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Christmas Island
(territory of Australia)

 
Flag of Christmas Island
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Coordinates:
10.50 S  105.67 E

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

Map of Christmas Island

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Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Christmas Island Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
Named in 1643 for the day of its discovery, the island was annexed and settlement began by the UK in 1888. Phosphate mining began in the 1890s. The UK transferred sovereignty to Australia in 1958. Almost two-thirds of the island has been declared a national park.
   Geography    Christmas Island Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Southeastern Asia, island in the Indian Ocean, south of Indonesia
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
10 30 S, 105 40 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Southeast Asia
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 135 sq km
land: 135 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
about three-quarters the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
138.9 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical with a wet and dry season; heat and humidity moderated by trade winds; wet season (December to April)
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
steep cliffs along coast rise abruptly to central plateau
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Murray Hill 361 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
phosphate, beaches
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (mainly tropical rainforest; 63% of the island is a national park) (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
the narrow fringing reef surrounding the island can be a maritime hazard
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
loss of rainforest; impact of phosphate mining
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
located along major sea lanes of Indian Ocean
   People    Christmas Island Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,493 (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
0% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA
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
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: Christmas Islander(s)
adjective: Christmas Island
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Chinese 70%, European 20%, Malay 10%
note: no indigenous population (2001)
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Buddhist 36%, Muslim 25%, Christian 18%, other 21% (1997)
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
English (official), Chinese, Malay
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
NA
People - note:
Definition Field Listing
   Government    Christmas Island Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Territory of Christmas Island
conventional short form: Christmas Island
Dependency status:
Definition Field Listing
non-self governing territory of Australia; administered by the Australian Department of Transport and Regional Services
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
The Settlement
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
none (territory of Australia)
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
none (territory of Australia)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Australia Day, 26 January (1788)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
Christmas Island Act of 1958-59 (1 October 1958) as amended by the Territories Law Reform Act of 1992
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
under the authority of the governor general of Australia and Australian law
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by the Australian governor general
head of government: Administrator Neil LUCAS (since 30 January 2006)
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; administrator appointed by the governor general of Australia and represents the monarch and Australia
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral Christmas Island Shire Council (9 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: held every two years with half the members standing for election; last held in May 2005 (next to be held in May 2007)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 9
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court; District Court; Magistrate's Court
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
none
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
none
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
none
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
none (territory of Australia)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
none (territory of Australia)
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
the flag of Australia is used; note - in early 1986, the Christmas Island Assembly held a design competition for an island flag; however, the winning design has never been formally adopted as the official flag of the territory
   Economy    Christmas Island Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Phosphate mining had been the only significant economic activity, but in December 1987 the Australian Government closed the mine. In 1991, the mine was reopened. With the support of the government, a $34 million casino opened in 1993. The casino closed in 1998. The Australian Government in 2001 agreed to support the creation of a commercial space-launching site on the island, projected to begin operations in the near future.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$NA
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
tourism, phosphate extraction (near depletion)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$NA
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
phosphate
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Australia, NZ (2004)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$NA
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
consumer goods
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
principally Australia (2004)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$NA
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
Australian dollar (AUD)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Australian dollars per US dollar - 1.3095 (2005), 1.3598 (2004), 1.5419 (2003), 1.8406 (2002), 1.9334 (2001)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 July - 30 June
   Communications    Christmas Island Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: service provided by the Australian network
domestic: GSM mobile telephone service replaced older analog system in February 2005
international: country code - 61-891; satellite earth stations - one INTELSAT earth station provides telephone and telex service (2005)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 0 (2006)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
0; note - TV broadcasts received via satellite from mainland Australia (2006)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.cx
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2,193 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
464 (2001)
   Transportation    Christmas Island Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2005)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 142 km
paved: 32 km
unpaved: 110 km (2006)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Flying Fish Cove
   Military    Christmas Island Top of Page
Military - note:
Definition Field Listing
defense is the responsibility of Australia
   Transnational Issues    Christmas Island Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
none

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook