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Cook Islands
(self-governing in free association with New Zealand)

 
Flag of Cook Islands
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Coordinates:
21.23 S  159.77 W

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

Map of Cook Islands

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Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Cook Islands Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
Named after Captain COOK, who sighted them in 1770, the islands became a British protectorate in 1888. By 1900, administrative control was transferred to New Zealand; in 1965 residents chose self-government in free association with New Zealand. The emigration of skilled workers to New Zealand and government deficits are continuing problems.
   Geography    Cook Islands Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
21 14 S, 159 46 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Oceania
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 240 sq km
land: 240 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
1.3 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
120 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical; moderated by trade winds
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
low coral atolls in north; volcanic, hilly islands in south
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Te Manga 652 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
NEGL
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 16.67%
permanent crops: 8.33%
other: 75% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
typhoons (November to March)
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
the northern Cook Islands are seven low-lying, sparsely populated, coral atolls; the southern Cook Islands consist of eight elevated, fertile, volcanic isles where most of the populace lives
   People    Cook Islands Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
21,388 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: NA
15-64 years: NA
65 years and over: NA (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA deaths/1,000 population
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: NA
male: NA
female: NA
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: NA
male: NA
female: NA
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA children born/woman
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Cook Islander(s)
adjective: Cook Islander
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Cook Island Maori (Polynesian) 87.7%, part Cook Island Maori 5.8%, other 6.5% (2001 census)
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Cook Islands Christian Church 55.9%, Roman Catholic 16.8%, Seventh-Day Adventists 7.9%, Church of Latter Day Saints 3.8%, other Protestant 5.8%, other 4.2%, unspecified 2.6%, none 3% (2001 census)
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
English (official), Maori
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: NA
total population: 95%
male: NA%
female: NA%
   Government    Cook Islands Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Cook Islands
former: Harvey Islands
Dependency status:
Definition Field Listing
self-governing in free association with New Zealand; Cook Islands is fully responsible for internal affairs; New Zealand retains responsibility for external affairs and defense, in consultation with the Cook Islands
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
self-governing parliamentary democracy
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Avarua
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
none
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
none (became self-governing in free association with New Zealand on 4 August 1965 and has the right at any time to move to full independence by unilateral action)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Constitution Day, first Monday in August (1965)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
4 August 1965
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on New Zealand law and English common law
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
NA years of age; universal adult
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Frederick GOODWIN (since 9 February 2001); New Zealand High Commissioner Kurt MEYER (since July 2001), representative of New Zealand
head of government: Prime Minister Jim MARURAI (since 14 December 2004); Deputy Prime Minister Terepai MAOATE (since 9 August 2005)
cabinet: Cabinet chosen by the prime minister; collectively responsible to Parliament
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; the UK representative is appointed by the monarch; the New Zealand high commissioner is appointed by the New Zealand Government; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition usually becomes prime minister
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral Parliament (25 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 7 September 2004 (next to be held by 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - CIP 10, DAP 9, Demo Tumu 4, independent 1; note - one seat undecided pending by-election
note: the House of Ariki (chiefs) advises on traditional matters and maintains considerable influence, but has no legislative powers
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
High Court
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Cook Islands National Party or CIN [Teariki HEATHER]; Cook Islands People's Party or CIP [Geoffrey HENRY]; Demo Party Tumu [Robert WOONTON]; Democratic Alliance Party or DAP [Terepai MAOATE]; New Alliance Party or NAP [Norman GEORGE]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACP, AsDB, FAO, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IFAD, IFRCS, IOC, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WMO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
none (self-governing in free association with New Zealand)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
none (self-governing in free association with New Zealand)
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
blue, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and a large circle of 15 white five-pointed stars (one for every island) centered in the outer half of the flag
   Economy    Cook Islands Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Like many other South Pacific island nations, the Cook Islands' economic development is hindered by the isolation of the country from foreign markets, the limited size of domestic markets, lack of natural resources, periodic devastation from natural disasters, and inadequate infrastructure. Agriculture provides the economic base with major exports made up of copra and citrus fruit. Manufacturing activities are limited to fruit processing, clothing, and handicrafts. Trade deficits are offset by remittances from emigrants and by foreign aid, overwhelmingly from New Zealand. In the 1980s and 1990s, the country lived beyond its means, maintaining a bloated public service and accumulating a large foreign debt. Subsequent reforms, including the sale of state assets, the strengthening of economic management, the encouragement of tourism, and a debt restructuring agreement, have rekindled investment and growth.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$105 million (2001 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
NA
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7.1% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$5,000 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 17%
industry: 7.8%
services: 75.2% (2000 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8,000 (1996)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 29%
industry: 15%
services: 56% (1995)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
13% (1996)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.2% (2000 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $28 million
expenditures: $27 million; including capital expenditures of $3.3 million (FY00/01 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
copra, citrus, pineapples, tomatoes, beans, pawpaws, bananas, yams, taro, coffee; pigs, poultry
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
fruit processing, tourism, fishing, clothing, handicrafts
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1% (2002)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
28 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
26.04 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2003)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
400 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$9.1 million (2000)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
copra, papayas, fresh and canned citrus fruit, coffee; fish; pearls and pearl shells; clothing
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Australia 34%, Japan 27%, New Zealand 25%, US 8% (2004)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$50.7 million (2000)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
foodstuffs, textiles, fuels, timber, capital goods
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
New Zealand 61%, Fiji 19%, US 9%, Australia 6%, Japan 2% (2004)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$141 million (1996 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$13.1 million; note - New Zealand continues to furnish the greater part (1995)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
New Zealand dollar (NZD)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
New Zealand dollars per US dollar - 1.4203 (2005), 1.5087 (2004), 1.7221 (2003), 2.1622 (2002), 2.3788 (2001)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 April - 31 March
   Communications    Cook Islands Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6,200 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,500 (2002)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: Telecom Cook Islands offers international direct dialing, Internet, email, fax, and Telex
domestic: the individual islands are connected by a combination of satellite earth stations, microwave systems, and VHF and HF radiotelephone; within the islands, service is provided by small exchanges connected to subscribers by open-wire, cable, and fiber-optic cable
international: country code - 682; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 0 (2004)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
1 (outer islands receive satellite broadcasts) (2004)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.ck
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
542 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3,600 (2002)
   Transportation    Cook Islands Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
9 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 1 (2005)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 320 km
paved: 33 km
unpaved: 287 km (2003)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 2 ships (1000 GRT or over) 3,701 GRT/6,488 DWT
by type: cargo 1, petroleum tanker 1
foreign-owned: 1 (Norway 1) (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Avatiu
   Military    Cook Islands Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
no regular military forces; Ministry of Police and Disaster Management (2004)
Military - note:
Definition Field Listing
defense is the responsibility of New Zealand, in consultation with the Cook Islands and at its request
   Transnational Issues    Cook Islands Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
none

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook