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Cook Islands

(2,795 words)

Author(s): Bill Atkin | Sean K. Brennan
I. Social Facts The Cook Islands consists of 15 islands and atolls spread across 2 million sq. km of the Pacific Ocean and includes many smaller islands. There is only 240 sq. km of land area. As of December 2011 the population of the Cook Islands was just under 15,000. Over 80% of the population is made up of Cook Islands Maori with another 7% being part Cook Islands Maori and the remaining 12% mostly New Zealand European. Since the 1970s there has been a gradual population decline as a result of migration to New Zealand. Some 61,000 Cook Islanders resided in New Zealand as of 2013. Various Christia…

New Zealand

(5,106 words)

Author(s): Bill Atkin | Sean K. Brennan
I. Social Facts As of 2013, the population of New Zealand was 4.2 million. Maori, the indigenous population, include around 598,000 people, the dominant ethnicity being New Zealand European with 2.9 million. Other major ethnic groups include the Asian populations (471,000) and Pacific peoples (295,000). Christianity dominates the religious landscape constituting just under 2 million people. The primary Christian denominations include Anglican (459,000), Roman Catholic (491,000), Presbyterian (316,000), and Methodist (97,000). All the major…


(3,276 words)

Author(s): Bill Atkin | Sean K. Brennan
I. Social Facts Tonga is an island archipelago located in the South Pacific Ocean made up of 176 islands with a total land mass of approximately 750 sq. km. Tonga’s population as of the 2011 census totaled 103,036, 75% of whom live on the island of Tongatapu. Almost the entire population is Christian. The largest following belongs to the Free Wesleyan Church with 36,592 members, just over a third of the population. The next largest denomination is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (18,554), followed by the Roman Catholic Church…


(3,034 words)

Author(s): Bill Atkin | Sean K. Brennan
I. Social Facts The Republic of Vanuatu is an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean, the archipelago of which is 1,750 km east of Northern Australia. As at the 2009 census there were just over 234,000 inhabitants. That number is believed to have increased to nearly 270,000. Approximately 98% of the population is indigenous Melanesians, the remainder being classified as “other”, not defined in the census. Nearly the entire population follows a religion, mostly Christian faiths. As of the 2009 census the Presbyterian Church had the largest following with 65,3…


(1,673 words)

Author(s): Bill Atkin | Sean K. Brennan
I. Social Facts Niue is a small island country 2,400 kilometers northeast of New Zealand. Its population, almost entirely Polynesian, is only 1,600. 95% of Niueans live in New Zealand. Since the 1970s the population has dropped dramatically from nearly 5,500 due to migration to New Zealand. The population is predominantly Christian, owing to missions during the mid-1800s following Captain James Cook’s discovery of the island. Sixty-two percent (956 people) are associated with the Ekalesia Niue Church (previously known as the Congregational C…


(2,954 words)

Author(s): Bill Atkin | Sean K. Brennan
I. Social Facts The Republic of Fiji is an archipelago of some 332 islands located approximately 2,000 km north of New Zealand. Only about 110 are permanently inhabited. The total land area amounts to about 18,300 sq. km. The capital, and largest city, is Suva, located on Viti Levu. Nearly 75% of the population lives on the coasts of Viti Levu. Fiji’s population totaled nearly 837,300 at the 2007 census (estimated now to be nearly 900,000); Christianity dominates the religious demographic with nearly 540,000 followers. Of these, 290,000 are Methodist, 76,…

Marshall Islands

(2,841 words)

Author(s): Bill Atkin | Sean K. Brennan
I. Social Facts The Marshall Islands are divided into two parallel lines of low-lying atolls and islands located in the North Pacific Ocean: the Ralik Chain and the Ratik Chain. The number of islets and islands totals approximately 1,225 with a combined land mass of 181 sq. km. The population, estimated to be over 55,000, is spread across 24 separate islands, the most populated being Majuro which also serves as the capital. Christianity dominates the religious demographics. The United Church of Christ (formerly Congregational) is the largest with 51% of the populati…


(2,343 words)

Author(s): Sean K. Brennan | Bill Atkin
I. Social Facts The Republic of Palau is an island country located in the western Pacific Ocean that is part of Micronesia. It includes several hundred islands within its territory. The population of approximately 21,000 people is spread across four islands, the most populated being Koror. The population is 70% native Palauan. The remainder is predominantly Filipino. There also exist a small number of continental Asian ethnicities including Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean. Palau’s religious demographic is dominated by Christian faiths. As of the 2005 census approxim…


(2,424 words)

Author(s): Bill Atkin | Sean K. Brennan
I. Social Facts Tokelau is made up of three main atolls, around 483 km north of Samoa in the Pacific Ocean. Each atoll consists of a number of islets varying in size, the largest of which is 4.7 sq. km. There is a lack of natural resources which has helped to drive migration from the islands. Nearly 7,200 Tokelauans live in New Zealand. The resident population of Tokelau in 2011 was just over 1,400, virtually all of whom are associated with Christian denominations. Over half of Tokelau’s population belongs to the Ekalehia Fakalapotopotoga Kelihiano Tokel…