Facts File

10 Random Facts About Nauru You Should Know

Facts about Nauru
Nauru construction group shot | Photo credit: canstruct.com.au

The capital of Nauru is Yaren District.  The island covers an area of some 13 square miles or 27 square kilometers.  The island is high above sea level with very steep cliffs dropping far down to the ocean sides.  This is said to make anchorage difficult for ships. Here are ten random facts about Nauru.

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The people of Nauru are so friendly and the vegetation so lush that the first European visitors called Nauru the "Pleasant Island."  The island is single, almost circular, lying 60 kilometers south of the equator.

Population: 10,084 (2011)

Capital:  Yaren District

Currency: Australian dollar

President: Baron Waqa

Speaker of the Parliament: Ludwig Scotty

Continent: Oceania

Government: Non-partisan democracy, parliamentary republic

Official Languages: Nauru an, English

 

10 Random Facts About Nauru

 

1. PRIVATE DICTIONARY

Writing a dictionary is a herculean task. Now, there are only two major languages spoken on Nauru: Nauru an and English.  With a population of only 10,000, is it not amazing that currently, they are in the process of writing their own dictionary.

2. ENGLISH POPULAR

If everyone else on Nauru speaks the indigenous major language (Nauru an), it is not stated.  However, it is "estimated" that every Nauru an speaks the English language!  So if they all also speak the native language, then it means all Nauruans are bilingual.

3. CITIZENSHIP ISSUE

Nauru an citizenship is not easy to get.  Only children born by a Nauru an mother is automatically a citizen.  One of a Nauru an father but a mother of another nationality does not enjoy this automatic status.  The Nauruan father must first seek permission to have his child registered.

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4. HIGH FOOD IMPORTATION

Mining has negatively affected the island to the level that farming or agricultural practice on the island yields next to nothing.  Very little food is produced locally.  Almost all foods are imported.  The only thing not imported is fish..

5. CAUSE OF MOST DEATHS

It is against the law to drink and then drive on Nauru.  But this law is hardly enforced.  And the effect is disastrous.  This can be seen in the records showing causes of death on the island.  Leading cause of death on the island of Nauru is drunk-driving especially by the youth.

6. INCOME FROM DETENTION

Sitting on the 6th position on facts about Nauru, since 2013, Australia has sent all asylum seekers arriving by boat into detention on Nauru and Papua New Guinea.  This arrangement has served as a major source of income for Nauru.  It is also a major source of employment for Nauru.  Meanwhile, all convicted criminals from Nauru are sent to prison in Australia by arrangement.

7. WOMEN INFLUENTIAL

The Nauru an society is matrilineal.  Through the matrilineal social system, the women wield a lot of power.  Thus, as the men take up appointments in government, women lead from the background. It is important to know that inheritance is also through the matrilineal system.

8. WOMEN HEAD FAMILIES

Being matrilineal, the woman is usually the head of the family.  Therefore, in a household, the decision making process is overseen by the mother.  Sometimes such decisions do not require or even make room for imputes from the father.

9. ONLY WOMEN BEQUEATH

Through the matrilineal system, property inheritance can be enjoyed by both male and female.  But that is where it stops for the males.  Males cannot pass on their inheritance to their offspring.  Only the females can pass on their inheritance on to their children.

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10. UNATTRACTIVE?

Nauru was described by the first European visitors as the "Pleasant Island."  Tourism records of today seem to be indicating otherwise.  Today, records show that Nauru is the least visited island country in the world.  In 2011, only 200 tourists went there.

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