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  CIA World FactBook 2003

CIA - The World Factbook -- Christmas Island
 
Christmas Island
Flag of Christmas Island
Map of Christmas Island
Introduction Christmas Island
Background:
Named in 1643 for the day of its discovery, the island was annexed and settlement was begun by the UK in 1888. Phosphate mining began in the 1890s. The UK transferred sovereignty to Australia in 1958. Almost two-thirds of the island has been declared a national park.
Geography Christmas Island
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
water: 0 sq km
land: 135 sq km
Area - comparative:
about 0.7 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
Coastline:
80 km
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 12 NM
exclusive fishing zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 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, beaches
Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100%
note: mainly tropical rainforest; 63% of the island is a national park (1998 est.)
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 Christmas Island
Population:
433 (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: NA%
15-64 years: NA%
65 years and over: NA% (2003 est.)
Population growth rate:
-9% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
NA births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
NA deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
NA migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
NA (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: NA%
male: NA%
female: NA%
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: NA years
male: NA years
female: NA years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
NA children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA%
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA
Nationality:
noun: Christmas Islander(s)
adjective: Christmas Island
Ethnic groups:
Chinese 70%, European 20%, Malay 10%
note: no indigenous population (2001)
Religions:
Buddhist 36%, Muslim 25%, Christian 18%, other 21% (1997)
Languages:
English (official), Chinese, Malay
Literacy:
NA
Government Christmas Island
Country name:
conventional long form: Territory of Christmas Island
conventional short form: Christmas Island
Dependency status:
territory of Australia; administered by the Australian Department of Transport and Regional Services
Government type:
NA
Capital:
The Settlement
Administrative divisions:
none (territory of Australia)
Independence:
none (territory of Australia)
National holiday:
NA
Constitution:
NA
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 William Leonard TAYLOR (since 4 February 1999)
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)
election results: percent of vote - NA%; seats - independents 9
elections: last held NA December 2002 (next to be held NA December 2003)
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court; District Court; Magistrate's Court
Political parties and leaders:
none
Political pressure groups 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; note - in early 1986, the Christmas Island Assembly held a design competition for an island flag, however, the winning design has never been formally adopted as the official flag of the territory
Economy Christmas Island
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. With the support of the government, a $34 million casino opened in 1993. The casino closed in 1998. The Australian Government in 2001 agreed to support the creation of a commercial space-launching site on the island, slated to begin operation in 2003.
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%
other: NA%
nuclear: NA%
Electricity - consumption:
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:
Australian dollar (AUD)
Currency code:
AUD
Exchange rates:
Australian dollars per US dollar - 1.9354 (2002), 1.9320 (2001), 1.7173(2000), 1.5497 (1999), 1.5888 (1998)
Fiscal year:
1 July - 30 June
Communications Christmas Island
Telephones - main lines in use:
NA
Telephones - mobile cellular:
NA
Telephone system:
general assessment: service provided by the Australian network
domestic: only analog mobile telephone service is available
international: satellite earth stations - one Intelsat earth station provides telephone and telex service (2000)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios:
1,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
NA
Televisions:
600 (1997)
Internet country code:
.cx
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
2 (2000)
Internet users:
NA
Transportation Christmas Island
Railways:
24 km to serve phosphate mines
Highways:
total: 140 km (not including 100 km that is maintained by private industry)
paved: 30 km
unpaved: 110 km (1999)
Waterways:
none
Ports and harbors:
Flying Fish Cove
Merchant marine:
none (2002 est.)
Airports:
1 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2002)
Military Christmas Island
Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of Australia
Transnational Issues Christmas Island
Disputes - international:
none

This page was last updated on 1 August, 2003