Clipperton Island


North America :: Clipperton Island (possession of France)

This isolated atoll was named for John CLIPPERTON, a pirate who was rumored to have made it his hideout early in the 18th century. Annexed by France in 1855 and claimed by the United States, it was seized by Mexico in 1897. Arbitration eventually awarded the island to France in 1931, which took possession in 1935.


Middle America, atoll in the North Pacific Ocean, 1,120 km southwest of Mexico

Geographic coordinates:
10 17 N, 109 13 W

Map references:
Political Map of the World

Total: 6 sq km
Country comparison to the world: 245
Land: 6 sq km
Water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:
about 12 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC

Land boundaries:
0 km

11.1 km

Maritime claims:
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

tropical; humid, average temperature 20-32 degrees C, wet season (May to October)

coral atoll

Elevation extremes:
Lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Highest point: Rocher Clipperton 29 m

Natural resources:

Land use:
Arable land: 0%
Permanent crops: 0%
Other: 100% (all coral) (2011)

Natural hazards:

Environment - current issues:

Geography - note:
the atoll reef is approximately 12 km (7.5 mi) in circumference; an effort to colonize the atoll in the early 20th century ended in disaster and was abandoned in 1917

People and Society



Country name:
Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: Clipperton Island
Local long form: none
Local short form: Ile Clipperton
Former: sometimes called Ile de la Passion

Dependency status:
possession of France; administered directly by the Minister of Overseas France

Legal system:
the laws of France apply


Economy - overview:
Although 115 species of fish have been identified in the territorial waters of Clipperton Island, the only economic activity is tuna fishing.


Ports and terminals:
none; offshore anchorage only


Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of France

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:

Flag of Clipperton Island

Flag description:
the flag of France is used


"Clipperton Island." World Factbook, Relief Central, Accessed 18 April 2019.
Clipperton Island. World Factbook. Accessed April 18, 2019.
Clipperton Island. In World Factbook. Available from
Clipperton Island [Internet]. In: World Factbook. [cited 2019 April 18]. Available from:
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Clipperton Island ID - 563111 BT - The World Factbook 2014 UR - DB - Relief Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -