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Republic of Kiribati

Ribaberiki Kiribati
Flag of Kiribati
Location of Kiribati
and largest city
South Tarawa[1]
Official languages
Ethnic groups
98.8% Micronesian
1.2% others
GovernmentParliamentary republic
• President
Anote Tong
Teima Onorio
LegislatureHouse of Assembly
• from the United Kingdom
12 July 1979
• Total
811 km2 (313 sq mi) (186th)
• 2010 estimate
103,500 (197th)
• 2010 census
• Density
135/km2 (349.6/sq mi) (73rd)
GDP (PPP)2011 estimate
• Total
$599 million[2]
• Per capita
GDP (nominal)2011 estimate
• Total
$167 million[2]
• Per capita
HDI (2013)Increase 0.629
medium · 121st
CurrencyKiribati dollar
Australian dollar (AUD)
Time zoneUTC+12, +13, +14
Driving sideleft
Calling code+686
ISO 3166 codeKI

Kiribati (pronounced "KiriBASS") is a country in the Pacific Ocean. It has 33 atolls, groups of tiny islands. The country is near the equator. Its capital is South Tarawa, on the Tarawa atoll.

Kiribati used to be called the Gilbert Islands. In 1892, the Gilbert Islands became a British protectorate with the Ellice Islands (nowadays known as Tuvalu), together called Gilbert and Ellice Islands. Kiribati became an independent republic in 1979.

Kiribati is one of the poorest nations in the Pacific Ocean. It has few natural resources. Tourism is an important industry.

Kiribati signed a "Treaty of Friendship and Territorial Sovereignty" (also called the "Treaty of Tarawa") with the United States in 1979. The USA gave up its claims to the islands of Canton, Enderbury, Hull, Birnie, Gardner, Phoenix, Sydney, McKean, Christmas, Caroline, Starbuck, Malden, Flint, and Vostok in that treaty. [1]

The official languages of Kiribati are English and Gilbertese.