Republic of Kiribati
(313 sq mi)
Australian Dollar, Kiribati Dollar
Geography and demographics
The Republic of Kiribati is made up of 32 atolls and one raised coral island, straddling the Equator in the Western Pacific. Its population is around 107,000 people, most of whom live in the capital city of Tarawa. Its two official languages are English and Gilbertese, the Oceanic language spoken by the majority of people outside the capital. The total land area amounts to 877 km2.
Kiribati became independent from the United Kingdom in 1979. Today, it is a democratic republic with 45 Members of Parliament (MPs) that are elected every four years, with the exception of one that is appointed. The President, who is also the head of state, is also elected by the people after being nominated by MPs.
Kiribati’s main exports are fish and Copra- the dried kernel of coconuts. Other important economic sectors include the sale of fishing licences and the tourism industry. The country’s official currency is the Kiribati dollar; however the Australian Dollar is also legal tender.
Kiribati’s wide expanse of islands means there is much to offer every kind of tourist. Fishing is the most popular activity, with both onshore and offshore available. Other outdoor activities include scuba diving, surfing and bird watching. There is also an abundance of cultural experiences on offer, such as visiting World War II relics and visiting the various communities and villages on some of the world’s most remote islands.
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