected by the Legislative Council for three years.
The 19 members of the Legislative Council are
directly elected by the people for a term of three
years. There is a compulsory choice from the age of 20.
Nauru is divided into 14 districts.
Until the early 1990s, Nauru was one of the richest
countries in the world due to the mining and sale of
phosphate, which has been mined on the island for almost
100 years. However, since the 1990s, drastic slumps in
the phosphate business and failures in managing and
investing high export earnings have led to unprecedented
economic decline. Per capita income is now as low as
that of the surrounding Pacific countries. An
unemployment rate of up to 90% is assumed. Development
aid, especially from Australia, is the most important
source of income for Nauru. In addition, the country
generates modest proceeds from the mining of the
remaining phosphate and the issue of fishing licenses.
Agriculture is of minor importance on Nauru, also
because the environment has been badly damaged by
phosphate mining. Almost all food must be imported, as
well as part of the fresh water. Only a narrow strip of
land is used for agriculture, mainly coconuts are grown,
and to a small extent also bananas and pineapples.
Fishing is only for self-sufficiency of the population,
although there are large fish stocks in the coastal
waters. The expansion of fisheries is intended to try to
diversify the economy dependent on the phosphate mining.
Since the phosphate deposits are almost exhausted,
the (rapidly changing) governments of the country are
looking for alternatives. Tax benefits are used to try
to bring foreign capital into the country. There was a
suspicion that investment fraud and money laundering
were increasing. The OECD temporarily imposed sanctions
on the country to make transactions more transparent.
Tourism only plays a subordinate role on Nauru, the
environmental degradation on the island is too great.
Around the island there is a paved road that is about
19 km long. The existing railway line (approx. 5 km) is
only used to transport phosphate. There is an airport
near the capital Yaren.
The only export good is phosphate. The main customers
include South Africa, India and Germany. The imports
come mainly from Australia and Indonesia; Imported goods
are food, fuel, finished goods, building materials and
The currency is the Australian dollar.