• Solomon Islands!

    Solomon Islands: Looking up at palm trees. Go Now!

    Solomon Islands
    This Melanesian country is best known for its many islands and beaches... and this natural landscape (pictured) is why most people go. Don't miss out on the unique Melanesian culture and foods though! Begin Your Journey!

  • Tonga!

    Tonga: Coastline. Go Now!

    The heart of Polynesian culture is rooted in Tonga, but most visitors just come for the natural beauty. Explore Tonga!

  • Vanuatu!

    Vanuatu: Jetty into the ocean. Go Now!

    Picturesque serenity is a good way to describe Vanuatu, but the culture offers much more, including the inspiration for bungee jumping, which remains a rite of passage for young men. Explore Vanuatu!

  • Palau!

    Palau: "70 Islands!" Go Now!

    Few people have even heard of this small Micronesian country, but those who have often return with stories of beauty unmatched elsewhere, such as view of the "70 Islands" (pictured). Go Now!

  • Explore the: Federated States of Micronesia!

    Federated States of Micronesia: Overlooking some islands. Go Now!

    Federated States of Micronesia
    This diverse country stretches for thousands of miles and has the diversity to prove it, including the people from Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Yap among others. Begin Your Journey!

  • Samoa!

    Samoa: A traditional home. Go Now!

    Among the most famous of the South Pacific's many countries, Samoa sits in the heart of Polynesia and has a culture to match. Begin Your Journey!

Ethnicity, Language, & Religion of Kiribati


Almost everyone in Kiribati is ethnically Micronesian. The Micronesians are a combination of Melanesian, Polynesian, and Filipino, but each group of Micronesians is quite distinct from the next as some tend to be more Filipino in ethnicity, language, food, and culture while others have more pronounced Polynesian attributes, which is the case with the people of Kiribati. It seems the first settlers were Austronesian, but later waves of people arrived and intermarried, including those from Melanesia and Polynesia, over time creating the ethnic group that exists today. Perhaps the closest relatives to the i-Kiribati are the Marshallese and other Micronesian people, but with a more distant relation to the Samoans and Tongans.


The official language of Kiribati is English, however very few people speak English natively. Most of the population natively speaks Gilbertese (as it is often called in English), which is also known as Kiribati, Kiribatese, or i-Kiribati. Gilbertese is a member of the Austronesian language family, making it related to many languages of Australasia and Southeast Asia, but its closest relatives are other Micronesian languages, such as Marshallese.


Nearly everyone in Kiribati is Christian. Just over half the population is Roman Catholic, just over a third is Protestant, and the remaining people adhere to various faiths, but most of whom are Christian, including a significant Mormon population.

Continue reading on Safari the Globe to Learn the Catholic Church's doctrines, liturgy, symbolism, traditions, & hierarchy

This page was last updated: May, 2014