Thirty-three low-lying coral atolls and reef islands, many with enclosed lagoons.
The atolls lie mainly in three groups, the Phoenix and Line Islands and the
Gilberts, scattered in an area of nearly 3 million sq. km. of the Pacifie Ocean. Max.
Altitude: 87 m. (285ft.) (on Ba na ba Island)
Area: 726 sq. km. (280 sq. mi.)
Density: 90 pers. sq. km. (232 pers.(sq. mi.) (1989)
Arable land: 52% (1985)
Forest: 3% (1985)
Climate: Tropical, with a rainy season from October to March. During the rest of the year, the uniformly high temperatures are moderated by north-easterly trade winds.
CAPITAL: Tarawa, pop. 26,000 (1991)