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Cook Islands

Cook Islands (Australia-Oceania)

Introduction ::Cook Islands

Background:

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 and government deficits are continuing problems.

Geography ::Cook Islands

Location:

Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about half way between Hawaii and New Zealand

Geographic coordinates:
21 14 S, 159 46 W

Map references:

Oceania

Area:

total: 236 sq km country comparison to the world: 214 land: 236 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:

1.3 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:

0 km

Coastline:

120 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

Climate:

tropical oceanic; moderated by trade winds; a dry season from April to November and a more humid season from December to March

Terrain:

low coral atolls in north; volcanic, hilly islands in south

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point: Te Manga 652 m

Natural resources:
NEGL

Land use:

arable land: 16.67%

permanent crops: 8.33%

other: 75% (2005)

Irrigated land:
NA

Natural hazards:

typhoons (November to March)

Environment - current issues:
NA

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection

Geography - note:

the northern Cook Islands are seven low-lying, sparsely populated, coral atolls; the southern Cook Islands, where most of the population lives, consist of eight elevated, fertile, volcanic isles, including the largest, Rarotonga, at 67 sq km

People ::Cook Islands

Population:

11,488 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 223

Age structure:

0-14 years: 27.1% (male 1,704/female 1,508)

15-64 years: 63.7% (male 3,898/female 3,664)

65 years and over: 9.2% (male 540/female 556) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 31.2 years

male: 30.5 years

female: 31.9 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

-3.256% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 231

Birth rate:

15.67 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 132

Death rate:

7.22 deaths/1,000 population NA country comparison to the world: 127

Urbanization:

urban population: 74% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: -0.7% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.046 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.13 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.07 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.96 male(s)/female

total population: 1.07 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 16.33 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 116 male: 19.88 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 12.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 74.47 years country comparison to the world: 94 male: 71.69 years

female: 77.38 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2.43 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 95

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA

Nationality:

noun: Cook Islander(s)

adjective: Cook Islander

Ethnic groups:

Cook Island Maori (Polynesian) 87.7%, part Cook Island Maori 5.8%, other 6.5% (2001 census)

Religions:

Cook Islands Christian Church 55.9%, Roman Catholic 16.8%,
Seventh-Day Adventists 7.9%, Church of Latter Day Saints 3.8%, other
Protestant 5.8%, other 4.2%, unspecified 2.6%, none 3% (2001 census)

Languages:

English (official), Maori

Literacy:

definition: NA

total population: 95%

male: NA

female: NA

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 10 years

male: 10 years

female: 10 years (2005)

Education expenditures:

0.2% of GDP (2001) country comparison to the world: 186

People - note:

2001 census counted a resident population of 15,017

Government ::Cook Islands

Country name:

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Cook Islands

former: Harvey Islands

Dependency status:

self-governing in free association with New Zealand; Cook Islands is fully responsible for internal affairs; New Zealand retains responsibility for external affairs and defense in consultation with the Cook Islands

Government type:

self-governing parliamentary democracy

Capital:

name: Avarua

geographic coordinates: 21 12 S, 159 46 W

time difference: UTC-10 (5 hours behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

none

Independence:

none (became self-governing in free association with New Zealand on 4 August 1965 and has the right at any time to move to full independence by unilateral action)

National holiday:

Constitution Day, first Monday in August (1965)

Constitution:

4 August 1965

Legal system:

based on New Zealand law and English common law

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal (adult)

Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952) represented by Sir Frederick GOODWIN (since 9 February 2001); New Zealand High Commissioner Linda TE PUNI (since 3 June 2010)

head of government: Prime Minister Henry PUNA (since 30 November 2010)

cabinet: Cabinet chosen by the prime minister; collectively responsible to Parliament (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: the monarchy is hereditary; the UK representative appointed by the monarch; the New Zealand high commissioner appointed by the New Zealand Government; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition usually becomes prime minister

Legislative branch:

bicameral Parliament consists of a House of Ariki, or upper house, made up of traditional leaders and a Legislative Assembly, or lower house, (24 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

note: the House of Ariki advises on traditional matters and maintains considerable influence but has no legislative powers

elections: last held on 17 November 2010 (next to be held by 2014)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CIP 16, Demo 8

Judicial branch:

High Court

Political parties and leaders:

Cook Islands Party or CIP [Henry PUNA]; Democratic Party or Demo
[Dr. Terepai MAOATE]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Reform Conference (lobby for political system changes)

other: various groups lobbying for political change

International organization participation:

ACP, ADB, AOSIS, FAO, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IFAD, IFRCS, IMO, IMSO, IOC,
ITUC, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WMO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

none (self-governing in free association with New Zealand)

Diplomatic representation from the US:

none (self-governing in free association with New Zealand)

Flag description:

blue, with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and a large circle of 15 white five-pointed stars (one for every island) centered in the outer half of the flag

National anthem:

name: "Te Atua Mou E" (To God Almighty)

lyrics/music: Tepaeru Te RITO/Thomas DAVIS

note: adopted 1982; as prime minister, Sir Thomas DAVIS composed the anthem; his wife, a tribal chief, wrote the lyrics

Economy ::Cook Islands

Economy - overview:

Like many other South Pacific island nations, the Cook Islands' economic development is hindered by the isolation of the country from foreign markets, the limited size of domestic markets, lack of natural resources, periodic devastation from natural disasters, and inadequate infrastructure. Agriculture, employing more than one-quarter of the working population, provides the economic base with major exports made up of copra and citrus fruit. Black pearls are the Cook Islands' leading export. Manufacturing activities are limited to fruit processing, clothing, and handicrafts. Trade deficits are offset by remittances from emigrants and by foreign aid overwhelmingly from New Zealand. In the 1980s and 1990s, the country lived beyond its means, maintaining a bloated public service and accumulating a large foreign debt. Subsequent reforms, including the sale of state assets, the strengthening of economic management, the encouragement of tourism, and a debt restructuring agreement, have rekindled investment and growth.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$183.2 million (2005 est.) country comparison to the world: 216

GDP (official exchange rate):

$183.2 million (2005 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

0.1% (2005 est.) country comparison to the world: 189

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$9,100 (2005 est.) country comparison to the world: 116

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 15.1%

industry: 9.6%

services: 75.3% (2004)

Labor force:

6,820 (2001) country comparison to the world: 217

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 29%

industry: 15%

services: 56% (1995)

Unemployment rate:

13.1% (2005) country comparison to the world: 138

Population below poverty line:
NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2.1% (2005 est.) country comparison to the world: 59

Agriculture - products:

copra, citrus, pineapples, tomatoes, beans, pawpaws, bananas, yams, taro, coffee; pigs, poultry

Industries:

fruit processing, tourism, fishing, clothing, handicrafts

Industrial production growth rate:

1% (2002) country comparison to the world: 145

Electricity - production:

31 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 201

Electricity - consumption:

28.83 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 201

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 194

Oil - consumption:

1,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 199

Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 145

Oil - imports:

495 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 197

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 190

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 182

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 194

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 184

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 186

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 190

Current account balance:

$26.67 million (2005) country comparison to the world: 57

Exports:

$5.222 million (2005) country comparison to the world: 216

Exports - commodities:

copra, papayas, fresh and canned citrus fruit, coffee; fish; pearls and pearl shells; clothing

Imports:

$81.04 million (2005) country comparison to the world: 211

Imports - commodities:

foodstuffs, textiles, fuels, timber, capital goods

Debt - external:

$141 million (1996 est.) country comparison to the world: 178

Exchange rates:

NZ dollars (NZD) per US dollar - 1.4015 (2009), 1.4151 (2008), 1.3811 (2007), 1.5408 (2006)

Communications ::Cook Islands

Telephones - main lines in use:

6,900 (2009) country comparison to the world: 208

Telephones - mobile cellular:

7,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 211

Telephone system:

general assessment: Telecom Cook Islands offers international direct dialing, Internet, email, fax, and Telex

domestic: individual islands are connected by a combination of satellite earth stations, microwave systems, and VHF and HF radiotelephone; within the islands, service is provided by small exchanges connected to subscribers by open-wire, cable, and fiber-optic cable

international: country code - 682; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Broadcast media:

1 privately-owned TV station broadcasts from Rarotonga providing a mix of local news and overseas-sourced programs; a satellite program package is available; 6 radio stations broadcast with 1 reportedly reaching all of the islands (2009)

Internet country code:

.ck

Internet hosts:

2,521 (2010) country comparison to the world: 150

Internet users:

6,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 204

Transportation ::Cook Islands

Airports:

10 (2010) country comparison to the world: 157

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 9

1,524 to 2,437 m: 2

914 to 1,523 m: 5

under 914 m: 2 (2010)

Roadways:

total: 320 km country comparison to the world: 203 paved: 33 km

unpaved: 287 km (2003)

Merchant marine:

total: 34 country comparison to the world: 82 by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 27, passenger 1, refrigerated cargo 5

foreign-owned: 23 (Egypt 1, Germany 1, Latvia 1, Lithuania 2, former Netherlands Antilles 1, Norway 6, NZ 1, Russia 1, Sweden 3, Turkey 4, UK 2) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Avatiu

Military ::Cook Islands

Military branches:

no regular military forces; National Police Department (2009)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 2,272

females age 16-49: 2,222 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 136

female: 115 (2010 est.)

Military - note:

defense is the responsibility of New Zealand in consultation with the Cook Islands and at its request

Transnational Issues ::Cook Islands

Disputes - international:

none

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