Coordinates: 1°25′N 173°00′E / 1.417°N 173.000°E / 1.417; 173.000
Kiribati (/ˌkɪrɪˈbæs/; KEER-ə-bahss or /ˌkɪrɪˈbɑːti/; KEER-ə-BAH-tee), officially the Republic of Kiribati (Gilbertese: Ribaberiki Kiribati), is an island nation in the central Pacific Ocean. The nation comprises 33 atolls and reef islands and one raised coral island; Banaba. They have a total land area of 800 square kilometres (310 sq mi) and are dispersed over 3.5 million square kilometres (1,351,000 square miles). Their spread straddles the equator and the International Date Line, although the Date Line is indented to bring the Line Islands in the same day as the Kiribati Islands. The permanent population is just over 100,000 (2011), half of whom live on Tarawa Atoll.
Kiribati became independent from the United Kingdom in 1979. The capital and now most populated area, South Tarawa, consists of a number of islets, connected by a series of causeways. These comprise about half the area of Tarawa Atoll.
Kiribati is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the IMF and the World Bank, and became a full member of the United Nations in 1999.
Kiribati may refer to:
Taetae ni Kiribati or Gilbertese, also Kiribati (sometimes Kiribatese), is a Micronesian language of the Austronesian language family. It has a basic verb–object–subject word order.
The word Kiribati is the modern rendition for "Gilberts", so the name is not usually translated into English. "Gilberts" comes from Captain Thomas Gilbert, who, along with Captain John Marshall, was one of the first Europeans to visit the Gilbert Islands in 1788. Some of the islands had been sighted or visited earlier, including by Commodore John Byron, whose ships happened on Nikunau in 1765. Frequenting of the islands by Europeans and Chinese dates from whaling and oil trading from the 1820s, when no doubt Europeans learnt to speak it, as I-Kiribati learnt to speak English and other languages foreign to them. However, it wasn't until Hiram Bingham II took up missionary work on Abaiang in the 1860s that the language began to take on the written form known today. For example, Bingham was the first to translate the Bible into Gilbertese, and wrote several hymn books, dictionaries and commentaries in the language of the Gilbert Islands.