Cook Islands Population: 10,447


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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.

The northern Cook Islands are seven low-lying, sparsely populated, coral atolls; the southern Cook Islands, where most of the population lives, consist of eight elevated, fertile, volcanic isles, including the largest, Rarotonga, at 67 sq km
Location: Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about half way between Hawaii and New Zealand
Geographic coordinates: 21 14 S, 159 46 W
Area: total: 236 sq km
land: 236 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Size comparison: 1.3 times the size of Washington, DC
Land Boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 120 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate: tropical oceanic; moderated by trade winds; a dry season from April to November and a more humid season from December to March
Terrain: low coral atolls in north; volcanic, hilly islands in south
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Te Manga 652 m
Natural resources: NEGL
Land use: arable land: 8.33%
permanent crops: 4.17%
other: 87.5% (2011)
Irrigated land: NA
Natural hazards: typhoons (November to March)
Current Environment Issues: NA
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
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Nationality: noun: Cook Islander(s)
adjective: Cook Islander
Ethnic groups: Cook Island Maori (Polynesian) 87.7%, part Cook Island Maori 5.8%, other 6.5% (2001 census)
Languages: English (official), Maori
Religions: Protestant 69.6% (Cook Islands Christian Church 55.9%, Seventh-Day Adventist 7.9%, other Protestant 5.8%), Roman Catholic 16.8%, Mormon 3.8%, other 4.2%, unspecified 2.6%, none 3% (2001 census)
Population: 10,447 (July 2013 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 23.4% (male 1,297/female 1,150)
15-24 years: 18.1% (male 1,015/female 877)
25-54 years: 38% (male 1,995/female 1,971)
55-64 years: 9.9% (male 549/female 483)
65 years and over: 10.6% (male 544/female 566) (2013 est.)
Median age: total: 33.7 years
male: 33 years
female: 34.3 years (2013 est.)
Population growth rate: -3.07% (2013 est.)
Birth rate: 14.93 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Death rate: 7.66 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 75% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1.4% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.15 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.14 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.96 male(s)/female
total population: 1.07 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 14.81 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 18.01 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 11.45 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 75.15 years
male: 72.35 years
female: 78.09 years (2013 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.31 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 43.2% (1999)
Health expenditures: 4.4% of GDP (2010)
Physicians density: 1.18 physicians/1,000 population (2004)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 99% of population
rural: 87% of population
total: 95% of population

urban: 1% of population
rural: 13% of population
total: 5% of population (2000 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population (2010 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 63.7% (2008)
Education expenditures: 3.2% of GDP (2011)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95%
male: NA
female: NA
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 13 years (2011)
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Country name: conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Cook Islands
former: Harvey Islands
Government type: self-governing parliamentary democracy
Capital: name: Avarua
geographic coordinates: 21 12 S, 159 46 W
time difference: UTC-10 (5 hours behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: none
Independence: 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: Constitution Day, first Monday in August (1965)
Constitution: 4 August 1965
Legal system: common law similar to New Zealand common law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952) represented by Sir Frederick GOODWIN (since 9 February 2001); New Zealand High Commissioner John CARTER (since 29 July 2011)

head of government: Prime Minister Henry PUNA (since 30 November 2010)

cabinet: Cabinet chosen by the prime minister; collectively responsible to Parliament (For more information visit the World Leaders website )

elections: the monarchy is hereditary; the UK representative appointed by the monarch; the New Zealand high commissioner appointed by the New Zealand Government; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition usually becomes prime minister
Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of a House of Ariki, or upper house, made up of traditional leaders and a Legislative Assembly, or lower house, (24 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) note: the House of Ariki advises on traditional matters and maintains considerable influence but has no legislative powers

elections: last held on 17 November 2010 (next to be held by 2014)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CIP 16, Demo 8
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Court of Appeal (consists of the chief justice and 3 judges of the High Court); High Court (consists of the chief justice and at least 4 judges and organized into civil, criminal, and land divisions) note - appeals beyond the Cook Islands Court of Appeal are brought before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London) judge selection and term of office: High Court chief justice appointed by the Queen's Representative on the advice of the Executive Council tendered by the prime minister; other judges appointed by the Queen's Representative, on the advice of the Executive Council tendered by the chief justice, High Court chief justice, and the minister of justice; chief justice and judges appointed for 3-year renewable terms

subordinate courts: justices of the peace
Political parties and leaders: Cook Islands Party or CIP [Henry PUNA] Democratic Party or Demo [Dr. Terepai MAOATE]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Reform Conference (lobby for political system changes) other: various groups lobbying for political change
International organization participation: ACP, ADB, AOSIS, FAO, ICAO, ICRM, IFAD, IFRCS, IMO, IMSO, IOC, ITUC (NGOs), OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WMO
National anthem: name: "Te Atua Mou E" (To God Almighty)
lyrics/music: Tepaeru Te RITO/Thomas DAVIS

note: adopted 1982; as prime minister, Sir Thomas DAVIS composed the anthem; his wife, a tribal chief, wrote the lyrics
Diplomatic representation in the US: none (self-governing in free association with New Zealand)
Diplomatic representation from the US: none (self-governing in free association with New Zealand)
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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, employing more than one-quarter of the working population, provides the economic base with major exports of copra and citrus fruit. Black pearls are the Cook Islands' leading export. 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 (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $183.2 million (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $183.2 million (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 0.1% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $9,100 (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products: copra, citrus, pineapples, tomatoes, beans, pawpaws, bananas, yams, taro, coffee; pigs, poultry
Industries: fruit processing, tourism, fishing, clothing, handicrafts
Industrial production growth rate: 1% (2002)
Labor force: 6,820 (2001)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 29%
industry: 15%
services: 56% (1995)
Unemployment rate: 13.1% (2005)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budget: revenues: $70.95 million
expenditures: $69.05 million (FY05/06)
Taxes and other revenues: 38.7% of GDP (FY05/06)
Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.2% (2011 est.) 2.2% (2011 est.)
Current account balance: $26.67 million (2005)
Exports: $5.222 million (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities: copra, papayas, fresh and canned citrus fruit, coffee; fish; pearls and pearl shells; clothing
Imports: $83.49 million (2011 est.) $80.55 million (2010 est.)
Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, textiles, fuels, timber, capital goods
Debt - external: $141 million (1996 est.)
Exchange rates: NZ dollars (NZD) per US dollar - 1.2334 (2012) 1.2659 (2011 est.) 1.3874 (2010) 1.6002 (2009) 1.4151 (2008)
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Electricity - production: 31.13 million kWh (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 210
Electricity - consumption: 28.95 million kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 8,090 kW (2009 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 98.9% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 1.1% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 974 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 484.7 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 302,000 Mt (2010 est.)
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Telephones in use: 7,200 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 205
Cellular Phones in use: 7,800 (2009)
Telephone system: general assessment: Telecom Cook Islands offers international direct dialing, Internet, email, fax, and Telex

domestic: 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: country code - 682; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
Broadcast media: 1 privately owned TV station broadcasts from Rarotonga providing a mix of local news and overseas-sourced programs; a satellite program package is available; 6 radio stations broadcast with 1 reportedly reaching all of the islands (2009)
Internet country code: .ck
Internet hosts: 3,562 (2012)
Internet users: 6,000 (2009)
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Airports: 11 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 153
Airports (paved runways): total 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 10

1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
Roadways: total 320 km
paved: 33 km
unpaved: 287 km (2003)
Merchant marine: total 35

by type: bulk carrier 2, cargo 25, passenger 1, refrigerated cargo 6, roll on/roll off 1

foreign-owned: 23 (Estonia 1, Germany 1, Lithuania 1, Norway 8, NZ 2, Russia 1, Sweden 3, Turkey 4, UK 2) (2010)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Avatiu
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Defense is the responsibility of New Zealand in consultation with the Cook Islands and at its request
Military branches: no regular military forces; National Police Department (2009)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 2,198
females age 16-49: 2,156 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually: male: 127
female: 107 (2010 est.)
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 Transnational Issues
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