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The World Factbook 2002

         
  Cook Islands  
Flag of Cook Islands
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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
  Government
  Economy
  Communications
  Transportation
  Military
  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.


This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


Map of Cook Islands

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Cook Islands
Background:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
21 14 S, 159 46 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Oceania
Area:
Definition Field Listing
total: 240 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 240 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
1.3 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
120 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin
territorial sea: 12 NM
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical; moderated by trade winds
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
low coral atolls in north; volcanic, hilly islands in south
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Te Manga 652 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
NEGL
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 17%
permanent crops: 13%
other: 70% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
NA sq km
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
typhoons (November to March)
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
the northern Cook Islands are seven low-lying, sparsely populated, coral atolls; the southern Cook Islands consist of eight elevated, fertile, volcanic isles where most of the populace lives
   People    Cook Islands
Population:
Definition Field Listing
20,811 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: NA%
15-64 years: NA%
65 years and over: NA%
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA births/1,000 population
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA deaths/1,000 population
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: NA years
male: NA years
female: NA years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA children born/woman
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Cook Islander(s)
adjective: Cook Islander
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Polynesian (full blood) 81.3%, Polynesian and European 7.7%, Polynesian and non-European 7.7%, European 2.4%, other 0.9%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Christian (majority of populace are members of the Cook Islands Christian Church)
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
English (official), Maori
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: NA
total population: 95%
male: NA%
female: NA%
   Government    Cook Islands
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Cook Islands
former: Harvey Islands
Dependency status:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
self-governing parliamentary democracy
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Avarua
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
none
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
Constitution Day, first Monday in August (1965)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
4 August 1965
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on New Zealand law and English common law
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
NA years of age; universal adult
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Frederick GOODWIN (since NA); New Zealand High Commissioner Kurt MEYER (since NA), representative of New Zealand
note: on 12 February 2002, Prime Minister Terepai MAOATE was ousted following a vote of no-confidence; a four-party coalition is the third government since 1999
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; the UK representative is appointed by the monarch; the New Zealand high commissioner is appointed by the New Zealand Government; following legislative elections, the leader of the party that wins the most seats usually becomes prime minister
head of government: Prime Minister Dr. Robert WOONTON (since 12 February 2002); Deputy Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey HENRY (since 12 February 2002)
cabinet: Cabinet chosen by the prime minister; collectively responsible to Parliament
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral Parliament (25 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held NA June 1999 (next to be held by NA 2004)
note: the House of Ariki (chiefs) advises on traditional matters and maintains considerable influence, but has no legislative powers
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - CIP 12, DAP 12, NAP 1
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
High Court
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Cook Islands People's Party or CIP [Geoffrey HENRY]; Democratic Alliance Party or DAP [Terepai MAOATE]; New Alliance Party or NAP [Norman GEORGE]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACP, AsDB, ESCAP (associate), FAO, ICAO, ICFTU, IFAD, IFRCS (associate), IOC, OPCW, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UNESCO, WHO, WMO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
none (self-governing in free association with New Zealand)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
none (self-governing in free association with New Zealand)
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
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
   Economy    Cook Islands
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
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 provides the economic base with major exports made up of copra and citrus fruit. 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:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $105 million (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $5,000 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 17%
industry: 7.8%
services: 75.2% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing
3.2% (2000 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
8,000 (1996)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 29%, industry 15%, services 56%
note: shortage of skilled labor (1995)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
13% (1996)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $28 million
expenditures: $27 million, including capital expenditures of $3.3 million (FY00/01 est.)
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
fruit processing, tourism, fishing
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
24 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
22.32 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
copra, citrus, pineapples, tomatoes, beans, pawpaws, bananas, yams, taro, coffee; pigs, poultry
Exports:
Definition Field Listing
$9.1 million (f.o.b., 2000)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
copra, papayas, fresh and canned citrus fruit, coffee; fish; pearls and pearl shells; clothing
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Australia 34%, Japan 27%, New Zealand 25%, US 8% (2000)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing
$50.7 million (c.i.f., 2000)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
foodstuffs, textiles, fuels, timber, capital goods
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
NZ 61%, Fiji 19%, US 9%, Australia 6%, Japan 2% (2000)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$141 million (1996 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$13.1 million (1995); note - New Zealand continues to furnish the greater part
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
New Zealand dollar (NZD)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
NZD
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
New Zealand dollars per US dollar - 2.3535 (January 2002), 2.3776 (2001), 2.1863 (2000), 1.8886 (1999), 1.8632 (1998), 1.5083 (1997)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 April - 31 March
   Communications    Cook Islands
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
5,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
0 (1994)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: NA
domestic: the 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: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios:
Definition Field Listing
14,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
2 (plus eight low-power repeaters) (1997)
Televisions:
Definition Field Listing
4,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.ck
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
3 (2000)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
NA
   Transportation    Cook Islands
Railways:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Highways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 320 km (1992)
paved: NA
unpaved: NA
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
none
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Avarua, Avatiu
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
7 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2001)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2001)
   Military    Cook Islands
Military - note:
Definition Field Listing
defense is the responsibility of New Zealand, in consultation with the Cook Islands and at its request
   Transnational Issues    Cook Islands
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
none

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


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