The Republic of Kiribati is made up of three main island groups: The Gilbert, Phoenix and Line Islands and one isolated raised limestone island, Banaba (Ocean Island). The groups of islands contain 33 scattered atoll islands, dispersed over 3.5 million square kilometers in the central Pacific Ocean. The three main island groups stretch over 800 kilometers from north to south and over 3,210 kilometers from east to west. The Kiribati 2010 census determined that the total population was 103,058. Almost 50% of the population lives in the capital of South Tarawa (in the Gilbert Islands).
The climate of Kiribati is hot and humid year around. This tropical climate is closely related to the temperature of the oceans surrounding the atolls and small islands. However, its seasonal rainfall is highly variable from year to year, mostly due to the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Kiribati has a vast ocean territory and the coutry is limited in its land area and terrestrial resources. The public sector dominates Kiribati’s economy. It provides two-thirds of all formal sector employment and accounts for almost 50% of gross domestic product. Kiribati is highly exposed to external economic shocks, particularly surges in food and fuel commodity prices, due to its limited revenue base and high dependency on imports.
Kiribati is categorised by the United Nations as both a ‘Small Island Developing State’ (SIDS) and a ‘Least Developed Country’ (LDC).
For NDMO contacts, visit the Kiribati country page on the Pacific Climate Change portal.