Nauru is many things, most of which are related to its small size and population. Currently the smallest republic, the smallest island country, and with just over 9,300 residents, it is the second least-populated country in the world.
The island was originally populated by twelve Polynesian and Micronesian clans, who arrived on the island at around 1000 BCE. Contact with Europeans and the importation of firearms and distilled liquor wreaked havoc on the island, culminating in the island-wide Nauruan Civil War of 1878. the war lasted (on and off) for ten years and killed one-third of the island population. Exhausted by the fighting, Nauru quasi-"voluntarily" became a colony of the German Empire in 1887. After WWI, ownership of the was then transferred to Australia, New Zealand, and the UK; it was then briefly occupied by the Japanese in WWII. It declared independence in 1968.
Due to its vast abundance of phosphate reserves (basically, millions of years' worth of migratory seabirds guano), which originally covered 90% of the surface of the island, Nauru at one point boasted the highest per-capita income of any independent nation after Saudi Arabia. The wealth allowed Nauru to become one of the most comprehensive welfare states on Earth, with the government providing free (or practically free) everything, including medicare, education to the graduate level, housing, utilities, public transport, and telephone; even the national newspaper is free.
By the time the reserves ran out in the late 1980s, though, Nauru's environment had become a wreck and its economy collapsed. The country rapidly burned through its $1 billion cash and investment reserves and the country became one of the poorest on Earth. The fall was exacerbated by endemic political corruption and mismanagement (this included a harebrained scheme to invest millions of public dollars into what would become the worst stage show in West End history: Leonardo the Musical). The country flirted briefly with trying to becoming a foreign tax shelter and selling citizenship to gangsters wanting to avoid extradition, but that just made things worse as the international community imposed harsh sanctions on the country for money-laundering. The country is currently trying to pick its way from financial ruin by modernizing its infrastructure and other methods (including hosting detained migrants Australia had caught trying to cross the sea). The attempt to do this however, has resulted in the country becoming a dumping spot for Sri Lankan refugees trying to get into Australia, this is because the government of Nauru signed a deal with the Australian government to take in refugees to help modernise the country; which has resulted in the refugees being held in a detention camp riddled with Human Rights Violations.
The current president of Nauru is Baron Waqa.
Australian Rules Football is Nauru's most popular sport, as well as soccer and softball.
At last count, it also held the record for most diabetic and obese nation (both sexes over 90%). The mining destroyed all of the farmland on the island, which meant that the islanders were forced to subsist on canned and processed food.
The Nauruan flag
- In Madam Secretary, the island is hit by two Category Five typhoons in quick succession. The first wrecks the infrastructure, kills a tenth of the population and destroys the entire government, resulting in a part-time consular official working in the US becoming President. It becomes clear that with climate change, rebuilding is pointless. A bankrupt film star is persuaded to give his private island to the US in exchange for not being prosecuted by the US and they give it to Nauru to serve as a new home for their people. Most of the remaining population are evacuated before the second typhoon breaks up the coral foundation, effectively destroying the island.