Nauru is an island in the Pacific, almost on the Equator. Its total area is about eight square miles, making Nauru the smallest completely independent republic in the world.
Nauru also called itself the “richest republic on earth.” The tiny nation’s wealth came from the guano, or seabird manure, that covers the island. Guano is rich in the phosphates used to make fertilizers.
Each year, Nauru sold some 2 million tons of guano, earning more than $120 million. This wealth of guano gives the 7,000 people who live on Nauru an average income of $17,140 a year, which was the highest in the world.
Nauru used its wealth to provide free medical care and schools for its citizens. There were no taxes on Nauru, and there is a job for anyone who wants one.
Nauru has the highest rate of literacy on earth, just about 100 percent. There’s one hospital bed for every 34 persons in Nauru, in the United States, there’s one bed for every 152 persons.
The future of Nauru is less promising. Each year, guano miners dig up about 100 acres of land. In The future, there may be no land left on Nauru to live on!