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The World Factbook 2002

         
  Tonga  
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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
  Government
  Economy
  Communications
  Transportation
  Military
  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.


This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


Map of Tonga

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Tonga
Background:
Definition Field Listing
The archipelago of "The Friendly Islands" was united into a Polynesian kingdom in 1845. It became a constitutional monarchy in 1875 and a British protectorate in 1900. Tonga acquired its independence in 1970 and became a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. It remains the only monarchy in the Pacific.
   Geography    Tonga
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Oceania, archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
20 00 S, 175 00 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Oceania
Area:
Definition Field Listing
total: 748 sq km
water: 30 sq km
land: 718 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
four times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
419 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
territorial sea: 12 NM
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical; modified by trade winds; warm season (December to May), cool season (May to December)
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
most islands have limestone base formed from uplifted coral formation; others have limestone overlying volcanic base
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location on Kao Island 1,033 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
fish, fertile soil
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 24%
permanent crops: 43%
other: 33% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
NA sq km
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
cyclones (October to April); earthquakes and volcanic activity on Fonuafo'ou
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
deforestation results as more and more land is being cleared for agriculture and settlement; some damage to coral reefs from starfish and indiscriminate coral and shell collectors; overhunting threatens native sea turtle populations
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
archipelago of 169 islands (36 inhabited)
   People    Tonga
Population:
Definition Field Listing
106,137 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 39.5% (male 21,374; female 20,555)
15-64 years: 56.4% (male 29,519; female 30,322)
65 years and over: 4.1% (male 1,945; female 2,422) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.85% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
24.08 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
5.63 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
13.72 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 68.56 years
female: 71.11 years (2002 est.)
male: 66.13 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
3 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Tongan(s)
adjective: Tongan
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Polynesian, Europeans about 300
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Christian (Free Wesleyan Church claims over 30,000 adherents)
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Tongan, English
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: can read and write Tongan and/or English
total population: 98.5%
male: 98.4%
female: 98.7% (1996 est.)
   Government    Tonga
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Kingdom of Tonga
conventional short form: Tonga
former: Friendly Islands
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
hereditary constitutional monarchy
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Nuku'alofa
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
3 island groups; Ha'apai, Tongatapu, Vava'u
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
4 June 1970 (from UK protectorate)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 4 June (1970)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
4 November 1875, revised 1 January 1967
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on English law
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
21 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: King Taufa'ahau TUPOU IV (since 16 December 1965)
note: there is also a Privy Council that consists of the monarch, the Cabinet, and two governors
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed for life by the monarch
cabinet: Cabinet, appointed by the monarch, consists of 12 members
head of government: Prime Minister Prince Lavaka ata ULUKALALA (since NA February 2000) and Deputy Prime Minister Tevita TOPOU (since NA January 2001)
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral Legislative Assembly or Fale Alea (30 seats - 12 reserved for cabinet ministers sitting ex officio, nine for nobles selected by the country's 33 nobles, and nine elected by popular vote; members serve three-year terms)
elections: last held 7 March 2002 (next to be held NA 2005)
election results: percent of vote - pro-democratic 70%; seats - pro-democratic 7, traditionalist 2
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the monarch); Court of Appeal (consists of the Privy Council with the addition of the chief justice of the Supreme Court)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
there are no political parties
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Tonga Human Rights and Democracy Movement or THRDM [Akilisi POHIVA, president]
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACP, AsDB, C, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Sione KITE
chancery: 250 East 51st Street, New York, NY 10022
telephone: [1] (917) 369-1136
consulate(s) general: San Francisco
FAX: [1] (917) 369-1024
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
the US does not have an embassy in Tonga; the ambassador to Fiji is accredited to Tonga
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
red with a bold red cross on a white rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner
   Economy    Tonga
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Tonga has a small, open economy with a narrow export base in agricultural goods. Squash, coconuts, bananas, and vanilla beans are the main crops, and agricultural exports make up two-thirds of total exports. The country must import a high proportion of its food, mainly from New Zealand. Tourism is the second largest source of hard currency earnings following remittances. The country remains dependent on external aid and remittances from Tongan communities overseas to offset its trade deficit. The government is emphasizing the development of the private sector, especially the encouragement of investment, and is committing increased funds for health and education. Tonga has a reasonable basic infrastructure and well-developed social services.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $225 million (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
5.3% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $2,200 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 30%
industry: 10%
services: 60% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing
9.4% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
33,908 (1996)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 65% (1997 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
13.3% (1996 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $39.9 million
expenditures: $52.4 million, including capital expenditures of $1.9 million (FY99/00 est.)
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
tourism, fishing
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
8.6% (FY98/99)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
30 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
27.9 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
squash, coconuts, copra, bananas, vanilla beans, cocoa, coffee, ginger, black pepper; fish
Exports:
Definition Field Listing
$9.3 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
squash, fish, vanilla beans, root crops
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Japan 50.4%, US 31.6%, NZ 4.1%, Australia 2.1%, Fiji 1.7% (2000 est.)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing
$70 million (c.i.f., 2000 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
foodstuffs, machinery and transport equipment, fuels, chemicals
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
New Zealand 29.8%, Japan 18.6%, Australia 12.7%, US 12.7%, Fiji 12.2% (2000 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$57.5 million (June 2001)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
Australia $5.5 million, New Zealand $2.3 million (FY01/02)
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
pa'anga (TOP)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
TOP
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
pa'anga per US dollar - 2.1920 (January 2002), 2.1236 (2001), 1.7585 (2000), 1.5991 (1999), 1.4920 (1998), 1.2635 (1997)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 July - 30 June
   Communications    Tonga
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
8,000 (1996)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
302 (1996)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (1996)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 1 (2001)
Radios:
Definition Field Listing
61,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
2 (2001)
Televisions:
Definition Field Listing
2,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.to
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
2 (2000)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
1,000 (2000)
   Transportation    Tonga
Railways:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Highways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 680 km
paved: 184 km
unpaved: 496 km (1996)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
none
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Neiafu, Nuku'alofa, Pangai
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 80 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 292,139 GRT/421,221 DWT
ships by type: bulk 10, cargo 54, liquefied gas 4, petroleum tanker 8, roll on/roll off 4
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Albania 1, Australia 4, Austria 1, Bolivia 1, Cyprus 1, Djibouti 1, Egypt 2, Greece 4, Lebanon 2, Liberia 2, Marshall Islands 2, Morocco 1, Norway 1, Panama 1, Romania 3, Russia 1, Sao Tome and Principe 1, Saudi Arabia 2, Singapore 1, Sweden 1, Switzerland 3, Syria 5, Ukraine 1, United Arab Emirates 16, United States 4 (2002 est.)
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
6 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2001)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (2001)
   Military    Tonga
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Tonga Defense Services (made up of three operational command components and two support elements, including the Royal Marines, Royal Guards, Maritime Force, a support/logistics group, and a training group), Police; note - a new air wing that will be subordinate to the Ministry of Defense is being developed
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
   Transnational Issues    Tonga
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
none

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


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