The island is known as Naoero in the native language, but the origin of the name is unclear. British colonialists shortened the name to Nauru. Pleasant Island, Island Gambo, Nawodo, and Onawero have all been given to the island.
Twelve Micronesian and Polynesian peoples originally arrived on Nauru about 3,000 years ago. Those twelve tribes split the island into twelve sections, which is represented today by the twelve-pointed star on Nauru’s national flag (the yellow line represents the Equator and the blue space the Pacific Ocean). The ancient occupants subsisted on fishing and even converted the lagoon in the island’s center into a fish farm.
The British captain John Fearn was the first European to set foot on the island in 1798. The indigenous had a positive connection with the European ships with which they traded. Occasionally, deserting seamen made their way to Nauru. Between 1878 to 1888, the island was ravaged by a civil war, following which it was seized by the Germans. During the three-decade era when the island was part of the German Pacific Territory, the island was ruled by a monarch, and the first missionaries came.
The mining of Nauru’s phosphate resources, which covered about 90% of the island, started in the early twentieth century with a German-British partnership. The island was captured by Australian troops during World War I and became a dependent territory. After being briefly controlled by Japan during WWII, Nauru was reclaimed by Australia and gained independence in 1968. Phosphate exports temporarily provided Nauruans with one of the greatest per capita incomes in the Third World in the 1980s. Phosphate exports to Australia, South Korea, and New Zealand, among other nations, accounted up the majority of Nauru’s income in 2008. The Nauru Phosphate Corporation is in charge of the industry (NPC). It is expected that the phosphate deposits would be depleted by 2050. The selling of fishing licenses is the other main source of income. Countries such as Australia and Taiwan contribute significantly to development cooperation financing. Despite this, the jobless rate presently stands at 90%.
In 2001, the container ship Tampa rescued several hundred asylum seekers from a sinking Indonesian vessel and tried to transport them to Christmas Island, an Australian Federal Territory in the Indian Ocean. In what was dubbed “The Pacific Solution,” the Australian government created an Offshore Processing Centre (OPC) on Nauru to hold these individuals while their claims to be refugees were assessed, in return for Australian assistance to Nauru. The OPC closed in early 2008 but reopened in 2012.
Aside from this, tourism may be an additional source of revenue for Nauruans in the future. This, however, would require improved tourist infrastructure and transit connections.