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Pitcairn Islands

Pitcairn Islands (Australia-Oceania)

Introduction ::Pitcairn Islands


Pitcairn Island was discovered in 1767 by the British and settled in 1790 by the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian companions. Pitcairn was the first Pacific island to become a British colony (in 1838) and today remains the last vestige of that empire in the South Pacific. Outmigration, primarily to New Zealand, has thinned the population from a peak of 233 in 1937 to less than 50 today.

Geography ::Pitcairn Islands

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Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about midway between
Peru and New Zealand

Geographic coordinates:
25 04 S, 130 06 W

Map references:



total: 47 sq km country comparison to the world: 233 land: 47 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:

about 0.3 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:

0 km


51 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 3 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

My Pitcairn Island Stamp Collection Page 2


tropical; hot and humid; modified by southeast trade winds; rainy season (November to March)


rugged volcanic formation; rocky coastline with cliffs

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point: Big Ridge 347 m

Natural resources:

miro trees (used for handicrafts), fish

note: manganese, iron, copper, gold, silver, and zinc have been discovered offshore

Land use:

arable land: NA

permanent crops: NA

other: NA

Irrigated land:

Natural hazards:

typhoons (especially November to March)

Environment - current issues:

deforestation (only a small portion of the original forest remains because of burning and clearing for settlement)

Geography - note:

Britain's most isolated dependency; only the larger island of Pitcairn is inhabited but it has no port or natural harbor; supplies must be transported by rowed longboat from larger ships stationed offshore

People ::Pitcairn Islands


48 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 238

Age structure:

0-14 years: NA

15-64 years: NA

65 years and over: NA (2009 est.)

Population growth rate:

0% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 198

Birth rate:

Death rate:

Net migration rate:


urban population: 0% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 0% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

Infant mortality rate:

total: NA

male: NA

female: NA

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: NA

male: NA

female: NA

Total fertility rate:

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

HIV/AIDS - deaths:


noun: Pitcairn Islander(s)

adjective: Pitcairn Islander

Ethnic groups:

descendants of the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian wives


Seventh-Day Adventist 100%


English (official), Pitkern (mixture of an 18th century English dialect and a Tahitian dialect)


Government ::Pitcairn Islands

Country name:

conventional long form: Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie, and Oeno Islands

conventional short form: Pitcairn Islands

Dependency status:

overseas territory of the UK

Government type:


name: Adamstown

geographic coordinates: 25 04 S, 130 05 W

time difference: UTC-9 (4 hours behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

none (overseas territory of the UK)


none (overseas territory of the UK)

National holiday:

Birthday of Queen ELIZABETH II, second Saturday in June (1926)


The Pitcairn Constitution Order 2010, effective 4 March 2010

Legal system:

local island by-laws


18 years of age; universal with three years residency

Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by UK High Commissioner to New Zealand and Governor (nonresident) of the Pitcairn Islands George FERGUSSON (since April 2006); Commissioner (nonresident) Leslie JAQUES (since September 2003) serves as liaison between the governor and the Island Council

head of government: Governor George FERGUSSON (since April 2006); Mayor and Chairman of the Island Council Mike WARREN (since 1 January 2008)

cabinet: NA (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor and commissioner appointed by the monarch; island mayor elected by popular vote for a three-year term; election last held in December 2007 (next to be held in December 2010)

election results: Mike WARREN elected mayor and chairman of the Island Council

Legislative branch:

unicameral Island Council (11 seats; mayor, deputy mayor, 4 members elected by popular vote, 1 member appointed by the governor, 3 ex officio members including governor, deputy governor, and commissioner; deputy mayor and elected members serve two-year terms)

elections: last held on 24 December 2009 (next to be held on 24 December 2011)

election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - all independents

Judicial branch:

Magistrate's Court; Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; judicial officers are appointed by the governor

Political parties and leaders:


Political pressure groups and leaders:


International organization participation:

Diplomatic representation in the US:

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Diplomatic representation from the US:

none (overseas territory of the UK)

Flag description:

blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Pitcairn Islander coat of arms centered on the outer half of the flag; the green, yellow, and blue of the shield represents the island rising from the ocean; the green field features a yellow anchor surmounted by a bible (both the anchor and the bible were items found on the HMS Bounty); sitting on the crest is a Pitcairn Island wheelbarrow from which springs a slip of miro (a local plant)

National anthem:

name: "We From Pitcairn Island"

lyrics/music: unknown/Frederick M. LEHMAN

note: serves as a local anthem; as a territory of the United Kingdom, "God Save the Queen" is official (see United Kingdom)

Economy ::Pitcairn Islands

Economy - overview:

The inhabitants of this tiny isolated economy exist on fishing, subsistence farming, handicrafts, and postage stamps. The fertile soil of the valleys produces a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including citrus, sugarcane, watermelons, bananas, yams, and beans. Bartering is an important part of the economy. The major sources of revenue are the sale of postage stamps to collectors and the sale of handicrafts to passing ships. In October 2004, more than one-quarter of Pitcairn's small labor force was arrested, putting the economy in a bind, since their services were required as lighter crew to load or unload passing ships.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

Labor force:

15 able-bodied men (2004) country comparison to the world: 229

Labor force - by occupation:

note: no business community in the usual sense; some public works; subsistence farming and fishing

Agriculture - products:

honey; wide variety of fruits and vegetables; goats, chickens, fish


postage stamps, handicrafts, beekeeping, honey

Electricity - production:

NA kWh; note - electric power is provided by a small diesel-powered generator


Exports - commodities:

fruits, vegetables, curios, stamps


Imports - commodities:

fuel oil, machinery, building materials, flour, sugar, other foodstuffs

Exchange rates:

New Zealand dollars (NZD) per US dollar - 1.4015 (2010), 1.6002 (2009), 1.4151 (2008), 1.3811 (2007), 1.5408 (2006)

Communications ::Pitcairn Islands

Telephones - main lines in use:

1 (there are 17 telephones on one party line); (2004) country comparison to the world: 230

Telephone system:

general assessment: satellite phone services

domestic: domestic communication via radio (CB)

international: country code - 872; satellite earth station - 1 (Inmarsat)

Broadcast media:

no local broadcast television or radio stations (2009)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

20 (2010) country comparison to the world: 218

Transportation ::Pitcairn Islands

Ports and terminals:

Adamstown (on Bounty Bay)

Military ::Pitcairn Islands

Military - note:

defense is the responsibility of the UK

Transnational Issues ::Pitcairn Islands

Disputes - international:



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