Cook Islands is a nation located in the Pacific Ocean. It is an associated state of New Zealand that gained the right to self-governance in 1965. New Zealand administers the nation’s defense and foreign affairs, although Cook Islands does consult with these nations on these decisions. Cook Islanders are not just Cook Island nations, but they are also citizens of New Zealand.
This nation has a total area of over 91 square miles. The population based on the last census taken in 2016 was 17,459. This puts the population density around 109 people per square mile. The island of Rarotonga is the most populous area of the islands and is home to over 10,000 inhabitants. The capital city of Avarua is located on this island. Not only is it the capital, but it is also the most populous city with a population of over 5,400 people. Many people that once lived in Cook Islands or are of Cook Islander descent have emigrated to New Zealand. Over 61,000 Cook Islands natives or descendants call New Zealand home, according to the census of 2013.
Even though Cook Islands have a small population, many visitors come each year. Approximately 100,000 people visit the islands each year, making tourism the dominant industry.
There are several languages spoken in this nation. English and Cook Islands Maori are the two official languages. Other languages are also spoken including Pukapukan and dialects of Cook Islands Maori.
The major ethnic group of the Cook Islands is the Maori, which make up over 81% of the total population. Over 6% of inhabitants are at least part Maori, while the remaining percentage are of another ethnic background.