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Cocos (Keeling) Islands: Background & Country Profile

Introduction Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Background:
There are 27 coral islands in the group. Captain William Keeling discovered the islands in 1609, but they remained uninhabited until the 19th century. Annexed by the UK in 1857, they were transferred to the Australian Government in 1955. The population on the two inhabited islands generally is split between the ethnic Europeans on West Island and the ethnic Malays on Home Island.

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Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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