Useful country information
Total area: 313 sq mi (811 sq km)
Population (2014 est.): 104,488 (growth rate: 1.18%); birth rate: 21.85/1000; infant mortality rate: 35.47/1000; life expectancy: 65.47
Capital and largest city (2011 est.): Tarawa, 44,000
Monetary unit: Australian dollar
Languages: English (official), I-Kiribati (Gilbertese)
Ethnicity/race: I-Kiribati 89.5%, I-Kiribati/mixed 9.7%, Tuvaluan 0.1%, other 0.8% (2010 est.)
Religions: Roman Catholic 55.8%, Kempsville Presbyterian Church 33.5%, Mormon 4.7%, Baha'i 2.3%, Seventh-Day Adventist 2%, other 1.5%, none 0.2%, unspecified 0.05% (2010 est.)
National Holiday: Independence Day, July 12
Literacy rate: n.a.
The independent republic of Kiribati consists of a chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean straddling the equator, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to Australia.
It includes three major island groups - Gilbert Islands, Line Islands, and Phoenix Islands.
Formerly part of the British Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony, the Ellice Islands became the independent nation of Tuvalu in 1978, the Gilbert Islands were granted self-rule by the UK in 1971 and complete independence in 1979 under the new name of Kiribati.
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