Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

 
Central Intelligence Agency
The Work of a Nation. The Center of Intelligence
CIA - The World Factbook The World Factbook Home
CIA - The World Factbook
Australia-Oceania :: Christmas Island
(territory of Australia)
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Christmas Island
(CONTAINS DESCRIPTION)
Location of Christmas Island
Click flag or map to enlarge Opens in New Window
 
Map of Christmas Island
Click map to enlarge Opens in New Window
No Photos available for Christmas Island
 
no photos available of Christmas Island
Expand All | collapse All
Introduction ::Christmas Island
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
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.
Back to Top
Geography ::Christmas Island
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
Southeastern Asia, island in the Indian Ocean, south of Indonesia
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
10 30 S, 105 40 E
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
total: 135 sq km
country comparison to the world: 221
land: 135 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
about three-quarters the size of Washington, DC
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
0 km
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
138.9 km
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
tropical with a wet season (December to April) and dry season; heat and humidity moderated by trade winds
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
steep cliffs along coast rise abruptly to central plateau
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Murray Hill 361 m
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
phosphate, beaches
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (mainly tropical rainforest; 63% of the island is a national park) (2005)
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
NA
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
the narrow fringing reef surrounding the island can be a maritime hazard
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
loss of rainforest; impact of phosphate mining
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
located along major sea lanes of Indian Ocean
Back to Top
People ::Christmas Island
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
1,402 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 233
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
0-14 years: NA
15-64 years: NA
65 years and over: NA
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
0% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
NA
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
NA
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
NA
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
NA (2009 est.)
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
total: NA
male: NA
female: NA
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
total population: NA
male: NA
female: NA
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
NA
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
NA
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
NA
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
NA
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
noun: Christmas Islander(s)
adjective: Christmas Island
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
Chinese 70%, European 20%, Malay 10%
note: no indigenous population (2001)
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
Buddhist 36%, Muslim 25%, Christian 18%, other 21% (1997)
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
English (official), Chinese, Malay
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
NA
Back to Top
Government ::Christmas Island
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
conventional long form: Territory of Christmas Island
conventional short form: Christmas Island
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
non-self governing territory of Australia; administered from Canberra by the Australian Government Attorney-General's Department
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
NA
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
name: The Settlement
geographic coordinates: 10 25 S, 105 43 E
time difference: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
none (territory of Australia)
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
none (territory of Australia)
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
Australia Day, 26 January (1788)
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
Christmas Island Act of 1958-59 (1 October 1958) as amended by the Territories Law Reform Act of 1992
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
under the authority of the governor general of Australia and Australian law
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
18 years of age
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
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: the monarch is hereditary; administrator appointed by the governor general of Australia and represents the monarch and Australia
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
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
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
Supreme Court; District Court; Magistrate's Court
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
none
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
none
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
none
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
none (territory of Australia)
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
none (territory of Australia)
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
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, 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
Back to Top
Economy ::Christmas Island
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
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.
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
$NA
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
NA
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
revenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
NA
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
tourism, phosphate extraction (near depletion)
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
$NA
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
phosphate
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
$NA
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
consumer goods
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
Australian dollars (AUD) per US dollar - 1.2059 (2008 est.), 1.2137 (2007), 1.3285 (2006), 1.3095 (2005), 1.3598 (2004)
Back to Top
Communications ::Christmas Island
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
NA
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
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 station - 1 (Intelsat provides telephone and telex service) (2005)
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 0 (2006)
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
0 (TV broadcasts received via satellite from mainland Australia) (2006)
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
.cx
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
2,598 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 145
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
464 (2001)
country comparison to the world: 216
Back to Top
Transportation ::Christmas Island
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
1 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 222
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2009)
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
total: 140 km
country comparison to the world: 209
paved: 30 km
unpaved: 110 km (2007)
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
Flying Fish Cove
Back to Top
Military ::Christmas Island
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
defense is the responsibility of Australia
Back to Top
Transnational Issues ::Christmas Island
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
none
Back to Top
Expand All | collapse All
The online Factbook is updated bi-weekly. ISSN 1553-8133
For additional information on government leaders in selected foreign countries, go to World Leaders.