The Gilbert Islands were granted self-rule by the UK in 1971 and complete independence in 1979 under the new name of Kiribati. The US relinquished all claims to the sparsely inhabited Phoenix and Line Island groups in a 1979 treaty of friendship with Kiribati.

Surface Area: 811 sq km (includes three island groups - Gilbert Islands, Line Islands, Phoenix Islands)
Population: 96,335 (July 2002 est.)
Located in: Oceania
Capital City: Tarawa
Head of State: Teburoro TITO
Prime Minister: Teburoro TITO
Independent since: 12 July 1979 (from UK)
Currency: Australian dollar (AUD)
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