Kiribati Politics

Kiribati Politics, Population and Geography


Location: Oceania, a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean on either side of the equator, about halfway between Hawaii and Australia; note – on the night of January 1, 1995, Kiribati introduced universal time (GMT + 12) throughout its territory, although the Phoenix Islands and the Line Islands lie on the other side of the international date line.
Geographical coordinates: 1° 25′ N. latitude, 173° 00′ E
Reference map: Oceania.
Area: total: 717 km2; land surface area: 717 km2; water surface area: 0 km2; note: includes three groups of islands: Gilbert Islands, Line Islands, Phoenix Islands.
Comparative area: four times the size of Washington, DC.
Land borders: 0 km.
Coastline: 1,143 km.
Maritime claims: exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: Tropical, maritime, hot and humid, varies with wind direction.
Terrain: mostly low coral atolls surrounded by reefs.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m; highest point: unnamed point on Banaba Island 81 m
Natural resources: phosphates (mining ceased in 1979).
Land use: arable land: 0%; cultivated land: 51%; pasture: 0%; forests and plantations: 3%; others: 46% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: no data.
Natural hazards: typhoons, usually from November to March; sometimes a tornado; the low altitude of the islands makes them very sensitive to rising sea levels.
Current environmental issues: severe pollution of the lagoon in the south of Tarawa Atoll, caused by the traditional practice of dumping sewage into the lagoon; groundwater is under the threat of pollution.
International agreements on environmental protection: participant: Biodiversity, Climate change, Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous wastes, Marine pollution, Protection of the ozone layer; signed but not ratified: no.
Note to the section “Geography”: 20 of the 33 islands are inhabited; Banaba Island is one of three islands in the Pacific Ocean, which are huge phosphate rocks; others are Makatea in French Polynesia and Nauru.


Population: 94,149 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 40.53% (male 19,322; female 18,833); 15 to 64 years: 56.27% (men 26,136; women 26,841); over 65: 3.2% (male 1,291; female 1,726) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 2.31% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 31.98 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 8.88 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 0 people /1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male/female; up to 15 years: 1.03 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 0.97 male/female; over 65: 0.75 male/female; for the general population: 0.99 male/female (2001 est.);
Infant mortality: 54 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 60.16 years; men: 57.25 years; women: 63.22 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 4.36 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of the adult population infected with HIV: no data available.
Number of people infected with HIV: no data.
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: Kiribati; adjective: pertaining to Kiribati.
Ethnic groups: Micronesians.
Believers: Catholics 54%, Protestants (Congregationalists) 30%, Seventh Day Adventists, Baha’is, followers of the “Church of God”, Mormons (1996).
Language(s): English (official), the language of the Gilbert Islands.
Literacy: definition: no data; for the general population: no data available; men: no data; women: no data. State Name:


conventional long form: Republic of Kiribati;
conventional short form: Kiribati; former: Gilbert Islands.
State structure: republic. See to know more about Kiribati government and politics.
Capital: Tarawa.
Administrative divisions: 3 administrative divisions: Gilbert Islands, Line Islands and Phoenix Islands; note: in addition, there are 6 districts (Banaba, Central Gilbert Islands, Line Islands, Northern Gilbert Islands, South Gilbert Islands, Tarawa) and 21 island councils, one for each inhabited island (Abayang, Abemama, Aranuka, Arorae, Banaba, Beru, Buta-ritari, Canton, Kiritimati, Curia, Maiana, Ma-kin, Marakei, Nikunau, Nonouti, Onotoa, Tabi-teuea, Tabuaeran, Tamana, Tarawa, Teraina).
Dependent Territories:
Independence: since July 12, 1979 (until 1979 – a British colony).
National holiday: Independence Day, 12 July (since 1979).
Constitution: adopted July 12, 1979.
Legal system: unknown.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
chief of state: President Teburoro TITO (since 1 October 1994) Vice President Tewareka TENTOA (since October 12, 1994); note – the president is both head of state and head of government;
head of government: President Teburoro TITO (since 1 October 1994); Vice President Tewareka TENTOA (since October 12, 1994); note – the president is both head of state and head of government;
Government: the Cabinet is appointed by the President from among the members of the House of Assembly and consists of the President, Vice President, Attorney General and 8 Ministers; elections: the president is elected by popular vote for a term of 4 years; note – the House of Assembly determines among its members the candidates who participate in the elections; elections last held 27 November 1998 (next to be held in November 2002); the vice president is appointed by the president; election results: Teburoro TITO re-elected president; percentage of votes – TeburoroTITO 52.3%, Dr. Harry TONG (Dr. Harry TONG) 45.8%, Amberoti NIKORA (Amberoti NIKORA) 1.9%, Taberannang TIMEON (Taberannang TIMEON) 0%.
Legislature: unicameral House of Assembly (Maneaba Ni Maungatabu) (41 seats; 39 members are elected by popular vote, 1 seat is ex officio and 1 is appointed by a representative of the island of Banaba; term of office – 4 years); elections: last held 23 September 1998 (next to be held September 2002); election results: distribution of votes between parties: no data; distribution of seats among parties: Maneaban Te Mauri 14, National Progressive Party 11, independents 14.
Judiciary: Court of Appeal, judges at all levels appointed by the president; High Court, judges at all levels are appointed by the president; 26 world courts, judges of all levels are appointed by the president.
Political parties and leaders: Maneaban Te Mauri (Teburoro TITO); National Progressive Party (TeataoTEANNAKI [TeataoTEAN-NAKI]); New Movement Party (leader – no data); note: there are no parties with a traditional formal organization in the country; parties are more closed groupings or interest groups without headquarters, formal platforms or party structures.
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: АСР, AsDB, С, ESCAP, FAO, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), ITU, OPCW, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WTrO (applicant).
US Diplomatic Representation: Kiribati does not have an embassy in the US; honorary consul in Honolulu.
US Diplomatic Mission: The US does not have an embassy in Kiribati; the US Ambassador to the Marshall Islands is accredited to Kiribati.
Flag Description: The upper half is red with a white frigate bird over a yellow rising sun; the lower half is blue with three horizontal wavy white stripes to represent the ocean.

Kiribati Politics