Christmas island's last recognized survey occurred in 2016 where the 1,843 listed inhabitants were categorized as residents. This means that there are possibly more people on the island, but may not be officially registered and own state-recognized land. The majority of the people live on the edge of the island, particularly the northern edge, housing the main settlement of Flying Fish Cove. The population largely descends from Asian Australians, who are of Chinese, Indian and Malay descent. The commingling of these cultures has created a unique combination of traditions and culture that also mixes itself with mainland Australia. While 66% of the population is estimated to be of southeast Chinese origin, only around one-fifth of the population had identified with Chinese ancestry during the 2016 survey.
Christmas Island is a territory of mainland Australia which is officially considered the Territory of Christmas Island. The island is located in the Indian Ocean, near the regions of Java and Sumatra. Concerning Australia, it is located 2600KM northwest of Perth, making it one of the farthest territories in Australia. Christmas Island builds upon Chinese ancestry with a significant influence of European Australian influence and Malay influence. There is also a strong minority of Indian and Eurasian people that have influenced the culture throughout the years. The most spoken languages are Malay and Chinese, with the official language being English, as it is still considered a territory of Australia.
Those who identify with religious beliefs on the island are either Buddhists or Muslims - while greater than a quarter of the population did not declare their beliefs, or do not have any at all. Christmas Island was recorded to have first been seen by explorer Richard Rowe in his journal, Thomas, in 1615. The captain of another ship, William Mynors, learned about the island in 1643 on Christmas Day, choosing to name the island after one of the most popular Christian traditions. Although it was discovered in the 17th century, it was not until the late 19th century that it was finally settled.
Christmas Island's small population and lack of human disturbance have led to a large diversity and flourishing of both the flora and fauna on the island. This makes Christmas Island of large importance to scientists and naturalists. Over 60% of the island is considered Christmas Island National Park, which is a protected landmark and is one of the largest deposits of mined phosphate in the world.
Christmas Island is most known for its biological diversity. In parallel to this, there is a lot of different geographic topography, such as caves, alcoves, and fissure caves. The island also contains a large rainforest, called the Dales, which is located in the western part of the island and the waterfall is a popular tourist attraction. Among snorkeling and swimming, the area is also well known for the annual migration of the Christmas Island red crabs, which come together to breed.