General: Named after Captain Cook who discovered them in 1770, the islands became a British protectorate in 1888. By 1900 administrative control had been transferred to New Zealand; in 1965 the inhabitants chose a form of self-government in free association with New Zealand. According to 800ZIPCODES, the problems of emigration of skilled labor to New Zealand and the state budget deficit persist.
Location: Oceania, a group of islands in the South Pacific, about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand.
Geographic coordinates: 21° 14’S latitude, 159° 46′ W
Reference map: Oceania.
Area: total: 240 sq. km.; land surface area: 240 km2; water surface area: 0 km2
Comparative area: 1.3 times the area of Washington, DC.
Land borders: 0 km.
Coastline: 120 km.
Maritime claims: continental shelf: 200 nautical miles or to the outer limits of the continent; exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: tropical, moderated by trade winds.
Terrain: low coral atolls in the north; volcanic hilly islands in the south.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m; highest point: Mount Te Manga 652 m.
Natural resources: negligible.
Land use: arable land: 9%; cultivated land: 13%; pasture: 0%; forests and plantations: 0%; others: 78% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: no data.
Natural Hazards: Typhoons (November to March).
Current environmental issues: no data available.
International agreements on environmental protection: member: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Law of the Sea; signed but not ratified: Kyoto Protocol.
Note to the section “Geography”:
Population: 20,611 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: up to 14 years: no data; from 15 to 64 years: no data; over 65 years: no data.
Population growth: 1.6% (2000 est.).
Birth rate: 22.18 newborns / 1000 people. (2000 est.).
Mortality: 5.2 deaths / 1000 people. (2000 est.).
Migration: -0.99 people / 1000 people (2000 est.).
Child mortality: 24.7 deaths/1000 live births (2000 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 71.14 years; men: 69.2 years; women: 73.1 years (2000 est.).
General birth rate: 3.14 children/wives. (2000 est.).
Proportion of the adult population infected with HIV: no data available.
Number of people infected with HIV: no data.
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: Cook Islander; adjective: pertaining to the Cook Islands.
Ethnic groups: Polynesian (Pureblood) 81.3%, Polynesian and European ancestry 7.7%, Polynesian and non-European ancestry 7.7%, European 2.4%, other 0.9%.
Believers: Christians (the vast majority of the population are members of the Christian Church of the Cook Islands).
Language(s): English (official), Maori.
Literacy: definition: no data; for the general population: no data available; men: no data; women: no data. State Name:
Common long form: no;
Common short form: Cook Islands. Dependent state: self-government in free association with New Zealand; The Cook Islands are fully responsible for the state of internal affairs; New Zealand is responsible for foreign policy, coordinating its actions with the Cook Islands.
State structure: self-governing parliamentary democracy.
Administrative division: no.
Independence: none (self-government in free association with New Zealand since 4 August 1965 and the right to declare full independence unilaterally at any time).
National holiday: Constitution Day, August 4 (since 1965).
Constitution: 4 August 1965
Legal system: based on New Zealand law and English common law.
Suffrage: from what age – no data; universal for adults.
head of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since February 6, 1952), represented by Apenera SHORT (from when – no data); New Zealand High Commissioner Jon JONESSEN (since January 1998) represents New Zealand;
head of government: Prime Minister Terepai MAOATE (since 18 November 1999) Deputy Prime Minister Norman GEORGE (from when – no data);
government: the cabinet is appointed by the prime minister; is collectively responsible to Parliament; elections: no, hereditary monarchy; the British representative is appointed by the monarch; the New Zealand High Commissioner is appointed by the New Zealand Government; after parliamentary elections, the leader of the party with the most seats usually becomes prime minister; note: Ten years of Cook Islands Party (CIP) rule came to an end on November 18, 1999, when Prime Minister Joe WILLIAMS resigned; WILLIAMS has led a minority government since October 1999, when the New Union Party (NAP) left the government coalition and merged with the main opposition Democratic Union Party (DAP); On November 18, 1999, the leader of the Democratic Union Party, Terepai MAOA-TE, took the oath as Prime Minister,
Legislature: unicameral Parliament (25 seats; members elected by popular vote for 5-year terms); elections: last held in June 1999 (next to be held in 2004); election results: distribution of votes between parties: no data; distribution of seats among parties: CIP – 12 seats, DAP – 12, NAP – 1 seat; note: The House of Ariki advises on matters of local tradition but has no legislative power,
Judicial Branch: Supreme Court.
Political parties and leaders: Cook Islands Party (CIP) (Tai CARPENTER); Democratic Union Party (DAP) (Terepai MAOATE); New Union Party (NAP) (Norman GEORGE).
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: АСР, AsDB, ESCAP (associate), FAO, ICAO, ICFTU, IFAD, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), IOC, OPCW, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UNESCO, WHO, WMO.
Diplomatic representation in the US: none (self-government in free association with New Zealand).
US Diplomatic Representation: none (self-government in free association with New Zealand).
Flag description: blue, with the flag of Great Britain in the upper quarter on the hoist side and a large circle of fifteen white five-pointed stars (one for each island) located in the center of the outer half of the flag.
Economy overview: Like many other South Pacific island countries, economic development in the Cook Islands has been hampered by the country’s remoteness from foreign markets, lack of natural resources, occasional devastating natural disasters, and inadequate infrastructure. Agriculture forms the backbone of the economy, producing the main export commodities, copra and citrus fruits. Industrial activity is limited to fruit processing, clothing and handicrafts. The trade deficit is covered by emigrant remittances and foreign aid, mainly from New Zealand. In the 1980s and 1990s the country lived beyond its means, maintained a bloated bureaucracy and increased its external debt. The reforms that followed, including the sale of state property,
GDP: at purchasing power parity – $100 million (1999 est.).
Real GDP growth rate: no data available.
GDP per capita: Purchasing Power Parity $5,000 (1999 est.).
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 18%; industry: 9%; service industry: 73% (1995).
Proportion of the population below the poverty line: no data available.
Percentage distribution of household income or consumption: for the poorest 10% of households: n/a; by top 10% of households: no data. Inflation rate at consumer prices: 1.6% (1999 est.). –
Inflation rate at consumer prices:
Labor force: 6,601 people. (1993).
Employment structure: agriculture 29%, industry 15%, services 56% (1995).
Unemployment rate: no data.
Budget: income: no data; expenses: n/a, including capital investment – n/a.
Spheres of economy: fruit processing, tourism.
Growth in industrial production: no data available.
Electricity generation: 21 million kWh (1999).
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 100%; hydropower: 0%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 0% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 19.5 million kWh (1999).
Electricity export: 0 kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 0 kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: copra, citrus fruits, pineapples, tomatoes, legumes, papaya, bananas, yams, taro, coffee, pigs, poultry.
Exports: $3 million (free on board, 1999 est.)
Exports: copra, papaya, fresh and canned citrus fruits, coffee; fish; pearls and pearl shells; clothes.
Export partners: Japan 42%, New Zealand 25%, USA 9%, Australia 9% (1999).
Import: $85 million (S.I.F., 1994).
Imports: food, textiles, fuel, timber, capital goods.
Import partners: New Zealand 70%, Australia 8% (1999).
External debt: $141 million (1996 est.). Economic aid recipient: $13.1 million (1995); note – the bulk comes from New Zealand.
Economic aid donor:
Currency: New Zealand dollar.
Currency code: NZD.
Exchange rate: NZD/USD – 2.2502 (January 2001), 2.1863 (2000), 1.8886 (1999), 1.8632 (1998), 1.5083 (1997), 1.4543 (1996).
Fiscal year: April 1-March 31.
Telecommunications Telephone lines: 5,000 (1997).
Mobile cell phones: 0 (1994).
Telephone system: internal: individual islands are connected by a system of satellite earth stations, microwave communications and radiotelephone communications in the VHF and HF bands; within the islands, service is provided by small telephone exchanges connecting subscribers using overhead lines, cable and fiber optic cable; international: satellite earth station 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean).
Broadcast stations: AM – 1, FM – 2, shortwave – 0 (1998).
Radio receivers: 14,000 (1997).
Television broadcast stations: 2 (and 8 low power repeaters) (1997).
Televisions: 4,000 (1997).
Internet country code: ck
Internet service providers: 3 (2000).
Number of users: no data.
Transport Railways: 0 km.
Roads: total: 320 km (1992); coated: no data; uncoated: no data.
Ports and harbours: Avarua, Avatiu,
Merchant fleet: total: 1 vessel (displacement of 1,000 tons or more) with a total displacement of 2,310 gross register tons / 2,181 long tons of gross tonnage; ships of different types: cargo ships -1 (2000 est.).
Airports: 7 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 1; from 1524 to 2437 m: 1 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 6; from 1524 to 2437 m:3; 914 to 1523 m: 3 (2000 est.).