Statistical information Tonga 1996Tonga

Map of Tonga | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
Military | Transportation | Transnational Issues | Year:  | More stats

Tonga in the World
Tonga in the World

Thrifty Traveler

Tonga - Introduction 1996
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Background: 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
Natural hazards: cyclones (October to April); earthquakes and volcanic activity on Fonuafo'ou
International agreements: party to_Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Whaling; signed, but not ratified_Law of the Sea

Tonga - Geography 1996
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Location: Oceania, island group in the South Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand

Geographic coordinates: 20 00 S, 175 00 W

Map referenceOceania

Total area total: 748 km²
Land: 718 km²

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 419 km

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

Climate: tropical; modified by trade winds; warm season (December to May), cool season (May to December)

Terrain: most islands have limestone base formed from uplifted coral formation; others have limestone overlying volcanic base

Extremes lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Extremes highest point: on Kao Island 1,033 m

Natural resources: fish, fertile soil
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 25%
Permanent crops: 55%
Meadows and pastures: 6%
Forest and woodland: 12%
Other: 2%

Irrigated land: NA km²

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Tonga - People 1996
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Population: 106,466 (July 1996 est.)
Growth rate: 0.82% (1996 est.)

Noun: Tongan(s)
Adjective: Tongan

Ethnic groups

Languages: Tongan, English

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

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: NA
15-64 years: NA
65 years and over: NA

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 0.82% (1996 est.)

Birth rate: 27.33 births/1000 population (1996 est.)

Death rate: 6.26 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.29 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas


Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: NA male(s)/female
Under 15 years: NA male(s)/female
15-64 years: NA male(s)/female
65 years and over: NA male(s)/female
All ages: NA male(s)/female

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 40.26 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 69.04 years
Male: 67.03 years
Female: 71.4 years (1996 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.75 children born/woman (1996 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

Definition: age 15 and over that can read and write a simple message in Tongan or English (1976 est.)
Total population: 100%
Male: 100%
Female: 100%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Tonga - Government 1996
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Country name
Conventional long form: Kingdom of Tonga
Conventional short form: Tonga
Former: Friendly Islands

Government type

Capital: Nuku'alofa

Administrative divisions: three island groups; Ha'apai, Tongatapu, Vava'u

Dependent areas

Independence: 4 June 1970 (emancipation from UK protectorate)

National holiday: Emancipation Day, 4 June (1970)

Constitution: 4 November 1875, revised 1 January 1967

Legal system: based on English law

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: King Taufa'ahau TUPOU IV (since 16 December 1965) is a constitutional monarch
Head of government: Prime Minister Baron VAEA (since 22 August 1991) and Deputy Prime Minister S. Langi KAVALIKU (since 22 August 1991) were appointed for life by the king
Cabinet: Cabinet was appointed by the king
Privy Council: consists of the king and the Cabinet

Legislative branch: unicameral
Legislative Assembly Fale Alea: elections last held 3-4 February 1993 (next to be held NA February 1996); results_percent of vote NA; seats_(30 total, 12 reserved for cabinet ministers sitting ex officio, nine for nobles selected by the country's 33 nobles, and nine for elected people's representatives) 6 proreform, 3 traditionalist

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges are appointed by the king

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ACP, AsDB, C, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IMF, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ITU, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of Tonga: Red with a bold red cross on a white rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Tonga - Economy 1996
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Economy overview: The economy's base is agr.htmure, which contributes 40% to GDP. 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. The manufacturing sector accounts for only 11% of GDP. Tourism is the primary source of hard currency earnings, but the country also remains dependent on sizable external aid and remittances to offset its trade deficit. The economy continued to grow in 1993-95 largely because of a rise in squash exports, increased aid flows, and several large construction projects. The government is now turning its attention to further development of the private sector and the reduction of the budget deficit.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 4% (1995 est.)

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: 40% (1995 est.)
Industry: NA%
Services: NA%

Agriculture products: coconuts, copra, bananas, vanilla beans, cocoa, coffee, ginger, black pepper

Industries: tourism, fishing

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Labor force: 32,013 (1990 est.)
By occupation: agriculture 70% (1995 est.)
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: $44 million
Expenditures: $86 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1995 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: 1 July_30 June

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. $20.3 million (f.o.b., FY93/94)
Commodities: squash, vanilla, fish, root crops, coconut oil

Japan 59%
US 14%
Australia 6%
NZ 6% (FY93/94)

Imports: total value: $57.8 million (c.i.f., FY93/94)
Commodities: food products, machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, fuels, chemicals
Partners: NZ 44%, Australia 22%, US 8%, Japan 7% (FY93/94)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: pa'anga (T$) per US$1: 1.2753 (December 1995), 1.2709 (1995), 1.3202 (1994), 1.3841 (1993), 1.3471 (1992), 1.2961 (1991)

Tonga - Energy 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 231 kWh (1993)

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

Tonga - Communication 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system
Domestic: NA
International: satellite earth station_1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Tonga - Military 1996
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Tonga - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 6
With paved runways 2 438 to 3 047 m: 1
With paved runways under 914 m: 2
With unpaved runways 1 524 to 2 437 m: 1
With unpaved runways 914 to 1 523 m: 2 (1995 est.)

Airports with paved runways
2 438 to 3 047 m: 1
Under 914 m: 2

Airports with unpaved runways
1 524 to 2 437 m: 1
914 to 1 523 m: 2 (1995 est.)



Railways: 0 km



Merchant marine
Total: 4 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 9,990 GRT/14,884 DWT

Ports and terminals

Tonga - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

The Fives Hotels

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