Fast Facts

Population:
13,000
Capital:
Yaren; 670
Area:
21 square kilometers (8 square miles)
Language:
Nauruan, English
Religion:
Protestant, Roman Catholic
Currency:
Australian dollar
Life Expectancy:
61
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $5,000
Literacy Percent:
NA
Flag: Nauru
Map: Nauru

Nauru is a small, oval-shaped island in the western Pacific. The interior phosphate plateau, comprising 60 percent of the land area, has been extensively mined, leaving a jagged and pitted landscape. Germany annexed Nauru in 1888, and Australia took it over in 1914. After World War II it was a joint trust territory of Australia, Britain, and New Zealand until it became independent in 1968. Phosphate exports earned economic stability for the country, but deposits could run out by 2005.

ECONOMY

  • Industry: Phosphate mining, offshore banking, coconut products
  • Agriculture: Coconuts
  • Exports: Phosphates

—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

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