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The World Factbook 2002

         
  Tuvalu  
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  Geography
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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 Tuvalu

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Tuvalu
Background:
Definition Field Listing
In 1974, ethnic differences within the British colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands caused the Polynesians of the Ellice Islands to vote for separation from the Micronesians of the Gilbert Islands. The following year, the Ellice Islands became the separate British colony of Tuvalu. Independence was granted in 1978. In 2000, Tuvalu negotiated a contract leasing its Internet domain name ".tv" for $50 million in royalties over the next dozen years.
   Geography    Tuvalu
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Oceania, island group consisting of nine coral atolls in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to Australia
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
8 00 S, 178 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Oceania
Area:
Definition Field Listing
total: 26 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 26 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
0.1 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
24 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
contiguous zone: 24 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical; moderated by easterly trade winds (March to November); westerly gales and heavy rain (November to March)
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
very low-lying and narrow coral atolls
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 5 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
fish
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
NA sq km
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
severe tropical storms are usually rare, but, in 1997, there were three cyclones; low level of islands make them very sensitive to changes in sea level
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
since there are no streams or rivers and groundwater is not potable, most water needs must be met by catchment systems with storage facilities (the Japanese Government has built one desalination plant and plans to build one other); beachhead erosion because of the use of sand for building materials; excessive clearance of forest undergrowth for use as fuel; damage to coral reefs from the spread of the Crown of Thorns starfish; Tuvalu is very concerned about global increases in greenhouse gas emissions and their effect on rising sea levels, which threaten the country's underground water table; in 2000, the government appealed to Australia and New Zealand to take in Tuvaluans if rising sea levels should make evacuation necessary
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: Biodiversity, Law of the Sea
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
one of the smallest and most remote countries on Earth; six of the coral atolls - Nanumea, Nui, Vaitupu, Nukufetau, Funafuti, and Nukulaelae - have lagoons open to the ocean; Nanumaya and Niutao have landlocked lagoons; Niulakita does not have a lagoon
   People    Tuvalu
Population:
Definition Field Listing
11,146 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 32.6% (male 1,851; female 1,785)
15-64 years: 62.3% (male 3,335; female 3,607)
65 years and over: 5.1% (male 233; female 335) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.4% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
21.44 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
7.45 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: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
22 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 66.98 years
female: 69.23 years (2002 est.)
male: 64.83 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
3.07 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: Tuvaluan(s)
adjective: Tuvaluan
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Polynesian 96%, Micronesian 4%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Church of Tuvalu (Congregationalist) 97%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.4%, Baha'i 1%, other 0.6%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Tuvaluan, English, Samoan, Kiribati (on the island of Nui)
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: percentage of people over the age of 15 who can read and write
total population: 55% (1996)
male: NA%
female: NA%
   Government    Tuvalu
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Tuvalu
note: "Tuvalu" means "group of eight," referring to the country's eight traditionally inhabited islands
former: Ellice Islands
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy; began debating republic status in 1992
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Fongafale
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
none
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
1 October 1978 (from UK)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 1 October (1978)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
1 October 1978
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Sir Tomasi PUAPUA, M.D. (since 26 June 1998)
elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the prime minister; prime minister and deputy prime minister elected by and from the members of Parliament; election last held 13 December 2001 (next to be held by August 2002)
election results: Koloa TALAKE elected prime minister; percent of Parliament vote - 53%
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister
head of government: Prime Minister Koloa TALAKE (since 13 December 2001); TALAKE took over after Prime Minister Faimalaga LUKA was ousted in a vote of no-confidence
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral Parliament or Fale I Fono, also called House of Assembly (15 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 25 July 2002 (next to be held NA 2006)
election results: percent of vote - NA%; seats - independents 15
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
High Court (a chief justice visits twice a year to preside over its sessions; its rulings can be appealed to the Court of Appeal in Fiji); eight Island Courts (with limited jurisdiction)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
there are no political parties but members of Parliament usually align themselves in informal groupings
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
none
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACP, AsDB, C, ESCAP, IFRCS (associate), ITU, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WTrO (applicant)
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
Tuvalu does not have an embassy in the US - the country's only diplomatic post is in Fiji - Tuvalu does, however, have a UN office located at 800 2nd Avenue, Suite 400D, New York, New York 10017, telephone: [1] (212) 490-0534
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
the US does not have an embassy in Tuvalu; the US ambassador to Fiji is accredited to Tuvalu
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
light blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant; the outer half of the flag represents a map of the country with nine yellow five-pointed stars symbolizing the nine islands
   Economy    Tuvalu
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Tuvalu consists of a densely populated, scattered group of nine coral atolls with poor soil. The country has no known mineral resources and few exports. Subsistence farming and fishing are the primary economic activities. Fewer than 1,000 tourists, on average, visit Tuvalu annually. Government revenues largely come from the sale of stamps and coins and worker remittances. About 1,000 Tuvaluans work in Nauru in the phosphate mining industry. Nauru has begun repatriating Tuvaluans, however, as phosphate resources decline. Substantial income is received annually from an international trust fund established in 1987 by Australia, NZ, and the UK and supported also by Japan and South Korea. Thanks to wise investments and conservative withdrawals, this Fund has grown from an initial $17 million to over $35 million in 1999. The US government is also a major revenue source for Tuvalu, with 1999 payments from a 1988 treaty on fisheries at about $9 million, a total which is expected to rise annually. In an effort to reduce its dependence on foreign aid, the government is pursuing public sector reforms, including privatization of some government functions and personnel cuts of up to 7%. In 1998, Tuvalu began deriving revenue from use of its area code for "900" lines and in 2000, from the lease of its ".tv" Internet domain name. Royalties from these new technology sources could raise GDP substantially over the next decade. With merchandise exports only a fraction of merchandise imports, continued reliance must be placed on fishing and telecommunications license fees, remittances from overseas workers, official transfers, and investment income from overseas assets.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $12.2 million (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
3% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $1,100 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
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
5% (2000 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
7,000 (2001 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
people make a living mainly through exploitation of the sea, reefs, and atolls and from wages sent home by those abroad (mostly workers in the phosphate industry and sailors)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $22.5 million
expenditures: $11.2 million, including capital expenditures of $4.2 million (2000 est.)
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
fishing, tourism, copra
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: NA%
hydro: NA%
nuclear: NA%
other: NA%
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
coconuts; fish
Exports:
Definition Field Listing
$276,000 (f.o.b., 1997)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
copra, fish
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Sweden, Fiji, Iceland, Germany, Greece (2000)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing
$7.2 million (c.i.f., 1998)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
food, animals, mineral fuels, machinery, manufactured goods
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Fiji, Australia, Portugal, NZ (2000)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$NA
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$13 million (1999 est.); note - major donors are Japan, Australia, and the US
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
Australian dollar (AUD); note - there is also a Tuvaluan dollar
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
AUD
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Tuvaluan dollars or Australian dollars per US dollar - 1.9354 (January 2002), 1.9320 (2001), 1.7173 (2000), 1.5497 (1999), 1.5888 (1998), 1.3439 (1997)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Tuvalu
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
1,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
0 (1994)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: serves particular needs for internal communications
domestic: radiotelephone communications between islands
international: NA
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 1, FM 0, shortwave 0 (1999)
Radios:
Definition Field Listing
4,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
0 (1997)
Televisions:
Definition Field Listing
800
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.tv
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
1 (2000)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
NA
   Transportation    Tuvalu
Railways:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Highways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 19.5 km
paved: 0 km
unpaved: 19.5 km (2002)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
none
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Funafuti, Nukufetau
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 5 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 31,021 GRT/52,198 DWT
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Germany 5 (2002 est.)
ships by type: cargo 3, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 1
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
1 (2001)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2001)
   Military    Tuvalu
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
no regular military forces; Police Force (includes Maritime Surveillance Unit for search and rescue missions and surveillance operations)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
   Transnational Issues    Tuvalu
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
none

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


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