The World Factbook (1990)/Christmas Island


Christmas Island
(territory of Australia)

World Factbook (1990) Christmas Island.jpg

 See regional map IX


Total area: 135 km²; land area: 135 km²

Comparative area: about 0.8 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: none

Coastline: 138.9 km

Maritime claims:

Contiguous zone: 12 nm
Continental shelf: 200 meters or to depth of exploitation
Exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 3 nm

Climate: tropical; heat and humidity moderated by trade winds

Terrain: steep cliffs along coast rise abruptly to central plateau

Natural resources: phosphate

Land use: 0% arable land; 0% permanent crops; 0% meadows and pastures; 0% forest and woodland; 100% other

Environment: almost completely surrounded by a reef

Note: located along major sea lanes of Indian Ocean


Population: 2,278 (July 1990), growth rate 0.0% (1990)

Birth rate: NA births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: NA deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: NA migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: NA deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: NA years male, NA years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: NA children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Christmas Islander(s). adjective—Christmas Island

Ethnic divisions: 61% Chinese, 25% Malay, 11% European, 3% other; no indigenous population

Religion: NA

Language: English

Literacy: NA%

Labor force: NA; all workers are employees of the Phosphate Mining Company of Christmas Island, Ltd.

Organized labor: NA


Long-form name: Territory of Christmas Island

Type: territory of Australia

Capital: The Settlement

Administrative divisions: none (territory of Australia) Independence: none (territory of Australia)

Constitution: Christmas Island Act of 1958

Legal system: under the authority of the governor general of Australia

National holiday: NA

Executive branch: British monarch, governor general of Australia, administrator, Advisory Council (cabinet)

Legislative branch: none

Judicial branch: none

Leaders: Chief of State—Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952);

Head of Government—Administrator A. D. TAYLOR (since NA)

Communists: none

Diplomatic representation: none (territory of Australia)

Flag: the flag of Australia is used


Overview: Phosphate mining is the only significant economic activity, but in November 1987 the Australian Government announced that the mine would be closed because of labor unrest. Plans are under way to build a casino and hotel to develop tourism.

GDP: $NA, per capita $NA; real growth rate NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%

Unemployment rate: 0%

Budget: revenues $NA; expenditures $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

Exports: $NA; commodities—phosphate; partners—Australia, NZ

Imports: $NA; commodities—NA; partners—NA

External debt: $NA

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

Electricity: 11,000 kW capacity; 38 million kWh produced, 16,680 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: phosphate extraction (near depletion)

Agriculture: NA

Aid: none

Currency: Australian dollar (plural—dollars); 1 Australian dollar ($A) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Australian dollars ($A) per US$1—1.2784 (January 1990), 1.2618 (1989), 1.2752 (1988), 1.4267 (1987), 1.4905 (1986), 1.4269 (1985)

Fiscal year: 1 July-30 June


Ports: Flying Fish Cove

Airports: 1 usable with permanent-surface runway 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: 4,000 radios (1982)

Defense Forces

Note: defense is the responsibility of Australia