Nauru : Society


Population density (per sq. km): 


Life expectancy: 
66 years (est.)

10,000 (2013); 100 per cent of people live in urban areas; growth 0.4 per cent p.a. 1990–2013; birth rate 20 per 1,000 people (est); life expectancy 66 years (est).

The indigenous people of Nauru are Micronesians. Increased population since the 1960s has put extreme pressure on the coastal fringe surrounding the island, which is currently the only space available for housing.


Nauruan and English are spoken, but English, the official language, is the usual written language.


Mainly Christians (predominantly Protestants).


There is a high incidence of diabetes, cancer and heart disease. There is no malaria. Medical and dental treatment is free for all Nauruans and for government employees and their families. There are two hospitals, one for Nauruans and one provided by the Nauru Phosphate Corporation, which is mainly for employees of the corporation. A pure water supply is provided by the Nauru Phosphate Corporation’s desalination plant. Infant mortality was 30 per 1,000 live births in 2013.


There are 11 years of compulsory education starting at the age of six. Primary school comprises six years and secondary six, with cycles of four and two years. The school year starts in January.

Students go overseas for higher education, mainly to Australia and New Zealand, and scholarships are available for this. Nauru is a partner in the regional University of the South Pacific, which has a centre in Nauru and its main campus in Suva, Fiji.


There is no daily newspaper. The Bulletin is published weekly in Nauruan and English by the government, and Central Star News and The Nauru Chronicle fortnightly.

The Nauru Broadcasting Service provides public radio and TV services. Radio Nauru broadcasts in English and Nauruan and includes material from Radio Australia and the BBC, and Nauru Television includes programmes from Australia and New Zealand.


Country code 674; internet domain ‘.nr’. Digicel introduced a mobile phone service in 2009.

For every 1,000 people there are 678 mobile phone subscriptions (2012) and 540 internet users (2011).

Public holidays: 

New Year’s Day, Independence Day (31 January), Constitution Day (17 May), Angam Day (26 October), Christmas Day and Boxing Day. The word Angam means ‘homecoming’ and Angam Day commemorates the various times in history when the size of the Nauruan population has returned to 1,500, which is thought to be the minimum number necessary for survival.

Religious and other festivals whose dates vary from year to year include Good Friday and Easter Monday.