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Introduction Pitcairn Islands
Pitcairn Island previously discovered in 1767 by British and settled in 1790 by Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian companions. Pitcairn previously first Pacific island to become a British colony (in 1838) and today remains last vestige of that empire in South Pacific. Outmigration, primarily to New Zealand, has thinned population from a peak of 233 in 1937 to less than 50 today.
Geography Pitcairn Islands
Oceania, islands in South Pacific Ocean, about midway between Peru and New Zealand
Geographic coordinates:
25 04 S, 130 06 W
Map references:
total: 47 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 47 sq km
Area - comparative:
about 0.3 times size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
51 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 3 NM
tropical, hot, humid; modified by southeast trade winds; rainy season (November to March)
rugged volcanic formation; rocky coastline with cliffs
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pawala Valley Ridge 347 m
Natural resources:
miro trees (used for handicrafts), fish
note: manganese, iron, copper, gold, silver, and zinc have been discovered offshore
Land use:
arable land: NA%
permanent crops: NA%
other: NA% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
NA sq km
Natural hazards:
typhoons (especially November to March)
Environment - current issues:
deforestation (only a limited portion of original forest remains because of burning and clearing for settlement)
Geography - note:
Britain's most isolated dependency; only larger island of Pitcairn is inhabited but it has no port or natural harbor; supplies must be transported by rowed longboat from larger ships stationed offshore
People Pitcairn Islands
Total Population:
47 (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: NA%
15-64 years: NA%
65 years and over: NA% (2003 est.)
Population growth rate:
Birth rate:
NA births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
NA deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
NA migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
NA (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: NA%
male: NA%
female: NA%
Life Expectancy:
Population: NA years
male: NA years
female: NA years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
NA children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Pitcairn Islander(s)
adjective: Pitcairn Islander
Ethnic groups:
descendants of Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian wives
Seventh-Day Adventist 100%
English (official), Pitcairnese (mixture of an 18th century English dialect and a Tahitian dialect)
Government Pitcairn Islands
Country name:
conventional long form: Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie, and Oeno Islands
conventional short form: Pitcairn Islands
Dependency status:
overseas territory of UK
Government type:
Administrative divisions:
none (overseas territory of UK)
none (overseas territory of UK)
National holiday:
Birthday of Queen ELIZABETH II, second Saturday in June (1926)
1838; reformed 1904 with additional reforms in 1940; further refined by Local Government Ordinance of 1964
Legal system:
local island by-laws
18 years of age; universal with three years residency
Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by UK High Commissioner to New Zealand and Governor (nonresident) of Pitcairn Islands Richard FELL (since NA December 2001); Commissioner (nonresident) Leon SALT (since NA); serves as liaison between governor and Island Council
election results: Steve CHRISTIAN elected mayor; percent of vote - NA%
elections: monarchy is hereditary; high commissioner and commissioner appointed by monarch; island magistrate elected by popular vote for a three-year term; election last held NA December 1999 (next to be held NA December 2002)
head of government: Mayor and Chairman of Island Council Steve CHRISTIAN (since 7 December 1999)
cabinet: NA
Legislative branch:
unicameral Island Council (10 seats - 6 elected by popular vote, 1 appointed by 6 elected members, 2 appointed by governor, and 1 seat for Island Secretary; members serve one-year terms)
elections: last held NA December 2002 (next to be held NA December 2003)
election results: percent of vote - NA%; seats - all independents
Judicial branch:
Island Court (island magistrate presides over court and is elected every three years)
Political parties and leaders:
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in US:
none (overseas territory of UK)
Diplomatic representation from US:
none (overseas territory of UK)
Flag description:
blue with flag of UK in upper hoist-side quadrant and Pitcairn Islander coat of arms centered on outer half of flag; coat of arms is yellow, green, and light blue with a shield featuring a yellow anchor
Economy Pitcairn Islands
Economy - overview:
inhabitants of this tiny isolated economy exist on fishing, subsistence farming, handicrafts, and postage stamps. fertile soil of valleys produces a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, includes citrus, sugarcane, watermelons, bananas, yams, and beans. Bartering is an important part of economy. major sources of revenue are sale of postage stamps to collectors and sale of handicrafts to passing ships.
buying power parity - $NA
GDP - real growth rate:
GDP - per capita:
buying power parity - $NA
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Labor force:
12 able-bodied men (1997)
Labor force - by occupation:
no business community in usual sense; some public works; subsistence farming and fishing
Unemployment rate:
revenues: $729,884
expenditures: $878,119, includes capital expenditures of $NA (FY 94/95 est.)
postage stamps, handicrafts
Industrial production growth rate:
Electricity - production:
NA kWh; note - electric power is provided by a limited diesel-powered generator
Electricity - consumption:
NA kWh
Agriculture - products:
wide variety of fruits and vegetables, goats, chickens
Exports - commodities:
fruits, vegetables, curios, stamps
Exports - partners:
NA (2000)
Imports - commodities:
fuel oil, machinery, building materials, flour, sugar, other foodstuffs
Imports - partners:
NA (2000)
Debt - external:
Economic aid - recipient:
New Zealand dollar (NZD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
New Zealand dollars per US dollar - 2.162 (2002), 2.3776 (2001), 2.1863 (2000), 1.8886 (1999), 1.8629 (1998), 1.5083 (1997)
Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March
Communications Pitcairn Islands
Telephones - main lines in use:
1 (there are 17 telephones on one party line) (1997)
Telephone system:
general assessment: only party line telephone service is available for this limited , closely related community
domestic: party line service only
international: radiotelephone
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1, FM 0, shortwave 0 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
0 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Internet users:
Transportation Pitcairn Islands
0 km
total: 6.4 km
paved: 0 km
unpaved: 6.4 km
Ports and harbors:
Adamstown (on Bounty Bay)
Merchant marine:
none (2002 est.)
none (2002)
Military Pitcairn Islands
Military - note:
defense is responsibility of UK
Transnational Issues Pitcairn Islands
Disputes - international: