Christmas Island General Information

Christmas Island General Information

General information: According to, this island was annexed by Great Britain in 1888 after the discovery of a large deposit of phosphates on it.


Location: Southeast Asia, an island in the Indian Ocean, south of Indonesia.
Geographic coordinates: 10° 30’S latitude, 105° 40′ E
Reference map: Southeast Asia.
Area: total: 135 sq. km.; land surface area: 135 km2; water surface area: 0 km2
Comparative area: about 0.7 of the area of ​​Washington, DC.
Land borders: 0 km.
Coastline: 138.9 km.
Maritime claims: neutral waters: 12 nautical miles; zone of exclusive right to fish: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 3 nautical miles.
Climate: tropical; hot and humid, moderated by trade winds.
Relief: steep cliffs along the coast rise steeply to the central plateau.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m; highest point: Murray Hill 361 m.
Natural resources: phosphates.
Land use: arable land: no data; cultivated land: no data; pastures: no data; forests and plantations: no data; others: no data; note: predominantly tropical rainforest, 60-70% of which is within the national park.
Irrigated land: no data.
Natural Hazards: The narrow, uneven reef surrounding the island can be a hazard to navigation.
Current environmental issues: no data available.
International agreements on environmental protection:
Note to the section “Geography”: located near the main shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean.


Population: 2,771 people (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: up to 14 years: no data; from 15 to 64 years: no data; over 65 years: no data.
Population growth: 7.77% (2001 est.).
Fertility: no data.
Mortality: no data.
Migration: no data.
Sex ratio:
Child mortality: no data.
Life expectancy: for the general population: not available; men: no data; women: no data.
General birth rate: no data.
Proportion of the adult population infected with HIV: no data available.
Number of people infected with HIV: no data.
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: resident of Christmas Island; adjective: pertaining to Christmas Island.
Ethnic groups: Chinese 61%, Malay 25%, European 11%, other 3%, no natives.
Believers: Buddhist 55%, Christian 15%, Muslim 10%, other 20% (1991).
Language(s): English, Chinese, Malay. State Title:


Conventional long form: Territory of Christmas Island;
Common short form: Christmas Island. Dependency State: Territory of Australia; administered from Canberra by the Ministry of Environment, Sports and Territories.
State structure: no data.
Capital: Settlement.
Administrative division: none (territory of Australia).
Dependent Territories:
Independence: None (Territory of Australia).
National holiday: no data.
Constitution: Christmas Island Act 1958
Legal System: Orders of the Governor General of Australia and Australian law. Executive Power:
Head of State: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by the Governor General of Australia;
head of government: Governor William Leonard TAYLOR (since 4 February 1999); elections: no; hereditary monarchy; the Governor is appointed by the Governor General of Australia and represents the monarch and Australia.
Legislature: unicameral Christmas Island County Council (9 seats; members elected by popular vote for 1 year); elections: last held in December 2000 (next to be held in December 2001); election results: distribution of votes: no data; distribution of seats: independent 9.
Judiciary: Supreme Court.
Political parties and leaders: no.
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: no.
Diplomatic representation in the United States: none (territory of Australia).
US Diplomatic Mission: None (Australian Territory).
Flag Description: The flag of Australia is used.


Economic overview: The only significant economic activity was phosphate mining, but in December 1987 the Australian government closed the mine. In 1991 the mine was reopened by the workers’ union. With government support, Casinos Australia International Ltd built a $34 million casino on Christmas Island, which was opened in 1993. By the end of 1999, casino gambling was temporarily suspended, but resumed again in early 2000. Another economic prospect is the possibility of accommodation on the island of the cosmodrome.
GDP: at purchasing power parity – no data.
Real GDP growth rate: no data available.
GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity – no data available.
Composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: no data; industry: no data; service sector: no data;
Proportion of the population below the poverty line: no data available.
Percentage distribution of household income or consumption: for the poorest 10% of households: n/a; by top 10% of households: no data.
Inflation rate at consumer prices: no data.
Labor force: no data.
Employment structure: tourism – 400 people, mining – 100 people (1995).
Unemployment rate: no data.
Budget: income: no data; expenses: n/a, including capital investment – n/a.
Economic sectors: tourism, phosphate mining (close to completion).
Growth in industrial production: no data available.
Electricity production: no data.
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: no data available; hydropower: no data; nuclear fuel: no data; other: no data.
Electricity consumption: no data.
Export of electricity: no data.
Electricity import: no data.
Agricultural products: no data.
Export: no data.
Export articles: phosphates.
Export partners: Australia, New Zealand.
Import: no data.
Import articles: consumer goods.
Import partners: predominantly Australia.
External debt: no data. Recipient of economic assistance: no data.
Economic aid donor:
Currency: Australian dollar.
Currency code: AUD.
Exchange rate: AUD / USD – 1.7995 (January 2001), 1.7173 (2000), 1.5497 (1999), 1.5888 (1998), 1.3439 (1997), 1.2773 (1996).
Fiscal year: July 1-June 30.


Telecommunications Telephone lines: no data.
Mobile cell phones: 0 (1999).
Telephone system: internal: no data; international: ground satellite stations – 1 Intelsat, providing telephone and telex communications.
Broadcast stations: AM – 1, FM – 1, shortwave – 0 (1998).
Radio receivers: 1,000 (1997).
Television broadcast stations: no data.
TVs: 600 (1997).
Internet country code: cx
Internet service providers: 2 (2000).
Number of users: no data.


Transport Railways: 24 km serving the phosphate mine.
Roads: total: 140 km; coated: 30 km; unpaved: 110 km (1999)
Ports and harbours: Fpaing Fish Cove.
Merchant fleet: none (2000 est.).
Airports: 1 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 1; from 1524 to 2437 m: 1 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways:

Christmas Island General Information

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