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Nauru Economy Profile 2018

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Economy - overviewRevenues of this tiny island - a coral atoll with a land area of 21 square kilometers - traditionally have come from exports of phosphates. Few other resources exist, with most necessities being imported, mainly from Australia, its former occupier and later major source of support. Primary reserves of phosphates were exhausted and mining ceased in 2006, but mining of a deeper layer of "secondary phosphate" in the interior of the island began the following year. The secondary phosphate deposits may last another 30 years. Earnings from Nauru’s export of phosphate remains an important source of income. Few comprehensive statistics on the Nauru economy exist; estimates of Nauru's GDP vary widely.

The rehabilitation of mined land and the replacement of income from phosphates are serious long-term problems. In anticipation of the exhaustion of Nauru's phosphate deposits, substantial amounts of phosphate income were invested in trust funds to help cushion the transition and provide for Nauru's economic future.

Although revenue sources for government are limited, the opening of the Australian Regional Processing Center for asylum seekers since 2012 has sparked growth in the economy. Revenue derived from fishing licenses under the "vessel day scheme" has also boosted government income. Housing, hospitals, and other capital plant are deteriorating. The cost to Australia of keeping the Nauruan government and economy afloat continues to climb.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$159 million (2017 est.)
$152.9 million (2016 est.)
$138.5 million (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2015 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$114 million (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate4% (2017 est.)
10.4% (2016 est.)
2.8% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$12,200 (2017 est.)
$11,800 (2016 est.)
$11,500 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2015 US dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 6.1%
industry: 33%
services: 60.8% (2009 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA%
Labor forceNA
Labor force - by occupationnote: most of the labor force is employed in phosphate mining, public administration, education, and transportation
Unemployment rate23% (2011 est.)
90% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budgetrevenues: $57.8 million
expenditures: $51.8 million (2010 est.)
Public debt65% of GDP (2016 est.)
77.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)5.1% (2017 est.)
8.2% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - productscoconuts
Industriesphosphate mining, offshore banking, coconut products
Industrial production growth rateNA%
Current Account Balance$1 million (2017 est.)
$2 million (2016 est.)
Exports$125 million (2013 est.)
$110.3 million (2012 est.)
Exports - commoditiesphosphates
Exports - partnersNigeria 45.5%, Australia 13.7%, Japan 13%, South Korea 11.1%, NZ 8.7% (2016)
Imports$143.1 million (2013 est.)
$41.2 million (2012 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfood, fuel, manufactures, building materials, machinery
Imports - partnersAustralia 71.9%, Fiji 8.1%, Japan 4.4% (2016)
Debt - external$33.3 million (2004 est.)
Exchange ratesAustralian dollars (AUD) per US dollar -
1.311 (2017 est.)
1.3452 (2016 est.)
1.3452 (2015 est.)
1.3291 (2014 est.)
1.1094 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year1 July - 30 June

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on January 20, 2018