In the South Pacific is the British Crown Colony of the Pitcairn Islands. According to the UN, this is a non-self-governing area. Pitcairn had a population peak in 1936 when 250 people lived on the islands but in 2013 it was estimated that the islands had a population of about 56 people. It is believed that the population originated from the mutineers from the ship Bounty, as well as from the Tahitians or Polynesians who are believed to have joined them. In fact, people who live on the island even today have surnames that come from the mutineers. The capital is called Adamstown. The Pitcairn Islands consist mainly of four volcanic islands called Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno. These islands are spread over a large sea area and the land area itself is estimated to be no more than 47 square kilometers in total. Only the island of Pitcairn is populated.
A British Crown Colony
In 1838, the Pitcairn Islands became a British colony and an exciting fact about these islands is that it was among the first territories to give women the right to vote. In the middle of the 19th century, Pitcairn began to become overcrowded and the island’s leaders then turned to Britain for help. They were offered Norfolk Island and in 1856 a group of 193 people moved to this island. The voyage took five weeks aboard the ship Morayshire and is described as a very difficult ordeal. After eighteen months in Norfolk, 17 of the people from Pitcairn decided to move back. Five years later, another 20 people did the same.
In 1902, Britain seized the islands of Oeno, Henderson and Ducie. These three islands were incorporated together with Pitcairn into the administrative unit that came to be known as the “Pitcairn Group of Islands”. The reason why the population has been steadily declining in number since 1936 is that many emigrate, and then primarily to New Zealand. It is this emigration that has led to the fact that today only about fifty people live on Pitcairn.
Geography and climate
The Pitcairn Islands are the southernmost part of the Tuamotus archipelago, which belongs to French Polynesia. The four islands are Pitcairn, Oeno Island which is an atoll with five islets, Henderson and Ducie which is an atoll with four islets. The islands came into being when magma erupted from what is known as the “Pitcairn hotspot”. The inhabited island of Pitcairn can only be reached by boat via Bounty Bay. On Henderson Island, which accounts for about 86% of the islands’ total land area, there is a rich wildlife. You could live here because there is access to fresh water but it is difficult to get to as the coast consists of steep limestone cliffs covered by sharp corals.
In Pitcairn it is hot all year round and during the summer the temperatures are between 25-35 ° C. It can be very humid and the rainy season is between November and March.
Pitcairn has very fertile land and southeast of the capital Adamstown you grow various fruits such as bananas, papaya, pineapple, mango, watermelons, passion fruit, avocado, coconuts and citrus fruits. There is plenty of fish in the sea around the islands and you fish daily. The island also offers natural riches such as iron, zinc, copper, gold and silver. Tourism is important and accounts for about 80% of the islands’ income. By boat you can get to Pitcairn for a stay of 3 to 10 days. Many families have built their houses to be able to offer tourists accommodation. This is also a common destination for cruises moving in the area.