Kiribati, formally the Republic of Kiribati (Gilbertese: Ribaberiki Kiribati), is a central Pacific island country. The country is made up of 33 atolls and reef islands, as well as one elevated coral island, Banaba. They cover an area of 800 square kilometers (310 square miles) in total and are spread over 3.5 million square kilometers (1,351,000 square miles). Their spread spans the equator and the 180th meridian, but the International Date Line is indented to align the Line Islands with the Kiribati Islands. The permanent population is little more than 100,000 (2011), with almost half of the population residing in Tarawa Atoll.
In 1979, Kiribati declared independence from the United Kingdom. South Tarawa, the capital and currently the most populous region, is comprised of a collection of islands linked by a network of causeways. These cover about half of Tarawa Atoll.
Kiribati is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank, and joined the United Nations as a full member in 1999.