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11 Map of Nonouti, Kiribati.jpg
Map of Nonouti
Location Pacific Ocean
Coordinates 0°40′S 174°20′E / 0.667°S 174.333°E / -0.667; 174.333 (Nonouti)
Archipelago Gilbert Islands
Area 21.02 km2 (8.12 sq mi)
Highest elevation 3 m (10 ft)
Population 2,683 (as of 2010 Census)
Density 135 /km2 (350 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups I-Kiribati 99.7%
Additional information
Capital Matang
Main articles: Kiribati and Gilbert Islands
Nonouti Atoll

Nonouti is an atoll and district of Kiribati. The atoll is located in the South Gilbert Islands, 38 km north of Tabiteuea, and 250 km south of Tarawa. The atoll is the third largest in the Gilbert Islands and is the island where the Catholic religion was first established in Kiribati, in 1888.


The eastern side of the atoll is the primary permanent landmass. There is an islet on the northwest side of the atoll called Noumatong, which is uninhabited and is reserved as a bird sanctuary. The eastern area of the atoll consists of tiny islets and islands which form a continuous line.[1]


The government station on the island is located in the village of Matang. The island clerk is the highest ranking government official on the island. The former president, Ieremia Tabai, is from Nonouti.

Nonuti hosts seven primary schools and one Junior Secondary School, and is home to George Eastman High School, run privately by the Kiribati Protestant Church.[1]

The land area of Nonouti islets, and village populations, are:

Nonouti: Population and Land Area
Census Area Population 2010[2] Land area by islet[2] Density (people per hectare)
Abamakoro 104 185 hectares (457 acres) 0.6
Benuaroa 84 108 hectares (267 acres) 0.8
Teuabu 269 150 hectares (371 acres) 1.9
Temanoku 286 562 hectares (1,389 acres) 0.9
Rotuma 405
Autukia 112
Matang 537 811 hectares (2,004 acres) 1.5
Taboiaki 692
Temotu 194 138 hectares (341 acres) 1.4
Nonouti total 2683 1,988 hectares (4,912 acres) 1.3


In the late 19th century, Nonouti was briefly conquered by the king of Abemama, Tembinok'. The latter was driven out of Nonouti by a British warship.[3]

Later in the 1870s, a blackbirding ship came to Nonouti to recruit people to work in Tahiti. Betero and Tiroi from Nonouti were among these people. They stayed in Tahiti and became strong members of the Roman Catholic Church there.[4]

In 1888, the Roman Catholic missionaries from France arrived in Nonouti. Close to where the first catholic missionaries arrived in 1888, just behind the apse of the Catholic Church in Taboiaki village, are the six graves of important foreign missionaries and people to the Catholic Church. Opposite this Catholic Church is the biggest maneaba in Kiribati known as the Aake Maneaba.

Nonouti Post Office opened around 1923.[5]


  1. ^ a b "11. Nonouti" (PDF). Office of Te Beretitent - Republic of Kiribati Island Report Series. 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Kiribati Census Report 2010 Volume 1" (PDF). National Statistics Office, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Government of Kiribati. 
  3. ^ Stevenson, Robert Louis (1987) [1896]. In the South Seas, Part V, Chapter 1. Chatto & Windus; republished by The Hogarth Press. 
  4. ^ "Nonouti Fact Sheet" (PDF). Kiribati Tourism. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  5. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 

Coordinates: 0°37′S 174°22′E / 0.617°S 174.367°E / -0.617; 174.367