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Cocos Islands, also referred to as Keeling Islands, is a territory belonging to Australia, situated in the Indian Ocean. The region comprises 27 coral islands and 2 atolls, out of which two islands, Home Island and West Island, are inhabited. Approximately 600 people live on these islands. The capital of the Cocos Islands is West Island, while the largest village, Bantam, is located on Home Island. Some of the larger islands also feature weekend shacks.

Most of the island’s governance is dependent on Australia’s laws, although a non-resident administrator is appointed to handle local affairs. Cocos Islands’ defence rests on the shoulders of Australia, although there is a 5-person police force in the area.

The only food sources on the islands are represented by fishing and the production of local small gardens. All other food products are imported from Australia. Tourism has started to slowly develop in the area, and it is based on nature activities or water-related activities. Locals who are not employed in the tourism industry work as construction workers or stevedores. The local currency is the Australian dollar (AUD).

The local language is Cocos Malay, although English is considered to be the de facto official language, meaning that it is the most widely-spoken language but this is not covered by law. In the only school of the archipelago, courses are taught in English. Cocos Islands feature an oceanic temperate climate, with little variation in temperature throughout the year. 

 

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