Christmas Island

Christmas Island
1. an Australian island in the Indian Ocean, ab. 190 mi. (300 km) S of Java. 3300; 52 sq. mi. (135 sq. km).
2. one of the Line Islands, in Kiribati (Gilbert Islands), in the central Pacific; sovereignty disputed by U.S.: largest atoll in the Pacific; former U.S. test center for nuclear warheads. ab. 220 sq. mi. (575 sq. km).

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Christmas Island

Introduction Christmas Island -
Background: Named in 1643 for the day of its discovery, the island was annexed and settlement was begun 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. Geography Christmas Island
Location: Southeastern Asia, island in the Indian Ocean, south of Indonesia
Geographic coordinates: 10 30 S, 105 40 E
Map references: Southeast Asia
Area: total: 135 sq km water: 0 sq km land: 135 sq km
Area - comparative: about 0.7 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 80 km
Maritime claims: contiguous zone: 12 NM exclusive fishing zone: 200 NM territorial sea: 12 NM
Climate: tropical; heat and humidity moderated by trade winds
Terrain: steep cliffs along coast rise abruptly to central plateau
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m highest point: Murray Hill 361 m
Natural resources: phosphate, beaches
Land use: arable land: 0% permanent crops: 0% other: 100% note: mainly tropical rainforest; 63% of the island is a national park (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: NA sq km
Natural hazards: the narrow fringing reef surrounding the island can be a maritime hazard Environment - current issues: NA
Geography - note: located along major sea lanes of Indian Ocean People Christmas Island -
Population: 474 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: NA% 15-64 years: NA% 65 years and over: NA%
Population growth rate: -9% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: NA births/1,000 population
Death rate: NA deaths/1,000 population
Net migration rate: NA migrant(s)/1,000 population
Sex ratio: NA
Infant mortality rate: NA deaths/1,000 live births Life expectancy at birth: total population: NA years female: NA years male: NA years
Total fertility rate: NA children born/woman HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NA% HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Nationality: noun: Christmas Islander(s) adjective: Christmas Island
Ethnic groups: Chinese 70%, European 20%, Malay 10% note: no indigenous population (2001)
Religions: Buddhist 36%, Muslim 25%, Christian 18%, other 21% (1997)
Languages: English (official), Chinese, Malay
Literacy: NA Government Christmas Island -
Country name: conventional long form: Territory of Christmas Island conventional short form: Christmas Island
Dependency status: territory of Australia; administered by the Australian Department of Transport and Regional Services
Government type: NA
Capital: The Settlement Administrative divisions: none (territory of Australia)
Independence: none (territory of Australia)
National holiday: NA
Constitution: NA
Legal system: under the authority of the governor general of Australia and Australian law
Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by the Australian governor general head of government: Administrator William Leonard TAYLOR (since 4 February 1999) elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; administrator appointed by the governor general of Australia and represents the monarch and Australia
Legislative branch: unicameral Christmas Island Shire Council (9 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve one-year terms) election results: percent of vote - NA%; seats - independents 9 elections: last held NA December 2001 (next to be held NA December 2002)
Judicial branch: Supreme Court; District Court; Magistrate's Court Political parties and leaders: none Political pressure groups and none
leaders: International organization none
participation: Diplomatic representation in the US: none (territory of Australia) Diplomatic representation from the none (territory of Australia)
Flag description: the flag of Australia is used; note - in early 1986, the Christmas Island Assembly held a design competition for an island flag, however, the winning design has never been formally adopted as the official flag of the territory Economy Christmas Island
Economy - overview: 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. The casino closed in 1998. The Australian Government in 2001 agreed to support the creation of a commercial space-launching site on the island, slated to begin operation in 2003.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $NA
GDP - real growth rate: NA%
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $NA GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: NA% industry: NA% services: NA% Population below poverty line: NA% Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: NA%
percentage share: highest 10%: NA% Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%
Labor force: NA Labor force - by occupation: tourism 400 people, mining 100 people (1995)
Unemployment rate: NA%
Budget: revenues: $NA expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA
Industries: tourism, phosphate extraction (near depletion) Industrial production growth rate: NA% Electricity - production: NA kWh Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: NA% hydro: NA% other: NA% nuclear: NA% Electricity - consumption: NA kWh
Agriculture - products: NA
Exports: $NA
Exports - commodities: phosphate
Exports - partners: Australia, NZ
Imports: $NA
Imports - commodities: consumer goods
Imports - partners: principally Australia
Debt - external: $NA Economic aid - recipient: $NA
Currency: Australian dollar (AUD)
Currency code: AUD
Exchange rates: Australian dollars per US dollar - 1.9354 (January 2002), 1.9320 (2001), 1.7173 (2000), 1.5497 (1999), 1.5888 (1998), 1.3439 (1997)
Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June Communications Christmas Island - Telephones - main lines in use: NA Telephones - mobile cellular: NA
Telephone system: general assessment: service provided by the Australian network domestic: only analog mobile telephone service is available international: satellite earth stations - one Intelsat earth station provides telephone and telex service (2000) Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios: 1,000 (1997) Television broadcast stations: NA
Televisions: 600 (1997)
Internet country code: .cx Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 2 (2000)
Internet users: NA Transportation Christmas Island -
Railways: 24 km to serve phosphate mines
Highways: total: 140 km (not including 100 km that is maintained by private industry) paved: 30 km unpaved: 110 km (1999)
Waterways: none
Ports and harbors: Flying Fish Cove
Merchant marine: none (2002 est.)
Airports: 1 (2001) Airports - with paved runways: total: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2001) Military Christmas Island -
Military - note: defense is the responsibility of Australia Transnational Issues Christmas Island - Disputes - international: none

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officially  Territory of Christmas Island 

      island in the Indian Ocean, about 224 miles (360 km) south of the island of Java and 870 miles (1,400 km) northwest of Australia; it is administered as an external territory of Australia. It has an area of 52 square miles (135 square km) and comprises the summit of an oceanic mountain. The highest point on the island is Murray Hill, rising to 1,184 feet (361 m) above sea level in the western part of the island. The main settlement and chief port is at Flying Fish Cove on the northeastern part of the island.

      First sighted in 1615 by Richard Rowe, master of the Thomas, the island was named on Christmas Day 1643 by Captain William Mynors of the British East India Company. In 1887 specimens of soil and rock were collected by the men of HMS Egeria; the British naturalist John Murray (Murray, Sir John) analyzed the specimens and found that they were nearly pure phosphate of lime. In 1888 the island was annexed by Great Britain, and the first settlement was established at Flying Fish Cove by George Clunies-Ross of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. A 99-year lease, granted in 1891 to Clunies-Ross and Murray, to mine phosphate and cut timber was transferred six years later to the Christmas Island Phosphate Company, Ltd., which was largely owned by the former lessees. In 1900 Christmas Island was incorporated in the British crown colony of the Straits Settlements with its capital at Singapore. During World War II the island was occupied by the Japanese. In 1948 the governments of New Zealand and Australia acquired the interests and assets of the Christmas Island Phosphate Company, and the British Phosphate Commission managed operations for both governments. In 1958 the island became an Australian territory.

      The central plateau of Christmas Island descends in an alternating series of slopes and terraces to abrupt cliffs over 65 feet (20 m) high along much of the coastline. There are also sand and coral beaches along the coast. Valuable deposits of phosphate occur on the island. There is a tropical rainy season between December and April and little seasonal variation in the average temperature of 81° F (27° C). Average annual rainfall is 113 inches (2,670 mm). Tropical rain forest covers most of Christmas Island, and fauna includes large numbers of seabirds, small reptiles, land crabs, and insects. Springs and wells supply fresh water for the island's residents. Much of the western tip of the island is a national park.

      The population includes many ethnic Chinese, a small number of European ancestry, and Malay labourers recruited mainly from Malaysia, Singapore, and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Most of the island's residents traditionally have been employees of the company that mines phosphates (until 1987 owned by the Australian government and since 1990 privately operated). The territory's economy was long based almost entirely on the mining and extraction of phosphate there for shipment to Australia and New Zealand, but this began to change in the early 1990s. With the recoverable reserves of phosphate nearly exhausted, efforts were turned toward developing tourism. Small-scale subsistence cropping and fishing are practiced, but most food is imported.

      The Australian governor-general appoints an administrator of Christmas Island. The administrator has a staff for secretariat, education, postal, police, radio, and harbour duties. A locally elected assembly provides political representation for the islanders. Almost all of the island's residents are Australian citizens or residents under the statutes of the Christmas Island Act and the Citizenship Act. In 1994 an unofficial referendum, responding in part to Australian plans to abolish the island's duty-free status, rejected secession but supported strengthened local controls. A small hospital on the island provides for medical and dental care. Primary and secondary education is based on an Australian curriculum. The island has an airfield used for weekly charter flights, roads, and a railway for transporting phosphate from the southern plateau to the port on Flying Fish Cove. Pop. (2001) Territory of Christmas Island, statistical local area, 1,446.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Christmas Island —   [ krɪsməs aɪlənd, englisch], Weihnachtsinsel,    1) früherer Name der Insel Kiritimati.    2) vulkanische Insel südlich von Java im Indischen Ozean, 135 km2, 2 600 Einwohner (Chinesen, Inder, Malaien, Europäer); Phosphatabbau; Hauptort und… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Christmas Island — 1. island in the Indian Ocean, south of Java: a territory of Australia: 52 sq mi (135 sq km); pop. 1,300 2. KIRITIMATI …   English World dictionary

  • Christmas Island — (spr. krißmäß eiländ), Name zweier Inseln, s.v.w. Weihnachtsinsel (s.d.) …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Christmas Island — This article is about the Australian territory in the Indian Ocean. For other uses, see Christmas Island (disambiguation). Territory of Christmas Island …   Wikipedia

  • Christmas Island — <p></p> <p></p> Introduction ::Christmas Island <p></p> Background: <p></p> Named in 1643 for the day of its discovery, the island was annexed and settlement began by the UK in 1888 with the… …   The World Factbook

  • Christmas Island — Territory of Christmas Island, island in the Indian Ocean which is under Australian rule …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Christmas Island — Weihnachtsinsel (engl.: Christmas Island) ist der Name mehrerer Inseln: Weihnachtsinsel (Australien) Kiritimati (Kiribati) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Christmas Island National Park — IUCN Category II (National Park) Nearest town/city Flying Fish Cove Coordinates …   Wikipedia

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  • Christmas Island Airport — IATA: XCH – ICAO: YPXM Summary Airport type Public Operator PDL Toll Location …   Wikipedia

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