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 Oceania, archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand

Geographic Coordinates:

 20 00 S, 175 00 W


 Total: 747 sq km
Land: 717 sq km
Water: 30 sq km

Area - Comparative:

 Four times the size of Washington, DC

Land Boundaries:

 0 km


 419 km (Rank: 115)

Maritime Claims:

 Territorial sea: 12 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation


 Tropical; modified by trade winds; warm season (December to May), cool season (May to December)


 Most islands have limestone base formed from uplifted coral formation; others have limestone overlying volcanic base

Elevation Extremes:

 Lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Highest point: unnamed elevation on Kao Island 1,033 m

Natural Resources:

 Fish, fertile soil

Land Use:

 Arable land: 20%
Permanent crops: 14.67%
Other: 65.33% (2005)

Natural Hazards:

 Cyclones (October to April); earthquakes and volcanic activity on Fonuafo'ou

Volcanism: the Tonga Islands experience volcanic activity; Fonualei (elev. 180 m) has shown frequent activity in recent years, while Niuafo'ou (elev. 260 m), which last erupted in 1985, has forced evacuations; other historically active volcanoes include Late and Tofua

Environment - Current Issues:

 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:

 Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution

Signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - Note:

 Archipelago of 169 islands (36 inhabited)

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 Noun: Tongan(s)
Adjective: Tongan

Ethnic Groups:

 Polynesian, Europeans


 Tongan (official), English (official)


 Christian (Free Wesleyan Church claims over 30,000 adherents)


 105,916 (July 2011 est.)

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 37.2% (male 20,023/female 19,393)
15-64 years: 56.7% (male 30,125/female 29,959)
65 years and over: 6.1% (male 2,986/female 3,430) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 21.4 years
Male: 21 years
Female: 21.8 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 0.243% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 25.27 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 4.9 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 -17.94 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


 Urban population: 23% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 0.8% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 13.65 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 14.07 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 13.21 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 75.16 years
Male: 73.79 years
Female: 76.58 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 3.65 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Health Expenditures:

 6.2% of GDP (2009)

Physicians Density:

 0.2912 physicians/1,000 population (2002)

Hospital Bed Density:

 2.44 beds/1,000 population (2008)

Drinking Water Source:

 Urban: 100% of population
Rural: 100% of population
Total: 100% of population (2008)

Sanitation Facility Access:

 Urban: 98% of population
Rural: 96% of population
Total: 96% of population
Urban: 2% of population
Rural: 4% of population
Total: 4% of population (2008)

Obesity - Adult Prevalence Rate:

 56% (2000)

Education Expenditures:

 3.9% of GDP (2004)


 Definition: can read and write Tongan and/or English
Total population: 98.9%
Male: 98.8%
Female: 99% (1999 est.)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 14 years
Male: 14 years
Female: 14 years (2007)

Unemployment, Youth Ages 15-24:

 Total: 11.9%
Male: 9.9%
Female: 15.1% (2003)

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Country Name:

 Conventional long form: Kingdom of Tonga
Conventional short form: Tonga
Local long form: Pule'anga Tonga
Local short form: Tonga
Former: Friendly Islands

Government Type:

 Constitutional monarchy


 Name: Nuku'alofa
Geographic coordinates: 21 08 S, 175 12 W
Time difference: UTC+13 (18 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative Divisions:

 3 island groups; Ha'apai, Tongatapu, Vava'u


 4 June 1970 (from UK protectorate)

National Holiday:

 National Day, 4 November (1875)


 4 November 1875; revised 1 January 1967

Legal System:

 English common law

International Law Organization Participation:

 Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


 21 years of age; universal

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: King George TUPOU V (since 11 September 2006)

Head of government: Prime Minister Lord Siale'ataonga TU'IVAKANO (since 22 December 2010)

Cabinet: Cabinet is nominated by the prime minister and appointed by the monarch

Note: there is also a Privy Council that advises the monarch

Elections: the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister and deputy prime minister elected by and from the members of parliament and appointed by the monarch

Election results: Lord Siale'ataonga TU'IVAKANO elected by parliament on 21 December 2010 with 14 of 26 votes

Legislative Branch:

 Unicameral Legislative Assembly or Fale Alea (26 seats - 9 for nobles elected from among the country's 29 nobles, 17 members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

Elections: last held on 25 November 2010 (next to be held in 2014)

Election results: Peoples Representatives: percent of vote - independents 67.3%, Democratic Party 28.5%; seats - Democratic Party 12, independents 5

Judicial Branch:

 Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the monarch); Court of Appeal (Chief Justice and high court justices from overseas chosen and approved by Privy Council)

Political Parties and Leaders:

 Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands [Samuela 'Akilisi POHIVA]; People's Democratic Party or PDP [Tesina FUKO]; Sustainable Nation-Building Party [Sione FONUA]; Tonga Democratic Labor Party [NA]; Tonga Human Rights and Democracy Movement or THRDM [Uliti UATA]

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders:

 Human Rights and Democracy Movement Tonga or HRDMT [Rev. Simote VEA, chairman]; Public Servant's Association [Finau TUTONE]

International Organization Participation:


Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Sonatane Tu'akinamolahi TAUMOEPEAU-TUPOU
Chancery: 250 East 51st Street, New York, NY 10022
Telephone: [1] (917) 369-1025
FAX: [1] (917) 369-1024
Consulate(s) general: San Francisco

Diplomatic Representation From the US:

 The US does not have an embassy in Tonga; the US ambassador to Fiji is accredited to Tonga

Flag Description:

 Red with a bold red cross on a white rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner; the cross reflects the deep-rooted Christianity in Tonga; red represents the blood of Christ and his sacrifice; white signifies purity

National Symbols:

 Red cross on white field; arms equal length

National Anthem:

 Name: "Ko e fasi `o e tu"i `o e `Otu Tonga" (Song of the King of the Tonga Islands)
Lyrics/music: Uelingatoni Ngu TUPOUMALOHI/Karl Gustavus SCHMITT

Note: in use since 1875; the anthem is more commonly known as "Fasi Fakafonua" (National Song)

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Economy - Overview:

 Tonga has a small, open, South Pacific island economy. It has a narrow export base in agricultural goods. Squash, vanilla beans, and yams are the main crops. Agricultural exports, including fish, make up two-thirds of total exports. The country must import a high proportion of its food, mainly from New Zealand. The country remains dependent on external aid and remittances from Tongan communities overseas to offset its trade deficit. Tourism is the second-largest source of hard currency earnings following remittances. Tonga had 39,000 visitors in 2006. 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 reasonably sound basic infrastructure and well developed social services. High unemployment among the young, a continuing upturn in inflation, pressures for democratic reform, and rising civil service expenditures are major issues facing the government.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $751 million (2010 est.)
$749.1 million (2009 est.)
$750.9 million (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $363 million (2010 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 0.3% (2010 est.)
-0.3% (2009 est.)
1.3% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $6,100 (2010 est.)
$6,200 (2009 est.)
$6,300 (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 20.4%
Industry: 17.9%
Services: 61.7% (2010 est.)

Labor Force:

 39,960 (2007)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: 31.8%
Industry: 30.6%
Services: 2,003% (2003 est.)

Unemployment Rate:

 13% (FY03/04 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line:

 24% (FY03/04)

Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: NA%
Highest 10%: NA%

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 26.3% of GDP (2010 est.)


 Revenues: $104.9 million
Expenditures: $104.9 million (2010 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 28.9% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 0% of GDP (2010 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 3.6% (2010 est.)
1.4% (2009 est.)

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 11.53% (31 December 2010 est.)
12.13% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Money:

 $36.16 million (31 December 2008)
$46.38 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of Quasi Money:

 $100.7 million (31 December 2008)
$106.8 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $54.37 million (31 December 2010 est.)
$44.54 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $171.8 million (31 December 2010 est.)
$153.5 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $165.8 million (31 December 2010 est.)
$150.2 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Agriculture - Products:

 Squash, coconuts, copra, bananas, vanilla beans, cocoa, coffee, ginger, black pepper; fish


 Tourism, construction, fishing

Industrial Production Growth Rate:

 1% (2003 est.)

Electricity - Production:

 40 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 100%
Hydro: 0%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 37.2 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 0 kWh (2009)

Electricity - Imports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - Production:

 0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 1,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 1,202 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 -$23 million (2007 est.)


 $22 million (2006)

Exports - Commodities:

 Squash, fish, vanilla beans, root crops

Exports - Partners:

 Hong Kong 26.8%, US 17.9%, Fiji 10.7%, Samoa 9%, NZ 7.9%, Japan 6.1%, American Samoa 5.7% (2010)


 $139 million (2006)

Imports - Commodities:

 Foodstuffs, machinery and transport equipment, fuels, chemicals

Imports - Partners:

 Fiji 31.6%, NZ 22.3%, Japan 11%, US 10.8%, Australia 5.6%, China 5.1% (2010)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold:

 $40.83 million (FY04/05)

Debt - External:

 $104.5 million (31 December 2009 est.)
$80.7 million (2004)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert Tonga Pa'ang to Any Currency

Pa'anga (TOP) per US dollar -
NA (2007)
2.0277 (2006)
1.96 (2005)
1.9716 (2004)
2.142 (2003)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 31,000 (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 54,300 (2010)

Telephone System:

 General assessment: competition between Tonga Telecommunications Corporation (TCC) and Shoreline Communications Tonga (SCT) is accelerating expansion of telecommunications; SCT granted approval to introduce high-speed digital service for telephone, Internet, and television while TCC has exclusive rights to operate the mobile-phone network; international telecom services are provided by government-owned Tonga Telecommunications International (TTI)

Domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity about 70 telephones per 100 persons; fully automatic switched network

International: country code - 676; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2009)

Broadcast Media:

 2 state-owned television stations and 2 privately-owned stations; satellite and cable TV services are available; 2 state-owned and 3 privately-owned radio stations; Radio Australia broadcasts obtainable via a satellite feed (2009)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 1, FM 4, shortwave 1 (2001)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 3 (2004)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 20,847 (2010)

Internet Users:

 8,400 (2009)

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 6 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - With Unpaved Runways:

 Total: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3
Under 914 m: 1 (2010)


 Total: 680 km
Paved: 184 km
Unpaved: 496 km (2000)

Merchant Marine:

 Total: 10
By type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 6, carrier 1, liquefied gas 1, passenger/cargo 1
Foreign-owned: 3 (Australia 1, Switzerland 1, UK 1) (2010)

Ports and Terminals:

 Nuku'alofa, Neiafu, Pangai

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Military Branches:

 Tonga Defense Services (TDS): Land Force (Royal Guard), Maritime Force (includes Royal Marines, Air Wing) (2010)

Military Service Age and Obligation:

 16 years of age for voluntary enlistment (with parental consent); no conscription (2010)

Manpower Available For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 24,460
Females age 16-49: 24,041 (2010 est.)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 20,956
Females age 16-49: 20,577 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 1,196
Female: 1,134 (2010 est.)

Military Expenditures:

 0.9% of GDP (2006 est.)

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Last Updated: December 2011

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