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: 104,645 (2014C); 104,488 (2014E—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 October 1, 2014: 1 Australian dollar = $1.45 US). The British Pound is also in circulation.
President: 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 ...