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Christmas Island (2008)

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Christmas Island 2008 year

 Christmas Island
Administrative divisions none (territory of Australia)
Age structure 0-14 years: NA

15-64 years: NA

65 years and over: NA
Agriculture - products NA
Airports 1 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways total: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2007)
Area total: 135 sq km

land: 135 sq km

water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative about three-quarters the size of Washington, DC
Background Named in 1643 for the day of its discovery, the island was annexed and settlement began by the UK in 1888. Phosphate mining began in the 1890s. The UK transferred sovereignty to Australia in 1958. Almost two-thirds of the island has been declared a national park.
Birth rate NA
Budget revenues: $NA

expenditures: $NA
Capital name: The Settlement

geographic coordinates: 10 25 S, 105 43 E

time difference: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Climate tropical with a wet season (December to April) and dry season; heat and humidity moderated by trade winds
Coastline 138.9 km
Constitution Christmas Island Act of 1958-59 (1 October 1958) as amended by the Territories Law Reform Act of 1992
Country name conventional long form: Territory of Christmas Island

conventional short form: Christmas Island
Death rate NA
Dependency status non-self governing territory of Australia; administered from Canberra by the Australian Attorney-General's Department
Diplomatic representation from the US none (territory of Australia)
Diplomatic representation in the US none (territory of Australia)
Disputes - international none
Economic aid - recipient $NA
Economy - overview Phosphate mining had been the only significant economic activity, but in December 1987 the Australian Government closed the mine. In 1991, the mine was reopened. With the support of the government, a $34 million casino opened in 1993, but closed in 1998. The Australian Government in 2001 agreed to support the creation of a commercial space-launching site on the island, expected to begin operations in the near future.
Elevation extremes lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

highest point: Murray Hill 361 m
Environment - current issues loss of rainforest; impact of phosphate mining
Ethnic groups Chinese 70%, European 20%, Malay 10%

note: no indigenous population (2001)
Exchange rates Australian dollars per US dollar - 1.2137 (2007), 1.3285 (2006), 1.3095 (2005), 1.3598 (2004), 1.5419 (2003)
Executive branch chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by the Australian governor general

head of government: Administrator Neil LUCAS (since 30 January 2006)

elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; administrator appointed by the governor general of Australia and represents the monarch and Australia
Exports $NA
Exports - commodities phosphate
Exports - partners Australia, NZ (2006)
Fiscal year 1 July - 30 June
Flag description territorial flag; divided diagonally from upper hoist to lower fly; the upper triangle is green with a yellow image of the Golden Bosun Bird superimposed, while the lower triangle is blue with the Southern Cross constellation, representing Australia, superimposed; a centered yellow disk displays a green map of the island

note: the flag of Australia is used for official purposes
Geographic coordinates 10 30 S, 105 40 E
Geography - note located along major sea lanes of Indian Ocean
Imports $NA
Imports - commodities consumer goods
Imports - partners principally Australia (2006)
Independence none (territory of Australia)
Industries tourism, phosphate extraction (near depletion)
Infant mortality rate total: NA

male: NA

female: NA
International organization participation none
Irrigated land NA
Judicial branch Supreme Court; District Court; Magistrate's Court
Labor force NA
Land boundaries 0 km
Land use arable land: 0%

permanent crops: 0%

other: 100% (mainly tropical rainforest; 63% of the island is a national park) (2005)
Languages English (official), Chinese, Malay
Legal system under the authority of the governor general of Australia and Australian law
Legislative branch unicameral Christmas Island Shire Council (9 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections: held every two years with half the members standing for election; last held 20 October 2007 (next to be held in 2009)

election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 9
Life expectancy at birth total population: NA

male: NA

female: NA
Literacy NA
Location Southeastern Asia, island in the Indian Ocean, south of Indonesia
Map references Southeast Asia
Maritime claims territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 12 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Military - note defense is the responsibility of Australia
National holiday Australia Day, 26 January (1788)
Nationality noun: Christmas Islander(s)

adjective: Christmas Island
Natural hazards the narrow fringing reef surrounding the island can be a maritime hazard
Natural resources phosphate, beaches
Net migration rate NA
Political parties and leaders none
Political pressure groups and leaders none
Population 1,402 (July 2006 est.) (July 2007 est.)
Population growth rate 0% (2007 est.)
Radio broadcast stations AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 0 (2006)
Religions Buddhist 36%, Muslim 25%, Christian 18%, other 21% (1997)
Sex ratio NA
Telephone system general assessment: service provided by the Australian network

domestic: GSM mobile telephone service replaced older analog system in February 2005

international: country code - 61-8; satellite earth stations - 1 INTELSAT earth station provides telephone and telex service (2005)
Telephones - main lines in use NA
Television broadcast stations 0 (TV broadcasts received via satellite from mainland Australia) (2006)
Terrain steep cliffs along coast rise abruptly to central plateau
Total fertility rate NA
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