Population: 17,479

Population Change:

National Average Age:

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Christian Population: 0

Christian Percentage:

Introduction: The Cook Islands is a nation in the South Pacific with political links to New Zealand. Its 15 islands are scattered over a vast area. The largest island Rarotonga is home to rugged mountains and Avarua the national capital. To the north Aitutaki Island has a vast lagoon encircled by coral reefs and small sandy islets. The country is renowned for its many snorkeling and scuba-diving sites.

Overview: Named after Captain COOK who sighted them in 1770 the islands became a British protectorate in 1888. By 1900 administrative control was transferred to New Zealand; in 1965 residents chose self-government in free association with New Zealand. The emigration of skilled workers to New Zealand government deficits and limited natural resources are of continuing concern.