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Pitcairn Islands (dependent territory of the UK)

World Factbook (1990) Pitcairn Islands.jpg

See regional map X


Total area: 47 km²; land area: 47 km²

Comparative area: about 0.3 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: none

Coastline: 51 km

Maritime claims:

Exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 3 nm

Climate: tropical, hot, humid, modified by southeast trade winds; rainy season (November to March)

Terrain: rugged volcanic formation; rocky coastline with cliffs

Natural resources: miro trees (used for handicrafts), fish

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

Environment: subject to typhoons (especially November to March)

Note: located in the South Pacific Ocean about halfway between Peru and New Zealand


Population: 56 (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—Pitcairn Islander(s); adjective—Pitcairn Islander

Ethnic divisions: descendants of Bounty mutineers

Religion: 100% Seventh-Day Adventist

Language: English (official); also a Tahitian/English dialect

Literacy: NA%, but probably high

Labor force: NA; no business community in the usual sense; some public works; subsistence farming and fishing

Organized labor: NA


Long-form name: Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie, and Oeno Islands

Type: dependent territory of the UK

Capital: Adamstown

Administrative divisions: none (dependent territory of the UK)

Independence: none (dependent territory of the UK)

Constitution: Local Government Ordinance of 1964

Legal system: local island by-laws

National holiday: Celebration of the Birthday of the Queen (second Saturday in June), 10 June 1989

Executive branch: British monarch, governor, island magistrate

Legislative branch: unicameral Island Council

Judicial branch: Island Court

Leaders: Chief of State—Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by the Governor and UK High Commissioner to New Zealand Robin A. C. BYATT (since NA 1988);

Head of Government—Island Magistrate and Chairman of the Island Council Brian YOUNG (since NA 1985)

Political parties and leaders: NA

Suffrage: universal at age 18 with three years residency

Elections: Island Council—last held NA (next to be held NA); results—percent of vote by party NA; seats—(11 total, 5 elected) number of seats by party NA

Communists: none

Other political or pressure groups: NA

Diplomatic representation: none (dependent territory of the UK)

Flag: blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Pitcairn Islander coat of arms centered on the outer half of the flag; the coat of arms is yellow, green, and light blue with a shield featuring a yellow anchor


Overview: The inhabitants exist on fishing and subsistence farming. The fertile soil of the valleys produces a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including citrus, sugarcane, watermelons, bananas, yams, and beans. Bartering is an important part of the economy. The major sources of revenue are the sale of postage stamps to collectors and the sale of handicrafts to passing ships.


Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget: revenues $430,440; expenditures $429,983, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY87 est.)

Exports: $NA; commodities—fruits, vegetables, curios; partners—NA

Imports: $NA; commodities—fuel oil, machinery, building materials, flour, sugar, other foodstuffs; partners—NA

External debt: $NA

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

Electricity: 110 kW capacity; 0.30 million kWh produced, 4,410 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: postage stamp sales, handicrafts

Agriculture: based on subsistence fishing and farming; wide variety of fruits and vegetables grown; must import grain products

Aid: none

Currency: New Zealand dollar (plural—dollars); 1 New Zealand dollar (NZ$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: New Zealand dollars (NZ$) per US$1—1.6581 (January 1990), 1.6708 (1989), 1.5244 (1988), 1.6866 (1987), 1.9088 (1986), 2.0064 (1985)

Fiscal year: 1 April-31 March


Railroads: none

Highways: 6.4 km dirt roads

Ports: Bounty Bay

Airports: none

Telecommunications: 24 telephones; party line telephone service on the island; stations—1 AM, no FM, no TV; diesel generator provides electricity

Defense Forces

Note: defense is the responsibility of the UK