16 Interesting Facts About Nauru

Nauru, which is officially called the Republic of Nauru (and formerly known as Pleasant Island), is an island country in Micronesia in the Central Pacific. Banaba Island in Kirbati is its nearest neighbor, 300 miles to the east. Nauru also participates in the Commonwealth and Olympic Games.

Below are some facts about Nauru’s history, economy, discovery, population, people and more…

1. Nauru is a small, oval-shaped island.

nauru map

Interesting facts about Nauru: Nauru Map

2. Phosphate mining, offshore banking and coconut products represent the prominent industries of the country.

3. Due to non resemblance of the language of Nauruans, their exact origin is not confirmed.

4. Nauru was annexed by Germany in 1888.

5. It is the world’s smallest independent republic, and it joined the UN in 1999.

6. It became independent in 1968.

7. Beginning in 1906, 90% of Nauru’s land has been mined by a consortium of UK, Australia and NZ.

8. It is the world’s smallest island country, and is situated 53 kilometers south of the Equator.

9. It is one of the three great phosphate rock islands in the Pacific. The other two are: Ocean Island and Makatea.

10. The US does not have an embassy in Nauru; the US Ambassador to Fiji is accredited to Nauru

11. There is only one airport in Nauru, which is the world’s third-smallest country in area, and only 30 kilometers of roadways.

12. It was discovered by a British navigator in 1798.

13. For a period of time, Nauru’s phosphate made the tiny country’s per capita income the highest in the world, after Saudi Arabia.

14. The only railway line in the country was five kilometers long. It was used to transport phosphate from the center of the island to the processing plants at the southwest coast (2001).

15. Nauru holds the distinction of being the fattest nation in the world. Nauru’s average citizen has a BMI of between 34 and 35. The normal global average is between 18.5 and 24.9.

16. Nauru is the least-visited country in the world, with only 200 tourists visiting the country in 2011.

Quick facts about Nauru

Capital CityYaren (de facto)
Largest CityYaren
Total area21 sq km
Population9,591 (2016)
LanguagesNauruan 93% (official, a distinct Pacific Island language), English 2% (widely understood, spoken, and used for most government and commercial purposes), other 5% (includes I-Kiribati 2% and Chinese 2%)
CurrencyAustralian dollar (AUD)
Average Life Span59.7 Years (2011)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
Terrainsandy beach rises to fertile ring around raised coral reefs with phosphate plateau in center
Agricultural land
Birth rate24.95 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
Death rate5.87 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
Sex ratio0.9 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
Government typeparliamentary republic
National anthem"Nauru Bwiema" (Song of Nauru)
National symbolsfrigatebird, calophyllum flower; national colors: blue, yellow, white
Industriesphosphate mining, offshore banking, coconut products
Exports$125 million (2013 est.)
Imports$143.1 million (2013 est.)
food, fuel, manufactures, building materials, machinery
GDP - per capita (PPP)$14,800 (2015 est.)
Time Zone(UTC+12)
Calling Code+674
Drives on theLeft
Internet country code.nr
Internet userstotal: 5,100
percent of population: 53.5% (July 2015 est.)