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Australia-Oceania :: Pitcairn Islands
(overseas territory of the UK)
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Pitcairn Islands
(CONTAINS DESCRIPTION)
Location of Pitcairn Islands
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Map of Pitcairn Islands
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Introduction ::Pitcairn Islands
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Pitcairn Island was discovered in 1767 by the British and settled in 1790 by the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian companions. Pitcairn was the first Pacific island to become a British colony (in 1838) and today remains the last vestige of that empire in the South Pacific. Outmigration, primarily to New Zealand, has thinned the population from a peak of 233 in 1937 to less than 50 today.
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Geography ::Pitcairn Islands
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Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about midway between Peru and New Zealand
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25 04 S, 130 06 W
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total: 47 sq km
country comparison to the world: 233
land: 47 sq km
water: 0 sq km
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about 0.3 times the size of Washington, DC
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0 km
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51 km
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territorial sea: 3 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
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tropical; hot and humid; modified by southeast trade winds; rainy season (November to March)
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rugged volcanic formation; rocky coastline with cliffs
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lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pawala Valley Ridge 347 m
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miro trees (used for handicrafts), fish
note: manganese, iron, copper, gold, silver, and zinc have been discovered offshore
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arable land: NA
permanent crops: NA
other: NA
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NA
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typhoons (especially November to March)
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deforestation (only a small portion of the original forest remains because of burning and clearing for settlement)
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Britain's most isolated dependency; only the 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
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People ::Pitcairn Islands
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48 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 237
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0-14 years: NA
15-64 years: NA
65 years and over: NA (2009 est.)
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0% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 201
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NA
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NA
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NA (2009 est.)
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urban population: 0% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 0% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
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NA (2009 est.)
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total: NA
male: NA
female: NA (2008 est.)
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total population: NA
male: NA
female: NA
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NA (2008 est.)
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NA
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NA
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NA
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noun: Pitcairn Islander(s)
adjective: Pitcairn Islander
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descendants of the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian wives
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Seventh-Day Adventist 100%
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English (official), Pitkern (mixture of an 18th century English dialect and a Tahitian dialect)
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NA
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Government ::Pitcairn Islands
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conventional long form: Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie, and Oeno Islands
conventional short form: Pitcairn Islands
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overseas territory of the UK
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NA
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name: Adamstown
geographic coordinates: 25 04 S, 130 05 W
time difference: UTC-9 (4 hours behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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none (overseas territory of the UK)
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none (overseas territory of the UK)
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Birthday of Queen ELIZABETH II, second Saturday in June (1926)
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30 November 1838; reformed 1904 with additional reforms in 1940; further refined by the Local Government Ordinance of 1964
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local island by-laws
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18 years of age; universal with three years residency
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chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by UK High Commissioner to New Zealand and Governor (nonresident) of the Pitcairn Islands George FERGUSSON (since April 2006); Commissioner (nonresident) Leslie JAQUES (since September 2003) serves as liaison between the governor and the Island Council
head of government: Governor George FERGUSSON (since April 2006); Mayor and Chairman of the Island Council Mike WARREN (since 1 January 2008)
cabinet: NA
elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor and commissioner appointed by the monarch; island mayor elected by popular vote for a three-year term; election last held December 2007 (next to be held in December 2010)
election results: Mike WARREN elected mayor and chairman of the Island Council
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unicameral Island Council (10 seats; 5 members elected by popular vote, 1 nominated by the 5 elected members, 2 appointed by the governor including 1 seat for the Island Secretary, the Island Mayor, and a commissioner liaising between the governor and council; elected members serve one-year terms)
elections: last held 24 December 2008 (next to be held in 24 December 2009)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - all independents
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Magistrate's Court; Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; judicial officers are appointed by the governor
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none
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none
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SPC, UPU
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none (overseas territory of the UK)
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none (overseas territory of the UK)
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blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Pitcairn Islander coat of arms centered on the outer half of the flag; the coat of arms is yellow, green, and light blue with a shield featuring a yellow anchor
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Economy ::Pitcairn Islands
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The inhabitants of this tiny isolated economy exist on fishing, subsistence farming, handicrafts, and postage stamps. The fertile soil of the valleys produces a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including citrus, sugarcane, watermelons, bananas, yams, and beans. Bartering is an important part of the economy. The major sources of revenue are the sale of postage stamps to collectors and the sale of handicrafts to passing ships. In October 2004, more than one-quarter of Pitcairn's small labor force was arrested, putting the economy in a bind, since their services were required as lighter crew to load or unload passing ships.
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$NA
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15 able-bodied men (2004)
country comparison to the world: 222
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note: no business community in the usual sense; some public works; subsistence farming and fishing
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revenues: $746,000
expenditures: $1.028 million (FY04/05)
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honey; wide variety of fruits and vegetables; goats, chickens, fish
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postage stamps, handicrafts, beekeeping, honey
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NA kWh; note - electric power is provided by a small diesel-powered generator
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$NA
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fruits, vegetables, curios, stamps
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$NA
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fuel oil, machinery, building materials, flour, sugar, other foodstuffs
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New Zealand dollars (NZD) per US dollar - 1.4151 (2008 est.), 1.3811 (2007), 1.5408 (2006), 1.4203 (2005), 1.5087 (2004)
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Communications ::Pitcairn Islands
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1 (there are 17 telephones on one party line); (2004)
country comparison to the world: 230
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general assessment: satellite phone services
domestic: domestic communication via radio (CB)
international: country code - 872; satellite earth station - 1 (Inmarsat)
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AM 1, FM 0, shortwave 0 (15 ham radio operators (VP6)) (2004)
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.pn
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26 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 213
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Transportation ::Pitcairn Islands
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Adamstown (on Bounty Bay)
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Military ::Pitcairn Islands
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defense is the responsibility of the UK
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Transnational Issues ::Pitcairn Islands
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none
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