Title: The Republic of Kiribati

Population: 113,001

Population Change: 1.57

National Average Age: 23

Urban Percentage: 57

Christian Population: 0

Christian Percentage:

Introduction: Kiribati an island republic in the Central Pacific comprises 33 coral atolls and isles stretching along the equator. With lagoons and white-sand beaches many of its islands are uninhabited offering a remote setting for fishing diving and bird-watching. The crowded capital South Tarawa made up of small islets retains remnants of WWII battles fought on its shores and is known for folk dancing and handicrafts.

Overview: The Gilbert Islands became a British protectorate in 1892 and a colony in 1915; they were captured by the Japanese in the Pacific War in 1941. The islands of Makin and Tarawa were the sites of major US amphibious victories over entrenched Japanese garrisons in 1943. The Gilbert Islands were granted self-rule by the UK in 1971 and complete independence in 1979 under the new name of Kiribati. The US relinquished all claims to the sparsely inhabited Phoenix and Line Island groups in a 1979 treaty of friendship with Kiribati.