Norfolk Island


Australia-Oceania :: Norfolk Island (territory of Australia)

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Two British attempts at establishing the island as a penal colony (1788-1814 and 1825-55) were ultimately abandoned. In 1856, the island was resettled by Pitcairn Islanders, descendants of the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian companions.


Oceania, island in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Australia

Geographic coordinates:
29 02 S, 167 57 E

Map references:

Total: 36 sq km
Country comparison to the world: 235
Land: 36 sq km
Water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:
about 0.2 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:
0 km

32 km

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

subtropical; mild, little seasonal temperature variation

volcanic formation with mostly rolling plains

Elevation extremes:
Lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Highest point: Mount Bates 319 m

Natural resources:

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

Irrigated land:

Natural hazards:
typhoons (especially May to July)

Environment - current issues:

Geography - note:
most of the 32 km coastline consists of almost inaccessible cliffs, but the land slopes down to the sea in one small southern area on Sydney Bay, where the capital of Kingston is situated

People and Society

Noun: Norfolk Islander(s)
Adjective: Norfolk Islander(s)

Ethnic groups:
Australian 79.5%, New Zealander 13.3%, Fijian 2.5%, Filipino 1.1%, English 1%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.8% (2011 est.)

English (official) 67.6%, other 32.4% (includes Norfolk Island 23.7%, which is a mixture of 18th century English and ancient Tahitian) (2011 est.)

Protestant 49.6% (Anglican 31.8%, Uniting Church in Australia 10.6%, Seventh-Day Adventist 3.2%), Roman Catholic 11.7%, other 8.6%, none 23.5%, unspecified 6.6% (2011 est.)

2,210 (July 2014 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 233

Age structure:
0-14 years: 20.2%
15-64 years: 63.9%
65 years and over: 15.9% (2013 est.)

Population growth rate:
0.01% (2014 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 194

Sex ratio:

Infant mortality rate:
Total: NA
Male: NA
Female: NA

Life expectancy at birth:
Total population: NA
Male: NA
Female: NA

Total fertility rate:

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

HIV/AIDS - deaths:



Country name:
Conventional long form: Territory of Norfolk Island
Conventional short form: Norfolk Island

Dependency status:
self-governing territory of Australia; administered from Canberra by the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport

Government type:

Name: Kingston
Geographic coordinates: 29 03 S, 167 58 E
Time difference: UTC+11.5 (16.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:
none (territory of Australia)

none (territory of Australia)

National holiday:
Bounty Day (commemorates the arrival of Pitcairn Islanders), 8 June (1856)

previous 1913, 1957; latest effective 7 August 1979; amended many times, last in 2010 (2011)

Legal system:
English common law and the laws of Australia

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
Chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by the Australian governor general
Head of government: Administrator Neil POPE (since 1 April 2012)
Cabinet: Executive Council made up of 4 of the 9 members of the Legislative Assembly; the council devises government policy and acts as an advisor to the administrator
Elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; administrator appointed by the governor general of Australia for a two year term and represents the monarch and Australia

Legislative branch:
unicameral Legislative Assembly (9 seats; members elected by electors who have nine equal votes each but only four votes can be given to any one candidate; members to serve three-year terms)
Elections: last held on 13 March 2013 (next to be held in 2016)
Election results: seats - independents 8; Norfolk Liberals 1

Judicial branch:
Highest court(s): Supreme Court of Norfolk Island (consists of the chief justice and NA justices)
note - appeals beyond the Supreme Court of Norfolk Island are heard by the Federal Court of Australia
Judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the governor general of Australia from among justices of the Federal Court of Australia; justices serve until mandatory retirement at age 70
Subordinate courts: Petty Court of Sessions; specialized courts including a Coroner's Court and the Employment Tribunal

Political parties and leaders:
Norfolk Island Labor Party [Mike KELLY]
Norfolk Liberals [John BROWN]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

International organization participation:

Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (territory of Australia)

Diplomatic representation from the US:
none (territory of Australia)

National symbol(s):
Norfolk Island pine

National anthem:
Name: "Come Ye Blessed"
Lyrics/music: New Testament/John Prindle SCOTT
note: the local anthem, whose lyrics consist of the words from Matthew 25:34-36, 40, is also known as "The Pitcairn Anthem;" as a territory of Australia, "God Save the Queen" is official (see Australia), however, the island does not recognize "Advance Australia Fair"


Economy - overview:
Norfolk Island is suffering from a severe economic downturn. Tourism, the primary economic activity, is the main driver of economic growth. The agricultural sector has become self sufficient in the production of beef, poultry, and eggs.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

Agriculture - products:
Norfolk Island pine seed, Kentia palm seed, cereals, vegetables, fruit; cattle, poultry

tourism, light industry, ready mixed concrete

Labor force:
978 (2006)
Country comparison to the world: 230

Labor force - by occupation:
Agriculture: 6%
Industry: 14%
Services: 80% (2006 est.)

Revenues: $4.6 million
Expenditures: $4.8 million (FY99/00)

Fiscal year:
1 July - 30 June


Exports - commodities:
postage stamps, seeds of the Norfolk Island pine and Kentia palm, small quantities of avocados


Imports - commodities:

Debt - external:

Exchange rates:
Australian dollars (AUD) per US dollar -
1.031 (2013)
0.9658 (2012)
1.0902 (2010)
1.2822 (2009)
1.2059 (2008)


Telephone system:
General assessment: adequate
Domestic: free local calls
International: country code - 672; submarine cable links with Australia and New Zealand; satellite earth station - 1

Broadcast media:
1 local radio station; broadcasts of several Australian radio and TV stations available via satellite (2009)

Internet country code:

Internet hosts:
128 (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 204


1 (2013)
Country comparison to the world: 228

Airports - with paved runways:
Total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)

Total: 80 km
Country comparison to the world: 216
Paved: 53 km
Unpaved: 27 km (2008)

Ports and terminals:
Major seaport(s): Kingston


Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of Australia

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:

Flag of Norfolk Island

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Flag description:
three vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and green with a large green Norfolk Island pine tree centered in the slightly wider white band; green stands for the rich vegetation on the island, and the pine tree - endemic to the island - is a symbol of Norfolk Island
note: somewhat reminiscent of the flag of Canada with its use of only two colors and depiction of a prominent local floral symbol in the central white band