Pitcairn Islands
(dependent territory of the UK)
[Country Flag of Pitcairn Islands]
Transnational Issues
[Country map of Pitcairn Islands]

Pitcairn Islands


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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

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 fishing zone: 200 nm
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)

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


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Population: 50 (July 1998 est.)

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

Population growth rate: -0.6% (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

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), Tahitian/English dialect


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

Data code: PC

Dependency status: dependent territory of the UK

Government type: NA

National capital: Adamstown

Administrative divisions: none (dependent territory of the UK)

Independence: none (dependent 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 of the UK (since 6 February 1952), represented by UK High Commissioner to New Zealand and Governor (non-resident) of the Pitcairn Islands Robert John ALSTON (since NA August 1994); Commissioner (non-resident) G. D. HARRAWAY (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 queen is a hereditary monarch; island magistrate elected by popular vote for a three-year term; last known election held NA December 1993 (next to be held NA December 1996)
election results: Jay WARREN re-elected island magistrate; percent of vote—NA

Legislative branch: unicameral Island Council (10 seats, 6 popularly elected, 1 appointed by the 6 elected members, 2 appointed by the governor, and the Island Secretary; members serve one-year terms)
elections: take place each December; last held NA December 1997 (next to be held NA December 1998)
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

Political pressure groups and leaders: NA

International organization participation: SPC

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

Diplomatic representation from the US: none (dependent 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


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Economy—overview: The inhabitants exist on fishing and subsistence farming. 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%

Inflation rate—consumer price index: NA%

Labor force:
total: 14 able-bodied men (1993)
by occupation: no business community in the usual sense; some public works; subsistence farming and fishing

Unemployment rate: NA%

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

Industries: postage stamps, handicrafts

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity—capacity: NA kW

Electricity—production: NA kWh

Electricity—consumption per capita: NA kWh

Agriculture—products: wide variety of fruits and vegetables

Exports: $NA
commodities: fruits, vegetables, curios
partners: NA

Imports: $NA
commodities: fuel oil, machinery, building materials, flour, sugar, other foodstuffs
partners: NA

Debt—external: $NA

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA bilateral commitments (1992-93), $84,000

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

Exchange rates: New Zealand dollars (NZ$) per US$1—1.7283 (January 1998), 1.5083 (1997), 1.4543 (1996), 1.5235 (1995), 1.6844 (1994), 1.8495 (1993)

Fiscal year: 1 April—31 March


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Telephones: 24

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

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

Radios: NA

Television broadcast stations: 0

Televisions: NA


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Railways: 0 km

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

Ports and harbors: Bounty Bay

Merchant marine: none

Airports: none


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Military—note: defense is the responsibility of the UK

Transnational Issues

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Disputes—international: none