Adventure is just bad planning.
— Roald Amundsen, 1872 - 1928
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Nauru

Background

Nauru

The exact origins of the Nauruans are unclear since their language does not resemble any other in the Pacific. The island was annexed by Germany in 1888. Its phosphate deposits began to be mined early in the 20th century by a German-British consortium. Nauru was occupied by Australian forces in World War I and 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.

About

Nauru is a small island in the South Pacific Ocean, south of the Marshall Islands and is the world's smallest independent republic. Although other island states may be smaller and/or less populous, they are all dependent territories of other countries.

Read more about Nauru in our Nauru travel guide »

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Nauru

Full name
Naoero
Capital
Yaren
Location

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

Geographic coordinates

0 32 S, 166 55 E

Area comparative

about 0.1 times the size of Washington, DC

Coastline

30 km

Climate

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

Terrain

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

Lowest point

Pacific Ocean 0 m

Highest point

unnamed elevation along plateau rim 61 m

Natural resources

phosphates, fish

Population

9,267 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

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

Religions

Nauru Congregational 35.4%, Roman Catholic 33.2%, Nauru Independent Church 10.4%, other 14.1%, none 4.5%, unspecified 2.4% (2002 census)

Languages

Nauruan (official; a distinct Pacific Island language), English widely understood, spoken, and used for most government and commercial purposes

Government type

republic

Independence

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

National holiday

Independence Day, 31 January (1968)

Chief of state

President Marcus STEPHEN (since 19 December 2007); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

Head of government

President Marcus STEPHEN (since 19 December 2007)

Internet country code

.nr

Airports

1 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Nauru

Other countries in the region