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Pitcairn Islands

(overseas territory of the UK)


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Introduction

Background: Pitcairn Island was discovered in 1767 by the British and settled in 1790 by the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian companions. Outmigration, primarily to New Zealand, has thinned the population from a peak of 233 in 1937 to about 50 today.

Geography

Location: Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Peru to New Zealand

Geographic coordinates: 25 04 S, 130 06 W

Map references: Oceania

Area
  total: 47 sq km
  land: 47 sq km
  water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: about 0.3 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 51 km

Maritime claims
  exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
  territorial sea: 3 nm

Climate: tropical, hot, humid; modified by southeast trade winds; rainy season (November to March)

Terrain: rugged volcanic formation; rocky coastline with cliffs

Elevation extremes
  lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
  highest point: Pawala Valley Ridge 347 m

Natural resources: miro trees (used for handicrafts), fish (Note: manganese, iron, copper, gold, silver, and zinc have been discovered offshore)

Land use
  arable land: NA%
  permanent crops: NA%
  permanent pastures: NA%
  forests and woodland: NA%
  other: NA%

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: typhoons (especially November to March)

Environment - current issues: deforestation (only a small portion of the original forest remains because of burning and clearing for settlement)

People

Population: 54 (July 2000 est.)

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

Population growth rate: -2.06% (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: NA years
  male: NA years
  female: NA years

Total fertility rate: NA children born/woman

Nationality
  noun: Pitcairn Islander(s)
  adjective: Pitcairn Islander

Ethnic groups: descendants of the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian wives

Religions: Seventh-Day Adventist 100%

Languages: English (official), Pitcairnese, Tahitian, 18th century English dialect

Government

Country name
  conventional long form: Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie, and Oeno Islands
  conventional short form: Pitcairn Islands

Data code: PC

Dependency status: overseas territory of the UK

Government type: NA

Capital: Adamstown

Administrative divisions: none (overseas territory of the UK)

Independence: none (overseas territory of the UK)

National holiday: Celebration of the Birthday of the Queen (second Saturday in June)

Constitution: Local Government Ordinance of 1964

Legal system: local island by-laws

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal with three years residency

Executive branch
  chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by UK High Commissioner to New Zealand and Governor (nonresident) of the Pitcairn Islands Martin WILLIAMS (since NA May 1998); Commissioner (nonresident) Leon SALT (since NA; is the liaison person between the governor and the Island Council)
  head of government: Island Magistrate and Chairman of the Island Council Jay WARREN (since NA)
  cabinet: NA
  elections: the monarch is hereditary; high commissioner and commissioner appointed by the monarch; island magistrate elected by popular vote for a three-year term; last known election held NA December 1993 (next was to be held NA December 1996)
  election results: Jay WARREN reelected island magistrate; percent of vote - NA

Legislative branch: unicameral Island Council (10 seats - 6 elected by popular vote, 1 appointed by the 6 elected members, 2 appointed by the governor, and 1 seat for the Island Secretary; members serve one-year terms)
  elections: take place each December; last held NA December 1999 (next to be held NA December 2000)
  election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - all independents

Judicial branch: Island Court, island magistrate presides over the court and is elected every three years

Political parties and leaders: none

International organization participation: SPC

Diplomatic representation in the US: none (overseas territory of the UK)

Diplomatic representation from the US: none (overseas territory of the UK)

Flag description: blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Pitcairn Islander coat of arms centered on the outer half of the flag; the coat of arms is yellow, green, and light blue with a shield featuring a yellow anchor

Economy

Economy - overview: The inhabitants of this tiny economy exist on fishing, subsistence farming, handicrafts, and postage stamps. The fertile soil of the valleys produces a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including citrus, sugarcane, watermelons, bananas, yams, and beans. Bartering is an important part of the economy. The major sources of revenue are the sale of postage stamps to collectors and the sale of handicrafts to passing ships.

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: 12 able-bodied men (1997)

Labor force - by occupation: no business community in the usual sense; some public works; subsistence farming and fishing

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget
  revenues: $729,884
  expenditures: $878,119, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY94/95 est.)

Industries: postage stamps, handicrafts

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: wide variety of fruits and vegetables

Exports: $NA

Exports - commodities: fruits, vegetables, curios, stamps

Exports - partners: NA

Imports: $NA

Imports - commodities: fuel oil, machinery, building materials, flour, sugar, other foodstuffs

Imports - partners: NA

Debt - external: $NA

Economic aid - recipient: $NA

Currency: 1 New Zealand dollar (NZ$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: New Zealand dollars (NZ$) per US$1 - 1.9451 (January 2000), 1.8886 (1999), 1.8629 (1998), 1.5083 (1997), 1.4543 (1996), 1.5235 (1995)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 1 (there are 17 telephones on one party line) (1997)

Telephone system: party line telephone service on the island
  domestic: NA
  international: radiotelephone

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

Radios: NA

Television broadcast stations: 0 (1997)

Televisions: NA

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): NA

Transportation

Railways: 0 km

Highways
  total: 6.4 km
  paved: 0 km
  unpaved: 6.4 km

Ports and harbors: Bounty Bay

Merchant marine: none (1999 est.)

Airports: none

Military

Military - note: defense is the responsibility of the UK

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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