The Cook Islands (English: Cook Islands , Cook Islands Maori: Kuki ‘Airani ; other names: Cook islands , Mangaia Archipelago , Hervey Islands ), an independent island nation in “free association with New Zealand “and a group of islands in the South Pacific . Its area is 242 square kilometers and they have approximately 18,600 residents (almost all of Cook Islands Maori ). The capital is Avarua on the island of Rarotonga .
The Cook Islands are divided into a southern group of the main island of Rarotonga and the islands or island groups of Aitutaki , Atiu , Mangaia , Manuae , Mauke , Mitiaro , Palmerston and Takutea and a northern group of islands Manihiki , Nassau , Penrhyn , Pukapuka , Rakahanga and Suwarrow . The northern group is in the older literature as Manihikiinseln or Roggeveen Archipelago (eg Meyers) refers. Some are low, with coral reefs inaccessible islands. The rest are high and covered with lush vegetation. Here grow coconut palms , breadfruit and plantains . The northern group consists mainly of atolls .
Harbored The Cook Islands in 1971 for about 21,300 people located, the population steadily since the late 70s under the 20,000 mark. The last census in 2001 showed a population of approximately 18,000. During those residing in the Cook Islands population has since increased again and in 2006 was an estimated 21 300 residents, the permanent resident population is further significantly reduced. Featured this population in 2001 about 15,000 inhabitants are there in 2006 just estimated 11,800. The population growth of the Cook Islands can be since the census from 2001 to 2006 thus estimated to average 3.4%, and permanently in the Cook Islands resident population decreases annually by an average of 4.7%. No other independent state has a greater population decline .