CIA World Fact Book, 2004/Cocos (Keeling) Islands

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Introduction Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Background: There are 27 coral islands in the group. Captain William KEELING discovered the islands in 1609, but they remained uninhabited until the 19th century. Annexed by the UK in 1857, they were transferred to the Australian Government in 1955. The population on the two inhabited islands generally is split between the ethnic Europeans on West Island and the ethnic Malays on Home Island.
Geography Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Location: Southeastern Asia, group of islands in the Indian Ocean, southwest of Indonesia, about halfway from Australia to Sri Lanka
Geographic coordinates: 12 30 S, 96 50 E
Map references: Southeast Asia
Area: total: 14 sq km
note: includes the two main islands of West Island and Home Island
water: 0 sq km
land: 14 sq km
Area - comparative: about 24 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 26 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Climate: tropical with high humidity, moderated by the southeast trade winds for about nine months of the year
Terrain: flat, low-lying coral atolls
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 5 m
Natural resources: fish
Land use: arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2001)
Irrigated land: NA sq km
Natural hazards: cyclone season is October to April
Environment - current issues: fresh water resources are limited to rainwater accumulations in natural underground reservoirs
Geography - note: islands are thickly covered with coconut palms and other vegetation
People Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Population: 629 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: NA
15-64 years: NA
65 years and over: NA (2004 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.002% (2004 est.)
Birth rate: NA births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate: NA deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate: NA migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: NA
male: NA
female: NA (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: NA years
male: NA years
female: NA years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate: NA children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Nationality: noun: Cocos Islander(s)
adjective: Cocos Islander
Ethnic groups: Europeans, Cocos Malays
Religions: Sunni Muslim 80%, other 20% (2002 est.)
Languages: Malay (Cocos dialect), English
Government Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Country name: conventional long form: Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands
conventional short form: Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Dependency status: territory of Australia; administered from Canberra by the Australian Department of Transport and Regional Services
Government type: NA
Capital: West Island
Administrative divisions: none (territory of Australia)
Independence: none (territory of Australia)
National holiday: Australia Day, 26 January (1788)
Constitution: Cocos (Keeling) Islands Act of 1955
Legal system: based upon the laws of Australia and local laws
Suffrage: NA
Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by the Australian governor general
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; administrator appointed by the governor general of Australia and represents the monarch and Australia
head of government: Administrator (nonresident) Evan WILLIAMS (since 1 November 2003)
cabinet: NA
Legislative branch: unicameral Cocos (Keeling) Islands Shire Council (7 seats)
elections: held every two years with half the members standing for election; last held NA
Judicial branch: Supreme Court; Magistrate's Court
Political parties and leaders: none
Political pressure groups and leaders: none
International organization participation: none
Diplomatic representation in the US: none (territory of Australia)
Diplomatic representation from the US: none (territory of Australia)
Flag description: the flag of Australia is used
Economy Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Economy - overview: Grown throughout the islands, coconuts are the sole cash crop. Small local gardens and fishing contribute to the food supply, but additional food and most other necessities must be imported from Australia. There is a small tourist industry.
GDP: purchasing power parity - NA
GDP - real growth rate: NA
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - NA
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: NA
industry: NA
services: NA (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA
Labor force: NA
Labor force - by occupation: the Cocos Islands Cooperative Society Ltd. employs construction workers, stevedores, and lighterage workers; tourism employs others
Unemployment rate: 60% (2000 est.)
Budget: revenues: NA
expenditures: NA, including capital expenditures of NA
Agriculture - products: vegetables, bananas, pawpaws, coconuts
Industries: copra products and tourism
Industrial production growth rate: NA
Electricity - production: NA kWh
Electricity - consumption: NA kWh
Exports: NA
Exports - commodities: copra
Exports - partners: Australia
Imports: NA
Imports - commodities: foodstuffs
Imports - partners: Australia
Debt - external: NA
Economic aid - recipient: NA
Currency: Australian dollar (AUD)
Currency code: AUD
Exchange rates: Australian dollars per US dollar - 1.5419 (2003), 1.9354 (2002), 1.9320 (2001), 1.7173 (2000), 1.5497 (1999)
Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June
Communications Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Telephones - main lines in use: 287 (1992)
Telephones - mobile cellular: note - analog cellular service available
Telephone system: general assessment: connected within Australia's telecommunication system
domestic: NA
international: country code - 61-891; telephone, telex, and facsimile communications with Australia and elsewhere via satellite; 1 satellite earth station of NA type (2002)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 0 (2004)
Radios: 300 (1992)
Television broadcast stations: NA
Televisions: NA
Internet country code: .cc
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 2 (2000)
Internet users: NA
Transportation Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Highways: total: 15 km
paved: NA km
unpaved: NA km (2003)
Ports and harbors: none; lagoon anchorage only
Airports: 1 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Military Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Military - note: defense is the responsibility of Australia; the territory does have a five-person police force

This page was last updated on 1 January 2003

This is a snapshot of the CIA World Fact Book as it existed on 26 March 2005