macrohistory & world report

Republic of Nauru

Location of the Pacific island of Nauru

Nauru, an isolated South Pacific limestone plateau surrounded by a coral reef, around 750 miles northeast of the Solomon Islands – the world's smallest republic.

World Factbook as of November 2014: "Revenues of this tiny island traditionally have come from exports of phosphates [bird droppings]. Few other resources exist, with most necessities being imported, mainly from Australia, its former occupier and later major source of support... Primary reserves of phosphates were exhausted and mining ceased in 2006, but mining of a deeper layer of "secondary phosphate" in the interior of the island began the following year. The secondary phosphate deposits may last another 30 years. The rehabilitation of mined land and the replacement of income from phosphates are serious long-term problems... To cut costs the government has frozen wages and reduced overstaffed public service departments. Nauru lost further revenue in 2008 with the closure of Australia's refugee processing center, making it almost totally dependent on food imports and foreign aid. Housing, hospitals, and other capital plant are deteriorating. The cost to Australia of keeping the government and economy afloat continues to climb. Few comprehensive statistics on the Nauru economy exist with estimates of Nauru's GDP varying widely."

Estimated per capita GDP
2005: $5,000
2001: $5,000.

Unemployment rate
2004: 90%

July 2014: 9,488
July 2011, 9,322

Population growth rate:
2014: 0.56% (53 people)

Births / deaths per 1,000 population
2014: 25.61 / 5.9 (243 births)

Infant mortality per 1,000 live births.
2014: 8.21 (2 deaths, only a fourth of 1,000 births?)
2011: 8.66 deaths
2010: 9.08
2008: 9.3
2005: 9.95



Big exodus
2014: a loss of 14.12 persons per 1,000 population (around 135 persons per year, going to Australia? Life in Sydney is probably more attractive than living in Nauru.

The island does have one TV station, government owned, carrying programs from New Zealand, and one government owned radio station. And people on the island use the internet, ranking for the number of computers connected to the internet is 139th among 232 countries. (Not per capita, therefore a silly ranking.) There are 1.16 computers for every person on the island, of all ages. When I was on the island of Yap back in the sixties we had no television, radio or internet. A magazine I brought in was much desired by a member of the Peace Corps.

Average life expectancy at birth
2013: 66.4 years
2011: 65.35 years
2010: 64.57 years
2008: 63.81
2005: 62.73



Births and deaths per 1,000 population
2011: births 27.78, deaths 6.11


Island in the South Pacific, near the equator and about 775 miles northeast of the Solomon Islands. Roughly 5 by 6.5 kilometers or 3 by 4 miles. The world's smallest independent republic


Acquired independence from Australia in 1968 and joined the United Nations in 1999.

Presidents are elected by the island's unicameral parliament, for a three-year term. Parliament has eighteen seats. 

Chief of state: Rosen Plevneliev (president) since 11 June 2013, teacher, composer, Christian.

Defense is a responsibility of Australia.

The World Factbook

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.