Republic of Kiribati
Political Status: Formerly the Gilbert Islands; became a British protectorate in 1892; annexed as the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony in 1915, the Ellice Islands becoming independent as the state of Tuvalu in 1978; present name adopted upon becoming an independent member of the Commonwealth on July 12, 1979.
Area: 313 sq. mi. (811 sq. km).
Population: 100,000 (2012E—UN); 90,000 (2012E—U.S. Census).
Major Urban Center (2005E): BAIRIKI (South Tarawa, 48,000).
Official Language: I-Kiribati (Gilbertese); English is also widely spoken.
Monetary Unit: Australian Dollar (market rate November 5, 2012: 0.97 dollar = $1US). The British Pound is also in circulation.
President (Beretitenti): Anote TONG (Boutokaan te Koaua); popularly elected on July 5, 2003, succeeding Teburoro TITO (Maneaban te Mauri), whose government had been defeated in a confidence vote on ...