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The exact origins of the Nauruans are unclear since their language does not resemble any other in the Pacific. Germany annexed the island in 1888. A German-British consortium began mining the island's phosphate deposits early in the 20th century. Australian forces occupied Nauru in World War I; it subsequently became a League of Nations mandate. After the Second World War - and a brutal occupation by Japan - Nauru became a UN trust territory. It achieved independence in 1968 and joined the UN in 1999 as the world's smallest independent republic.


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Economy

Economy - overview
Revenues of this tiny island traditionally have come from exports of phosphates. Few other resources exist, with most necessities being imported, mainly from Australia, its former occupier and later major source of support. In 2005 an Australian company entered into an agreement to exploit remaining supplies. Primary reserves of phosphates were exhausted and mining ceased in 2006, but mining of a deeper layer of "secondary phosphate" in the interior of the island began the following year. The secondary phosphate deposits may last another 30 years. The rehabilitation of mined land and the replacement of income from phosphates are serious long-term problems. In anticipation of the exhaustion of Nauru's phosphate deposits, substantial amounts of phosphate income were invested in trust funds to help cushion the transition and provide for Nauru's economic future. As a result of heavy spending from the trust funds, the government faced virtual bankruptcy. To cut costs the government has frozen wages and reduced overstaffed public service departments. Nauru lost further revenue in 2008 with the closure of Australia's refugee processing center, making it almost totally dependent on food imports and foreign aid. Housing, hospitals, and other capital plant are deteriorating. The cost to Australia of keeping the government and economy afloat continues to climb. Few comprehensive statistics on the Nauru economy exist with estimates of Nauru's GDP varying widely.

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 220
$60 million (2005 est.)

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$NA

Gdp - real growth rate
NA%

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 153
$5,000 (2005 est.)

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture NA%
Industry NA%
Services NA%

Labor force - by occupation
Note
Employed in mining phosphates, public administration, education, and transportation (1992)

Unemployment rate World Ranking: 199
90% (2004 est.)

Population below poverty line
NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10% NA%
Highest 10% NA%

Budget
Revenues $13.5 million
Expenditures $13.5 million (2005)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)
NA%

Agriculture - products
Coconuts

Industries
Phosphate mining, offshore banking, coconut products

Industrial production growth rate
NA%

Electricity - production World Ranking: 205
32 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - consumption World Ranking: 207
29.76 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - exports
0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - imports
0 kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - production World Ranking: 206
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - consumption World Ranking: 193
1,300 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - exports World Ranking: 183
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - imports World Ranking: 190
1,044 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - proved reserves World Ranking: 170
0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural gas - production World Ranking: 104
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - consumption World Ranking: 210
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - exports World Ranking: 150
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - imports World Ranking: 99
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves World Ranking: 107
0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Exports World Ranking: 220
$64,000 (2005 est.)

Exports - commodities
Phosphates

Imports World Ranking: 219
$20 million (2004 est.)

Imports - commodities
Food, fuel, manufactures, building materials, machinery

Debt - external World Ranking: 195
$33.3 million (2004 est.) (2004 est.)

Exchange rates
Australian dollars (AUD) per US dollar -
0.9695 (2011)
1.0902 (2010)
1.2822 (2009)
1.2059 (2008)
1.2137 (2007)

Fiscal year
1 July - 30 June


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  Nauru (Yaren):




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