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Christmas Island

(territory of Australia)


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Introduction

Background: discovery of phosphate rock.

Geography

Location: Southeastern Asia, island in the Indian Ocean, south of Indonesia

Geographic coordinates: 10 30 S, 105 40 E

Map references: Southeast Asia

Area
  total: 135 sq km
  land: 135 sq km
  water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: about 0.7 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 138.9 km

Maritime claims
  contiguous zone: 12 nm
  exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
  territorial sea: 3 nm

Climate: tropical; heat and humidity moderated by trade winds

Terrain: steep cliffs along coast rise abruptly to central plateau

Elevation extremes
  lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
  highest point: Murray Hill 361 m

Natural resources: phosphate

Land use
  arable land: NA%
  permanent crops: NA%
  permanent pastures: NA%
  forests and woodland: NA%
  other: NA% (Note: mainly tropical rainforest of which 60%-70% is in a national park)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: the narrow fringing reef surrounding the island can be a maritime hazard

Environment - current issues: NA

Geography - note: located along major sea lanes of Indian Ocean

People

Population: 2,564 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure
  0-14 years: NA
  15-64 years: NA
  65 years and over: NA

Population growth rate: 7.77% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: NA births/1,000 population

Death rate: NA deaths/1,000 population

Net migration rate: NA migrant(s)/1,000 population

Infant mortality rate: NA deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth
  total population: NA years
  male: NA years
  female: NA years

Total fertility rate: NA children born/woman

Nationality
  noun: Christmas Islander(s)
  adjective: Christmas Island

Ethnic groups: Chinese 61%, Malay 25%, European 11%, other 3%, no indigenous population

Religions: Buddhist 55%, Christian 15%, Muslim 10%, other 20% (1991)

Languages: English, Chinese, Malay

Government

Country name
  conventional long form: Territory of Christmas Island
  conventional short form: Christmas Island

Data code: KT

Dependency status: territory of Australia; administered from Canberra by the Australian Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories

Government type: NA

Capital: The Settlement

Administrative divisions: none (territory of Australia)

Independence: none (territory of Australia)

National holiday: NA

Constitution: Christmas Island Act of 1958

Legal system: under the authority of the governor general of Australia and Australian law

Executive branch
  chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by the Australian governor general
  head of government: Administrator (acting) Graham NICHOLLS (since NA)
  elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; administrator appointed by the governor general of Australia and represents the monarch and Australia

Legislative branch: unicameral Christmas Island Shire Council (9 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve one-year terms)
  elections: last held NA December 1999 (next to be held NA December 2000)
  election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 9

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: none

International organization participation: none

Diplomatic representation in the US: none (territory of Australia)

Diplomatic representation from the US: none (territory of Australia)

Flag description: the flag of Australia is used

Economy

Economy - overview: Phosphate mining had been the only significant economic activity, but in December 1987 the Australian Government closed the mine. In 1991, the mine was reopened by union workers. With the support of the government, Australian-based Casinos Austria International Ltd. built a $34 million casino on Christmas Island, which opened in 1993. As of yearend 1999, gaming facilities at the casino were temporarily closed but were expected to reopen in early 2000. Another economic prospect is the possible location of a space-launching site on the island.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $NA

GDP - real growth rate: NA%

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $NA

GDP - composition by sector
  agriculture: NA%
  industry: NA%
  services: NA%

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share
  lowest 10%: NA%
  highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%

Labor force: NA

Labor force - by occupation: tourism 400 people, mining 100 people (1995)

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget
  revenues: $NA
  expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

Industries: tourism, phosphate extraction (near depletion)

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - production: NA kWh

Electricity - production by source
  fossil fuel: NA%
  hydro: NA%
  nuclear: NA%
  other: NA%

Electricity - consumption: NA kWh

Electricity - exports: NA kWh

Electricity - imports: NA kWh

Agriculture - products: NA

Exports: $NA

Exports - commodities: phosphate

Exports - partners: Australia, NZ

Imports: $NA

Imports - commodities: consumer goods

Imports - partners: principally Australia

Debt - external: $NA

Economic aid - recipient: $NA

Currency: 1 Australian dollar ($A) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Australian dollars ($A) per US$1 - 1.5207 (January 2000), 1.5497 (1999), 1.5888 (1998), 1.3439 (1997), 1.2773 (1996), 1.3486 (1995)

Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: NA

Telephones - mobile cellular: 0 (1999)

Telephone system
  domestic: NA
  international: external telephone and telex services are provided by Intelsat satellite

Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 0 (1998)

Radios: 1,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: NA

Televisions: 600 (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): NA

Transportation

Railways: 24 km to serve phosphate mines

Highways
  total: NA km
  paved: NA km
  unpaved: NA km

Ports and harbors: Flying Fish Cove

Merchant marine: none (1999 est.)

Airports: 1 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways
  total: 1
  1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (1999 est.)

Military

Military - note: defense is the responsibility of Australia

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

 

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Site Version 1.75 - Last updated Wednesday, December 20, 2006 at 9:44AM PST on host Saturn

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