Kiribati (/ˌkɪrɪˈbæs, -ˈbɑːti/), officially the Republic of Kiribati (Gilbertese: [Ribaberiki] Kiribati), is an independent country in the central Pacific Ocean. The permanent population is just over 110,000 (2015), more than half of whom live on Tarawa atoll. The state comprises 32 atolls and one raised coral island, Banaba. They have a total land area of 811 square kilometres (313 square miles) and are dispersed over 3.5 million km2 (1.4 million sq mi).
Bairiki is a settlement in South Tarawa of Kiribati. The State House, the National Stadium, the High Commissions of Australia and New Zealand as well as the embassy of China, and most of the Government Ministries are based in Bairiki. Bairiki is administered by the Teinainano Urban Council or TUC. As at the 2010 Census the population of Bairiki was 3,524.
Bairiki was sometimes considered the capital of Kiribati because at one time both the Parliament and the Presidency (and main administrative offices) were located there. However Parliament moved to Ambo in 2000, and the various ministries are scattered throughout South Tarawa, from Betio to Bikenibeu.
South Tarawa (in Gilbertese Tarawa Teinainano) is the capital and hub of the Republic of Kiribati and home to more than half of Kiribati’s population. The South Tarawa population centre consists of all the small islets from Betio in the west to Bonriki and Tanaea in the north-east, connected by the South Tarawa main road, with a population of 56,388 as of 2015.
South Tarawa is home to most of the government, commercial and education facilities in Kiribati including the Port and the High Court at Betio, the State House, Government Ministries and foreign embassies and High Commissions in Bairiki, a University of the South Pacific campus in Teaoraereke, the House of Assembly in Ambo, the Kiribati Teacher College and King George V and Elaine Bernacchi School, the Government High School, is in Bikenibeu, and the Tungaru central hospital in Nawerewere. The Roman Catholic Diocese is based in Teaoraereke, the Kiribati Uniting Church in Antebuka, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Kiribati in Bikenibeu, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Eita.