Nauru Overview

By | January 23, 2021
Republic of Nauru
Official language Nauruan, English
Capital Yaren
Form of government Parliamentary Democratic Republic
Area 21 km²
Residents 13500
Currency Australian dollar
Time zone UTC + 12
License Plate NAU
Internet TLD .No
Telephone area code 00674 (Source: ALLCITYCODES)


The Republic of Nauru is a single island in the Pacific around 3,000 km northeast of Australia. With a total area of ​​21.3 km², it is the third smallest country in the world (after the Vatican and Monaco). See Nauru country abbreviation.

The coral island is oval in shape and has a circumference of 19 km. A fringing reef that juts out of the water at low tide surrounds the entire island. The sandy beaches are followed by a strip of land up to 300 m wide, which is used for agriculture. The interior of the island is occupied by a plateau that rises to 65 m above sea level. Phosphate has been mined here for over 100 years. The degradation leaves behind a barren landscape without vegetation.

The Naurus government is located in Yaren, there is no official capital.


Nauru’s location around 60 km south of the equator determines the tropical climate on the island. The temperatures are high all year round and average 27.5 °C. The rainiest months are November to February, with a total of between 1,600 mm and 2,000 mm annually. From March to October the island lies in the area of ​​influence of the dry northeast trade wind.

Flora and fauna

Both flora and fauna are poor in Nauru. The interior is now without vegetation due to the extensive phosphate mining areas. Coconut palms and pandanus (screw trees), banana trees and shrubs such as jasmine and hibiscus grow on the coasts.

In the animal world, only the bird and underwater world are rich in species. There are numerous seabirds such as frigate birds, gannets, terns and shearwaters. The island is also a station for many migratory birds such as curlew and plover.


According to COUNTRYAAH, 13,500 people live on Nauru, the island is very densely populated (with an average of 650 residents per square kilometer). Around 5,000 people live in the city of Yaren in the southwest of the island.

Just under 60% of the population are Nauruer, a mixed race of Polynesians, Melanesians and Micronesians. The second largest group of people are people from the neighboring countries Kiribati and Tuvalu, who make up around a quarter of the population and who are mainly active in phosphate mining. Chinese and Europeans are 8% of the population. New Zealanders have a share of about 6%. Virtually the entire population of Naurus is Christian, with about two thirds of the Protestant and one third of the Roman Catholic Church. The official languages ​​are Nauru and English.

The average life expectancy of the population is only 63 years, which is mainly attributed to poor nutrition. A large part of the population suffers from obesity and diabetes. Population growth is around 1.8%. School attendance is compulsory for children between the ages of six and 16, and literacy is practically comprehensive.

nauru population density

Political system

Nauru is a parliamentary republic in the British Commonwealth of Nations and is politically organized under the 1968 constitution. The head of state is the President (Baron Waqa since June 2013), who is also head of the government and foreign minister, appoints the cabinet and chairs the Council of Ministers. He is elected by the Legislative Council for three years.

The 19 members of the Legislative Council are directly elected by the people for a term of three years. There is a compulsory choice from the age of 20.

Nauru is divided into 14 districts.


Until the early 1990s, Nauru was one of the richest countries in the world due to the mining and sale of phosphate, which has been mined on the island for almost 100 years. However, since the 1990s, drastic slumps in the phosphate business and failures in managing and investing high export earnings have led to unprecedented economic decline. Per capita income is now as low as that of the surrounding Pacific countries. An unemployment rate of up to 90% is assumed. Development aid, especially from Australia, is the most important source of income for Nauru. In addition, the country generates modest proceeds from the mining of the remaining phosphate and the issue of fishing licenses.

Agriculture is of minor importance on Nauru, also because the environment has been badly damaged by phosphate mining. Almost all food must be imported, as well as part of the fresh water. Only a narrow strip of land is used for agriculture, mainly coconuts are grown, and to a small extent also bananas and pineapples. Fishing is only for self-sufficiency of the population, although there are large fish stocks in the coastal waters. The expansion of fisheries is intended to try to diversify the economy dependent on the phosphate mining.

Since the phosphate deposits are almost exhausted, the (rapidly changing) governments of the country are looking for alternatives. Tax benefits are used to try to bring foreign capital into the country. There was a suspicion that investment fraud and money laundering were increasing. The OECD temporarily imposed sanctions on the country to make transactions more transparent.

Tourism only plays a subordinate role on Nauru, the environmental degradation on the island is too great.

Around the island there is a paved road that is about 19 km long. The existing railway line (approx. 5 km) is only used to transport phosphate. There is an airport near the capital Yaren.

The only export good is phosphate. The main customers include South Africa, India and Germany. The imports come mainly from Australia and Indonesia; Imported goods are food, fuel, finished goods, building materials and machines.

The currency is the Australian dollar.