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Island country, southeastern Micronesia, western South Pacific Ocean. Area: 8.2 sq mi (21.2 sq km). Population: (2009 est.) 9,800. There is no official capital, but government offices are located in Yaren district. About two-thirds of the population are indigenous Nauruans. Languages: Nauruan, English. Religion: Christianity (mostly Protestant; also Roman Catholic). Currency: Australian dollar. Nauru is a coral island with a central plateau 100–200 ft (30–60 m) high. A thin strip of fertile land encircling the island is the major zone of human settlement. It lacks harbours; ships must anchor to buoys beyond a reef. Nauru once had the world's largest concentration of phosphate, and its economy was based on phosphate mining and processing; however, the deposits have been depleted, and the economy has been converting to fishing and other ventures. Nauru is a republic with one legislative house; its head of state and government is the president. It was inhabited by Pacific Islanders when the first British explorers arrived in 1798 and named it Pleasant Island because of their friendly welcome. Annexed by Germany in 1888, it was occupied by Australia at the start of World War I, and in 1919 it was placed under a joint mandate of Britain, Australia, and New Zealand. During World War II it was occupied by the Japanese. Made a UN trust territory under Australian administration in 1947, Nauru gained complete independence in 1968 and became a full member of the Commonwealth and the UN in 1999.
Variants of NAURU
Nauru officially Republic of Nauru
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Nauru, visit Britannica.com.