Kiribati is an island nation scattered across the Pacific, consisting of
three archipelagos with a total of 33 atolls. Despite its small land mass of
around 811 km², the state is spread over a total of 3.5 million km² of water in
the Pacific. The largest coral atoll in the world is located
here. Unfortunately, atomic bomb tests were also carried out there. The islands
are scattered around the equator. The 180th degree of longitude with the date
line runs through the archipelago, but the date line has been shifted so that it
now runs around the islands. The remoteness of the islands allowed the
islanders, the I-Kiribati, to keep their traditional way of life - then as
now. The villages mostly consist of huts that are covered with palm leaves and
meeting houses called maneaba. Kiribati consists of the Gilbert Islands, the
Phoenix Islands, and the Line Islands. Most of the latter islands are
uninhabited. The main island of the small island state with the capital is
Kiribati is particularly suffering from climate change as, for example, more and
more fresh water is starting to become too saline and more and more major floods
|Name of the country
||Republic of Kiribati
|Form of government
||Kiribati is located in the Pacific and east of Australia.
||Teirake Kaini Kiribati
||July 12 (Independence Day of Great Britain 1979)
||Approx. 103,000 (Credit:
||98% Kiribat (Micronesians)
2% Polynesians and Europeans
Protestants 36% (see Christianity)
||Kiribati and English
||Bairiki in South Tarawa County (on Tarawa Atoll)
||81 m high elevation on the island of Banaba
||Only on Christmas Island there are several smaller lakes.
|International license plate
||Australian dollar, AUD
|Time difference to CET
||+ 13 h
|International phone code
|Internet TLD (Top Level Domain)
Kiribati until around the year 1000
The first settlers, Micronesians, came to Kiribati from the Carolina and
Marshall Islands probably 3,000 years ago.
Kiribati from the year 1,000 to the 17th century
Abbreviationfinder website, in the 14th century, Polynesians invaded from Tonga and Fiji.
The first European to see the islands was the Spanish navigator Hernando de
Grijalva in 1537.
Kiribati in the 18th and 19th centuries
The British Commodore John Bryon set foot on the island of Nikunau in 1765.
In the course of the following years the remaining islands were explored by
whalers and British merchant ships. The Gilbert Islands came under the command
of the British High Commissioner for the Western Pacific.
In 1892 the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, the latter now part of Tuvalu, were
declared a British protectorate.
20th century until today
The geologist Albert Ellis discovered rich phosphate deposits on the island
of Banaba in 1900. A year later, the British incorporated the islands into their
protectorate. In the same year, 1901, Tarawa was declared the capital, but in
1908 it was moved to the island of Banaba.
The protectorate was converted into a colony in 1916, to which the Union
Islands, today's Tokelau, were added. The Christmas Islands followed in 1919 and
the Phoenix Islands in 1937.
In the years 1941-1943, the Japanese and Americans fought fierce battles on the
islands in the course of World War II. The Americans gained the upper hand.
In the 1960s, an independence movement formed like in other island states in the
Pacific. The first House of Representatives was elected in 1967 and the first
Parliament in 1974. On October 1, 1978, the Ellice Islands declared themselves
independent and called themselves Tuvalu. In 2000 Tuvalu became a member of the
Commonwealth and the 189th member of the United Nations.
On July 12, 1979, Kiribati declared itself independent.
In the same year, the international date line was moved so that it no longer
runs through the middle of the island nation.
In 1981, Kiribati received several million in compensation for the exploitation
of raw materials.
Kiribati has been a member of the United Nations since September 15, 1999.
In the 19th century whaling was intensely practiced in the waters of
Kiribati. During World War II, many battles took place in what is now the
state. Today's economy is subsistence economy and is limited to fishing and
copra production, a raw material that is used in the food industry.