World Country Pacifics Islands

About the world countries the Pacific Islands, their location, size, population, and who is in power.



Under Australian Control: Norfolk Island, north of New Zealand, is a self-governing tax haven and home to 1,800 people, primarily descendants of the Bounty mutineers and other Pitcairn Island settlers. Most of the islanders oppose an Australian proposal to integrate the island into Australia.

Under British Control: Pitcairn Island is the last remaining British territory in the Pacific (excluding those considered part of Asia). Southeast of Tahiti, 63 people (1980) live on 2 sq. mi. (5 sq. km.). The residents are descendants of Bounty mutineers and their Polynesian companions, who returned in 1858 and 1863 after the whole colony had moved to Norfolk Island. In 1981 an informal poll revealed that about half the population favored building an airstrip on Pitcairn.

Under Chilean Control: Easter Island, in the southeastern Pacific, is noted mostly for its massive stone statues of heads. Home to a Polynesian culture that once had its own script, the island now has 1,135 inhabitants on its territory of 50 sq. mi. (130 sq. km.).

Closer to the Chilean mainland is the Juan Fernandez group of three islands, one of which was the temporary home of Alexander Selkirk, the original Robinson Crusoe.

Under French Control: The Wallis and Futuna Islands are a small Polynesian group northeast of Fiji. A French territory of 77 sq. mi. (200 sq. km.), its 9,000 people send a deputy to the French National Assembly.

Under Japanese Control: Japan controls the islands of Ogasawara (Bonin) and Kazan Retto (Volcano), two chains south of Japan in the western Pacific. The islands total about 48 sq. mi. (124 sq. km.) and have about 1,400 people. Kazan Retto includes Iwo Jima, conquered by U.S. Marines in W.W. II. Both chains were returned to Japan by the U.S. in 1968.

Under New Zealand Control: Niue (100 sq. mi., or 259 sq. km.; 3,850 population, 1976) is a self-governing territory. East of Tonga, it is actually the westernmost of the Cook Islands. The Tokelau group (4 sq. mi., or 10 sq. km.; 1,575 population, 1976) is administered directly.

Under United States Control: The U.S. holds sovereignty over Howland, Baker, and Jarvis (3 sq. mi., or 8 sq. km.); Johnston and Sand Islands (.4 sq. mi., or 1 sq. km.); Kingman Reef; Midway Islands (2 sq. mi., or 5 sq. km.; 468 population, 1980); Palmyra (4 sq. mi., or 10 sq. km.); and Wake (3 sq. mi., or 8 sq. km; 532 population, 1980), all west and south of Hawaii. The U.S. government is considering placing a nuclear waste dump on the islands. Palmyra, which is privately owned, and Wake, which is administered by the air force, have been mentioned as possible sites.

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