350 per square mile?
Just for comparison sake... New Jersey's population density is 1189 per square mile
And that one guy must've been pretty busy, as the nation averages 7 homicides per year.
nice work. i was lazy and inarticulate.
the population density is specifically for the main island of tarawa, rather than the insular spread of islands that make up the kiribati diaspora... some of those far-flung islands are sparsely inhabited (or uninhabited) and really skew the numbers. anywhere in betio or bairiki or the ouskirts of it (or really anywhere between the docks at betio and the north end of the atoll) is obscenely dense.
i stayed in this bwia-bwia (stilted hut) with two other guys and it was a pretty high standard of living. just out of sight of this photo are two more of these about the same size that fit families of six and seven people, all immediately adjacent to one another.
re: the murder statistics, one of the guys in the neighboring bwia-bwia was a ranking official in the atoll's police force and he was a great source of information (though his english was pretty limited.) the guy in jail was there for stomping on a guy's neck in a bar fight and killing him... dude was a phenomenal tattoo artist (the convict) and actually did some work on my brother-in-law from inside the cell.
anyway i don't have anything to refute your statistics as mine were based on what's proved to be faulty anecdotal evidence, so i'll gladly concede the point. it is still interesting to note, regardless, an incredibly low murder-per-capita rate.