Clipperton Island facts on every entity in the world

This isolated atoll was named for John CLIPPERTON, a pirate who was rumored to have made it his hideout early in the 18th century. Annexed by France in 1855 and claimed by the United States, it was seized by Mexico in 1897. Arbitration eventually awarded the island to France in 1931, which took possession in 1935.



Middle America, atoll in the North Pacific Ocean, 1,120 km southwest of Mexico

Geographic coordinates

10.17° N, 109.13° W

Area 247/257

total: 6 sq km

land: 6 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative

about 12 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC

Land boundaries

0 km


11.1 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


tropical; humid, average temperature 20-32 degrees Celsius, wet season (May to October)


coral atoll


mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point: Rocher Clipperton 29 m

Natural resources


Land use

agricultural land: 0%

arable land 0%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 0%

forest: 0%

other: 100% (all coral) (2011 est.)

Natural hazards


Environment - current issues


Geography - note

the atoll reef is approximately 12 km (7.5 mi) in circumference; an effort to colonize the atoll in the early 20th century ended in disaster and was abandoned in 1917

People and Society




Country name

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Clipperton Island

local long form: none

local short form: Ile Clipperton

former: sometimes referred to as Ile de la Passion or Atoll Clipperton

etymology: named after an 18th century English pirate who supposedly used the island as a base

Legal system

the laws of France apply

Flag description

the flag of France is used


Economy - overview

Although 115 species of fish have been identified in the territorial waters of Clipperton Island, the only economic activity is tuna fishing.


Ports and terminals

none; offshore anchorage only

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international