There is no capital. Government offices are in Yaren district. Population: 672 (1992).
Republic. Gained independence from Australia in 1968.
Head of state:
President Ludwig Scotty since 2004.
240 volts AC, 50Hz. Power cuts are common.
Nauru is not your typical Pacific island. Although ringed by a beautiful coral reef, the island's interior has been ravaged by decades of phosphate mining. The sea is subject to strong currents, meaning swimming and diving are more or less off limits.
Tourism has never featured highly on Nauru's agenda, but there are a couple of hotels and a handful of attractions - remnants of the Japanese WWII occupation, small beaches, a Chinatown of sorts and the lunar-like landscape of the mined centre. This tiny island republic has gone from being one of the world's richest nations (in terms of per capita income) to a country on the edge of economic ruin. When the phosphate began to run out, the economy took a downward turn.
Nauru's airline has recently been resurrected and signs of vegetation are beginning to appear inland, so perhaps a few more curious travellers will begin to visit.