Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony


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Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony

 

a British possession in the western Pacific Ocean. The possession includes the Gilbert Islands, Ellice Islands, Phoenix Islands (excluding Canton and Enderbury, which are claimed by the USA and Great Britain), some of the Line Islands (Fanning, Washington, and Christmas islands), and Ocean Island. Area, 886 sq km. Population, 54,000 (1969 estimate). The administrative center is Tarawa, on Tarawa Island in the Gilbert Island group. Tropical crops are raised on the islands (coconut palms, vegetables, fruits), and there is extensive fishing. The principal exports are copra and phosphates.