Tuvalu 1996Tuvalu

 Tuvalu | | | | | |
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Tuvalu - Introduction 1996
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Background: 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 1996 Tuvalu negotiated a contract leasing its Internet domain name '.tv' for $50 million in royalties over the next dozen years.

Tuvalu - Geography 1996
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Location: 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

Map reference

Total: 26 km²
Land: 26 km²
Comparative: about 0.1 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 24 km

Maritime claims
Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: Tropical; moderated by easterly trade winds (March to November; westerly gales and heavy rain (November to March)

Terrain: Very low-lying and narrow coral atolls

Extremes lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Extremes highest point: 5 m

Natural resources: Fish
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 0%
Permanent crops: 0%
Permanent pastures: 0%
Forests and woodland: 0%
Other: 100%
Note: Tuvalu's nine coral atolls have enough soil to grow coconuts and support subsistence agriculture

Irrigated land: NA

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Tuvalu - People 1996
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10,146 (July 1996 est.)
9,991 (July 1995 est.)

Growth rate:
1.51% (1996 est.)
1.58% (1995 est.)

Noun: Tuvaluans(s)
Adjective: Tuvaluan

Ethnic groups: Polynesian 96%

Languages: Tuvaluan, English

Church of Tuvalu (Congregationalist) 97%
Seventh-Day Adventist 1.4%
Baha'i 1%
Other 0.6%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years:
36% (male 1,865; female 1,798)
36% (male 1,852; female 1,787)

15-64 years:
59% (male 2,831; female 3,162)
59% (male 2,764; female 3,105)

65 years and over:
5% (male 227; female 263) (July 1996 est.)
5% (male 225; female 258) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate:
1.51% (1996 est.)
1.58% (1995 est.)

Birth rate:
23.95 births/1000 population (1996 est.)
24.82 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate:
8.87 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.)
9.01 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)
0 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: since there are no streams or rivers and groundwater is not potable, all water needs must be met by catchment systems with storage facilities; 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
Current issues Natural hazards: severe tropical storms are rare
International agreements: party to_Climate Change, Endangered Species, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling; signed, but not ratified_Biodiversity, Law of the Sea

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
All ages:
0.94 male(s)/female (1996 est.) Infant Mortality Rate:27.6 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)
27.9 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 63.34 years (1996 est.), 63.15 years (1995 est.)
Male: 62.15 years (1996 est.), 61.87 years (1995 est.)
Female: 64.59 years (1996 est.), 64.34 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate:
3.11 children born/woman (1996 est.)
3.11 children born/woman (1995 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: definition:NA

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Tuvalu - Government 1996
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Country name
Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: Tuvalu
Former: Ellice Islands

Government type: Democracy; began debating republic status in 1992

Capital: Funafuti

Administrative divisions: None

Dependent areas

Independence: 1 October 1978 (from U.K.)

National holiday: Independence Day, 1 October (1978)

Constitution: 1 October 1978

Legal system: NA

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Tulaga MANUELLA (since NA June 1994)
Head of government: Prime Minister Kamuta LATASI (since 10 December 1993); Deputy Prime Minister Otinielu TAUSI (since 10 December 1993)
Cabinet: Cabinet; appointed by the governor general on recommendation of the prime minister

Legislative branch: Unicameral Parliament (Palamene):Elections last held 25 November 1993 (next to be held by NA 1997; results_percent of vote NA; seats_(12 total)

Judicial branch: High Court

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ACP, AsDB, C (special), ESCAP, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UNESCO, UPU, WHO

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of Tuvalu
Tuvalu flag:
Light blue with the flag of the U.K. 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.
Another flag was used from NA until NA, had three horizontal bands, red at the top and bottom, light blue in between, seperated by two narrow white lines. The blue part had a white triangle on the host side with the coat of arms.

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Tuvalu - Economy 1996
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Economy overview: Tuvalu consists of a 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. The islands are too small and too remote for development of a tourist industry. Government revenues largely come from the sale of stamps and coins and worker remittances. 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. 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%.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: NA

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: Coconuts and fish


Industrial production growth rate: Growth rate NA

Labor force: NA
By occupation: NA
Labor force

Unemployment rate: NA

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $4.3 million
Expenditures: $4.3 million, including capital expenditures of NA (1989 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: NA

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: total value. $165,000 (f.o.b., 1989)
Commodities: Copra

Imports: total value:$4.4 million (c.i.f., 1989)
Mineral fuels
Manufactured goods


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: NA

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Tuvaluan dollars ($T) or Australian dollars ($A) per US$1: 1.3477 (January 1996), 1.3486 (1995), 1.3667 (1994), 1.4704 (1993), 1.3600 (1992), 1.2835 (1991), 1.2799 (1990)

Tuvalu - Energy 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 3 million kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 330 kWh (1990)

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Tuvalu - Communication 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 130 telephones (1983 est.)
Domestic: radiotelephone communications between islands
International: NA

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Tuvalu - Military 1996
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Tuvalu - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 1
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 1

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways






Merchant marine
Total: 13 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 56,786 GRT/89,128 DWT
Ships by type: cargo 6, chemical tanker 4, oil tanker 1, passenger-cargo 1, refrigerated cargo 1 (1995 est.)

Ports and terminals

Tuvalu - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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