198 TILG Kiribati ceo networks
The 33 atolls that make up Kiribati - the former Gilbert Islands - occupy a vast area in the equatorial Pacific - nearly 4,000 km from east to west and more than 2,000 km from north to south.
Kiribati - pronounced Kiribas - won independence from the United Kingdom in 1979. Home to the South Pacific's largest marine reserve, many of the atolls are inhabited; most of them are very low-lying and at risk from rising sea levels as a result of global warming.
With the Fijian government's permission, Kiribati has bought land in Fiji for food security and as a possible refuge.
Kiribati's economy is weak and is largely dependent on exports of copra and coconuts. Fishing licences, foreign aid and remittances from workers abroad also contribute, as does a trust fund set up with revenues from phosphate mines on the island of Banaba, whose depletion in 1980 hit Kiribati hard.
The Beautiful Kiribati You Have to Visit to appreciate
Capital: Tarawa Atoll
Population 103,000 (UN, 2011)
Area 810 sq km (313 sq miles)
Major language English, Gilbertese
Major religion Christianity
Life expectancy 59 years (men), 63 years (women) (UN)
Currency Australian dollar