The main island of the Gilbert Islands in the central and Western Pacific is also the most important island of the Republic of Kiribati. It is located at 1 ° 30 'n and 173 ° E. The land area is 20 square kilometers. Population: 22000 (1980). The coral island is slightly triangular, with lagoons in the middle, reefs in the West and 11 reef islands in the South and East. The town of bairiki in the south is the capital of the Republic. There is an international airport in bonriki in the southeast corner. There is a causeway connecting with the highway from bairiki to bangriki. Bixiu Island, at the southwest end, was the administrative center of the colony before 1942, and is now the main port. Export coconut and pearl.
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