Nauru flagNauru <<NAH roo>> is a small island country in the central Pacific Ocean. It is the third smallest country in the world. Only Vatican City and Monaco are smaller. Nauru has no capital city. The main government offices are on the southwest part of the island.

Nauru is an oval-shaped coral island. Most of its land is a high, flat plain called a plateau. The plateau is rich in phosphates, which are used to make fertilizers. Farmers use fertilizers to help them grow crops.

Most of Nauru’s people live along the Pacific coast. About half the people are Nauruans, a Pacific Island people. Most of them speak both the Nauruan language and English. The Nauruans are Christians.

The rest of Nauru’s people are from Kiribati, Tuvalu, China, and Australia. They come for limited periods of time to work in the phosphate mines.

Nauru mapThe government of Nauru provides the people with modern homes for little money. It also runs hospitals and clinics that give free medical care. Most of the money used for these services comes from the sale of phosphate rock that is mined in Nauru and sold to other countries.

People have lived on Nauru for hundreds of years, or maybe longer. The first European to visit Nauru was Captain John Fearn, an English explorer who came to the island in 1798. Germany took control of the island in 1888, and then Australia took over in 1914. In 1968, Nauru became independent, or free, from Australian control. But the people of Nauru still use the Australian dollar for money.

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