The World Factbook (1990)/Cocos (Keeling) Islands

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Cocos (Keeling) Islands
(territory of Australia)

World Factbook (1990) Cocos (Keeling) Islands.jpg

 See regional map IX


Total area: 14 km²; land area: 14 km²; main islands are West Island and Home Island

Comparative area: about 24 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC

Land boundaries: none

Coastline: 42.6 km

Maritime claims:

Contiguous zone: 12 nm
Continental shelf: 200 meters or to depth of exploitation
Exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 3 nm

Climate: pleasant, modified by the southeast trade winds for about nine months of the year; moderate rainfall

Terrain: flat, low-lying coral atolls

Natural resources: fish

Land use: 0% arable land; 0% permanent crops; 0% meadows and pastures; 0% forest and woodland; 100% other

Environment: two coral atolls thickly covered with coconut palms and other vegetation

Note: located 1,070 km southwest of Sumatra (Indonesia) in the Indian Ocean about halfway between Australia and Sri Lanka


Population: 670 (July 1990), growth rate 2.1% (1990)

Birth rate: NA births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: NA deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: NA migrants/ 1 ,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: NA deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: NA years male, NA years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: NA children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Cocos Islander(s); adjective—Cocos Islander(s)

Ethnic divisions: mostly Europeans on West Island and Cocos Malays on Home Island

Religion: NA

Language: English

Literacy: NA%

Labor force: NA

Organized labor: none


Long-form name: Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Type: territory of Australia

Capital: West Island

Administrative divisions: none (territory of Australia)

Independence: none (territory of Australia)

Constitution: Cocos (Keeling) Islands Act of 1955

Legal system: based upon the laws of Australia and local laws

National holiday: NA

Executive branch: British monarch, governor general of Australia, administrator, chairman of the Islands Council

Legislative branch: unicameral Islands Council

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Leaders: Chief of State—Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952);

Head of Government—Administrator D. LAWRIE (since NA 1989); Chairman of the Islands Council Parson Bin YAPAT (since NA)

Suffrage: NA

Elections: NA

Diplomatic representation: none (territory of Australia)

Flag: the flag of Australia is used


Overview: Grown throughout the islands, coconuts are the sole cash crop. Copra and fresh coconuts are the major export earners. Small local gardens and fishing contribute to the food supply, but additional food and most other necessities must be imported from Australia.

GNP: $NA, per capita $NA; real growth rate NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%

Unemployment: NA

Budget: revenues $NA; expenditures $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

Exports: $NA; commodities—copra; partners—Australia

Imports: $NA; commodities—foodstuffs; partners—Australia

External debt: $NA

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

Electricity: NA kW capacity; NA million kWh produced, NA kWh per capita

Industries: copra products

Agriculture: gardens provide vegetables, bananas, pawpaws, coconuts

Aid: none

Currency: Australian dollar (plural—dollars); 1 Australian dollar ($A) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Australian dollars ($A) per US$1—1.2784 (January 1990), 1.2618 (1989), 1.2752 (1988), 1.4267 (1987), 1.4905 (1986), 1.4269 (1985)

Fiscal year: 1 July-30 June


Ports: none; lagoon anchorage only

Airports: 1 airfield with permanent-surface runway, 2,440-3,659 m; airport on West Island is a link in service between Australia and South Africa

Telecommunications: 250 radios (1985); linked by telephone, telex, and facsimile communications via satellite with Australia; stations—1 AM, no FM, no TV

Defense Forces

Note: defense is the responsibility of Australia