Kiribati officially the Republic of Kiribati is an island nation in the central Pacific Ocean. The nation comprises 33 atolls and reef islands and one raised coral island, Banaba. They have a total land area of 800 square kilometres (310 sq mi) and are dispersed over 3.5 million square kilometres (1,351,000 square miles). Their spread straddles the equator and the International Date Line, although the Date Line is indented to bring the Line Islands in the same day as the Kiribati Islands. The permanent population is just over 100,000 (2011), half of whom live on Tarawa Atoll.
Kiribati became independent from the United Kingdom in 1979. The capital and now most populated area, South Tarawa, consists of a number of islets, connected by a series of causeways. These comprise about half the area of Tarawa Atoll.
Kiribati is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the IMF and the World Bank, and became a full member of the United Nations in 1999.