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 Christmas Island
(territory of Australia)
[Country Flag of Christmas Island]
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Transnational Issues
[Country map of Christmas Island]

Christmas Island

Geography

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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: 100% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

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

Environment—current issues: NA

Environment—international agreements:
party to: NA
signed, but not ratified: NA

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

People

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Population: 2,195 (July 1998 est.)

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

Population growth rate: 7.77% (1998 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
male: NA
female: NA

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

Government

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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

National 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 of the UK (since 6 February 1952), represented by the Australian governor general
head of government: Administrator (acting) Graham NICHOLLS (since NA)
elections: none; the queen is a hereditary monarch; administrator appointed by the governor general of Australia and represents the queen 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 1996 (next to be held NA December 1997)
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

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Economy—overview: Phosphate mining had been the only significant economic activity, but in December 1987 the Australian Government closed the mine. In 1990, the mine was reopened by private operators. Australian-based Casinos Austria International Ltd. built a $45 million casino on Christmas 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%

Inflation rate—consumer price index: NA%

Labor force:
total: NA
by occupation: tourism 400 people, mining 100 people

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—capacity: NA kW

Electricity—production: NA kWh

Electricity—consumption per capita: NA kWh

Agriculture—products: NA

Exports: $NA
commodities: phosphate
partners: Australia, NZ

Imports: $NA
commodities: consumer goods
partners: principally Australia

Debt—external: $NA

Economic aid: none

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

Exchange rates: Australian dollars ($A) per US$1—1.5281 (January 1998), 1.3439 (1997), 1.2773 (1996), 1.3486 (1995), 1.3667 (1994), 1.4704, (1993)

Fiscal year: 1 July—30 June

Communications

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Telephones: NA

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

Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 0, shortwave 0

Radios: 500 (1992)

Television broadcast stations: 1

Televisions: 350 (1992)

Transportation

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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

Airports: 1 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (1997 est.)

Military

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Military—note: defense is the responsibility of Australia

Transnational Issues

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Disputes—international: none