Friday, October 08, 2004

Pitcairn Islands

Pitcairn, roughly halfway between New Zealand and Peru, has been reeling from unprecedented attention since the trials opened last week with more than half the island's adult males on trial, including the island's mayor Steve Christian.

Pitcairn Island was discovered in 1767 by the British and settled in 1790 by the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian companions. Pitcairn was the first Pacific island to become a British colony (in 1838) and today remains the last vestige of that empire in the South Pacific. Outmigration, primarily to New Zealand, has thinned the population from a peak of 233 in 1937 to less than 50 today.

The capital of Pitcairn is Adamstown. The Island Council has 10 seats, which is about 20% of the total population. The labor force consists of 12 able-bodied men. There's one phone line on Pitcairn with 17 telephones connected. Electricity comes from a small diesel-powered generator. Stamps are one of the main export products.

More stats in CIA's World Factbook