Norfolk Island

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Two British attempts at establishing the island as a penal colony (1788-1814 and 1825-55) were ultimately abandoned. In 1856, the island was resettled by Pitcairn Islanders, descendants of the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian companions.

Geography

Location

Oceania, island in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Australia

Geographic coordinates

29.02° S, 167.57° E

Area 235/257

total: 36 sq km

land: 36 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative

about 0.2 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries

0 km

Coastline

32 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm

Climate

subtropical; mild, little seasonal temperature variation

Terrain

volcanic island with mostly rolling plains

Elevation

mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point: Mount Bates 319 m

Natural resources

fish

Land use

agricultural land: 25%

arable land 0%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 25%

forest: 11.5%

other: 63.5% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

0 sq km (2012)

Natural hazards

typhoons (especially May to July)

Environment - current issues

NA

Geography - note

most of the 32 km coastline consists of almost inaccessible cliffs, but the land slopes down to the sea in one small southern area on Sydney Bay, where the capital of Kingston is situated

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Norfolk Islander(s)

adjective: Norfolk Islander(s)

Ethnic groups

Australian 79.5%, New Zealander 13.3%, Fijian 2.5%, Filipino 1.1%, English 1%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.8% (2011 est.)

Languages

English (official) 67.6%, other 32.4% (includes Norfolk Island 23.7%, which is a mixture of 18th century English and ancient Tahitian) (2011 est.)

Religions

Protestant 49.6% (Anglican 31.8%, Uniting Church in Australia 10.6%, Seventh-Day Adventist 3.2%), Roman Catholic 11.7%, other 8.6%, none 23.5%, unspecified 6.6% (2011 est.)

Population 231/238

2,210 (July 2014 est.)

Population growth rate 194/233

0.01% (2014 est.)

Sex ratio

NA

Infant mortality rate

total: NA

male: NA

female: NA

Life expectancy at birth

total population: NA

male: NA

female: NA

Total fertility rate

NA

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths

NA

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Territory of Norfolk Island

conventional short form: Norfolk Island

etymology: named by British explorer Captain James COOK after Mary HOWARD, Duchess of Norfolk, in 1774

Government type

NA

Capital

name: Kingston

geographic coordinates: 29.03° S, 167.58° E

time difference: UTC+11.5 (16.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

none (territory of Australia)

Independence

none (territory of Australia)

National holiday

Bounty Day (commemorates the arrival of Pitcairn Islanders), 8 June (1856)

Constitution

previous 1913, 1957; latest effective 7 August 1979; amended many times, last in 2015 (2015)

Legal system

English common law and the laws of Australia

Citizenship

see Australia

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by the Australian governor general

head of government: Administrator Gary HARDGRAVE (since 1 July 2014)

cabinet: Executive Council consists of 4 Legislative Assembly members

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; administrator appointed by the governor general of Australia for a 2-year term and represents the monarch and Australia

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Regional Council (structure to be determined); interim Advisory Council effective 1 July 2015

elections: elections for the new Regional Council will occur in early 2016

election results: interim Advisory Council seats - 5 (appointed)

note: following an adminstrative restructuring of local government, the Legislative Assembly was dissolved on 18 June 2015 to be replaced by an interim Norfolk Island Advisory Council effective 1 July 2015; the Advisory Council will consist of 5 members appointed by the Norfolk Island administrator based on nominations from the community; following elections in early 2016, the new Regional Council will commence operations on 1 July 2016

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court of Norfolk Island (consists of the chief justice and NA justices); note - appeals beyond the Supreme Court of Norfolk Island are heard by the Federal Court of Australia

judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the governor general of Australia from among justices of the Federal Court of Australia; justices serve until mandatory retirement at age 70

subordinate courts: Petty Court of Sessions; specialized courts including a Coroner's Court and the Employment Tribunal

Political parties and leaders

Norfolk Island Labor Party [Mike KELLY]

Norfolk Liberals [John BROWN]

Political pressure groups and leaders

none

International organization participation

UPU

Flag description

three vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and green with a large green Norfolk Island pine tree centered in the slightly wider white band; green stands for the rich vegetation on the island, and the pine tree - endemic to the island - is a symbol of Norfolk Island

note: somewhat reminiscent of the flag of Canada with its use of only two colors and depiction of a prominent local floral symbol in the central white band; also resembles the green and white triband of Nigeria

National symbol(s)

Norfolk Island pine

National anthem

name: "Come Ye Blessed"

lyrics/music: New Testament/John Prindle SCOTT

note: the local anthem, whose lyrics consist of the words from Matthew 25:34-36, 40, is also known as "The Pitcairn Anthem;" as a territory of Australia, "God Save the Queen" is official (see Australia); however, the island does not recognize "Advance Australia Fair"

Economy

Economy - overview

Norfolk Island is suffering from a severe economic downturn. Tourism, the primary economic activity, is the main driver of economic growth. The agricultural sector has become self sufficient in the production of beef, poultry, and eggs.

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$NA

Agriculture - products

Norfolk Island pine seed, Kentia palm seed, cereals, vegetables, fruit; cattle, poultry

Industries

tourism, light industry, ready mixed concrete

Labor force 230/233

978 (2006)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 6%

industry: 14%

services: 80% (2006 est.)

Budget

revenues: $4.6 million

expenditures: $4.8 million (FY99/00)

Fiscal year

1 July - 30 June

Exports

$NA

Exports - commodities

postage stamps, seeds of the Norfolk Island pine and Kentia palm, small quantities of avocados

Imports

$NA

Imports - commodities

NA

Debt - external

$NA

Exchange rates

Australian dollars (AUD) per US dollar -

1.33 (2015)

1.04 (2013)

1.04 (2013)

0.97 (2012)

0.97 (2011)

Communications

Telephone system

general assessment: adequate

domestic: free local calls

international: country code - 672; submarine cable links with Australia and New Zealand; satellite earth station - 1

Broadcast media

1 local radio station; broadcasts of several Australian radio and TV stations available via satellite (2009)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 1, FM 3, shortwave 0 (2005)

Television broadcast stations

1 (local programming station plus 2 repeaters that air Australian programs by satellite) (2005)

Internet country code

.nf

Internet hosts 204/232

128 (2012)

Transportation

Airports 229/236

1 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)

Roadways 217/223

total: 80 km

paved: 53 km

unpaved: 27 km (2008)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Kingston

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

none