Key Country Facts
There is an island called Pleasant Island in Alaska. Some people have confused the two due to Nauru’s former name!
Top Export: phosphate
Formerly called Pleasant Island, Nauru is a phosphate island country in Micronesia that gained independence in 1968. The capital is Yaren. About 10,000 people live here (2011), though with immigration, there may be more. The official languages are Nauran and English, and the main religion is Christianity. Its primary export is phosphate which is easily mined from the surface land. It also makes money from coconut goods and, for a few years, by (not necessarily legally) being a tax haven when many mining areas ran low on phosphate resources. The weather is tropical with a wet and dry season. The time zone is 17 hours ahead of EST.
An interesting fact about Nauru is that it is a dumping ground for Australian refugees. They get sent there for processing but many are never resettled, so they end up staying. Even today, there is controversy about illegal immigrants being transported to Nauru. Also interesting is that Nauru was once owned by the Nauru Phosphate Corporation, which made huge profits – so at one point, Nauru had one of the highest living standards in the Pacific. Today, the country is virtually bankrupt.
Something really bizarre about Nauru is that the mining actually makes several parts look like the moon’s landscape. Many travelers will explore old phosphate mines to see the lunar-like surface.
Fun aside: There is an island called Pleasant Island in Alaska. Some people have confused the two due to Nauru’s former name.