Kiribati, officially the Republic of Kiribati, is located in the central Pacific Ocean. The island country sits in the Micronesia subregion of Oceania, which consists of around 2,000 small islands. Kiribati is made up of 32 atolls (ring-shaped islands) and the island of Banaba. The islands lie across the equator and extend into the northern, southern, eastern, and western hemispheres.

Country Profile

Official NameContinentSubregionCapital CityPopulationWorld Population %Land Area (km²)CurrencyCurrency Symbol
The Republic of KiribatiOceaniaMicronesiaSouth Tarawa133,5150.00%811Kiribati dollar$

Most of the country’s population lives on the Tarawa atoll, which is also Kiribati’s capital. The country has three island groups: the Gilbert, Phoenix, and the Line islands. Seven of the eight atolls in the Phoenix group are uninhabited; the remaining island (Canton Island) has a sparse population.

The Gilbert Islands (16 of the 32 atolls in Kiribati) became a British protectorate in 1892. Great Britain began to colonize the remaining atolls in Kiribati in 1916. The United States claimed the Phoenix Islands and the Northern Line Islands in the late 19th century. Kiribati gained its independence from Britain in 1979 and signed a treaty of friendship with the UK and the US in the same year.

Kiribati has a tropical climate with hot, humid weather throughout the year. The country’s wet season lasts from November until April, and the dry season lasts from June until October. The islands are vulnerable to tsunamis and rising sea levels as the majority of islands sit less than 2 meters above sea level. The highest point in Kiribati is located on Banaba and sits 87 meters (285 ft) above sea level.

The island nation is a democratic republic with a president (called the Beretitenti) who serves as both head of state and head of government. The president can serve for a maximum of three terms (each lasting four years).

Kiribati: Stats and Facts

Official LanguagesMain ReligionNational AnthemISO alpha-2ISO alpha-3Internet country domains (TLDs)Dialling CodeCoastline Length (km)Geographic coordinates (center point of country)Number of Time ZonesTime Zone(s)Daylight Savings Time?Driving SideGDP (PPP)GDP per capita (PPP)GDP (nominal)GDP per capita (nominal)
"Kunan Kiribati"
("Song of Kiribati"),1431 25 N, 173 00 E3
UTC +12:00 — Gilbert Islands
UTC +13:00 — Phoenix Islands
UTC +14:00 — Line Islands