16 Interesting Facts About Nauru

Last updated on August 16th, 2018

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.

Map of Nauru

nauru map
Map of Nauru.

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

3. Due to no 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.

Flag of Nauru

Flag of Nauru
Flag of Nauru. Image credit – CIA

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.

Nauru – country at a glance

Independence31 January 1968 (from the Australia-, NZ-, and UK-administered UN trusteeship)
Capital CityYaren (de facto)
Largest CityDenigomodu
Total area21 sq km
Population11,359 (July 2017 est.)
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)
Life expectancy at birth67.4 years (2017 est.)
Terrainsandy beach rises to fertile ring around raised coral reefs with phosphate plateau in center
Climatetropical with a monsoonal pattern; rainy season (November to February)
Agricultural land
Suffrage20 years of age; universal and compulsory
Government typeparliamentary republic
PresidentBaron Waqa
National anthem"Nauru Bwiema" (Song of Nauru)
Natural resourcesphosphates, fish
National symbolsfrigatebird, calophyllum flower
National colorsblue, yellow, white
Birth rate24 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Death rate5.9 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Sex ratio0.89 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
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)$12,200 (2017 est.)
Time Zone(UTC+12)
Calling Code+674
Drives on theLeft
Internet country code.nr
Data sourcesCIA, Wikipedia
Table last updatedJuly 11, 2018