Statistical information Tonga 2001Tonga

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

Tonga in the World
Tonga in the World

Crystal Travel

Tonga - Introduction 2001
top of page

Background: 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.

Tonga - Geography 2001
top of page

Location: 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

Map referenceOceania

Total: 748 km²
Land: 718 km²
Water: 30 km²
Comparative: four times the size of Washington DC

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: unnamed location on Kao Island 1,033 m

Natural resources: fish fertile soil
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 24%
Permanent crops: 43%
Permanent pastures: 6%
Forests and woodland: 11%
Other: 16% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: NA km²

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: cyclones (October to April); earthquakes and volcanic activity on Fonuafo'ou

Note: archipelago of 170 islands (36 inhabited)

Tonga - People 2001
top of page

Population: 104,227 (July 2001 est.)
Growth rate: 1.79% (2001 est.)
Below poverty line: NA%

Noun: Tongan
Adjective: Tongan

Ethnic groups: Polynesian Europeans about 300

Languages: Tongan English

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

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 40.93% (male 21,739; female 20,916)
15-64 years: 54.99% (male 28,231; female 29,082)
65 years and over: 4.08% (male 1,912; female 2,347) (2001 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 1.79% (2001 est.)

Birth rate: 23.59 births/1000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 5.74 deaths/1000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1000 population (2001 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

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
International agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
International agreements signed but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male/female
Total population: 0.99 male/female (2001 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 14.08 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 68.25 years
Male: 65.83 years
Female: 70.78 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3 children born/woman (2001 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access

Adult prevalence rate: NA%
People living with hivaids: NA
Deaths: NA

Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: can read and write Tongan and/or English
Total population: 98.5%
Male: 98.4%
Female: 98.7% (1996 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Tonga - Government 2001
top of page

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

Government type: hereditary constitutional monarchy

Capital: Nuku'alofa

Administrative divisions: 3 island groups; Ha'apai Tongatapu Vava'u

Dependent areas

Independence: 4 June 1970 (from UK protectorate)

National holiday: Independence 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)
Head of government: Prime Minister Prince Lavaka ata ULUKALALA (since NA February 2000) and Deputy Prime Minister Tevita TOPOU (since NA January 2001)
Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the monarch
Note: there is also a Privy Council that consists of the monarch and the Cabinet
Elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed for life by the monarch

Legislative branch
Elections: last held NA March 1999 (next to be held NA 2002)
Election results: percent of vote - pro-democratic 40%; seats - pro-democratic 5, traditionalist 4

Judicial branch: 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: Human Rights and Democracy Movement [Huliki WATAB chairman Viliami FUKOFUKA president 'Akilisi POHIVA vice president]

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

Diplomatic representation
In the us consulates general: San Francisco
From the us: the US does not have an embassy in Tonga; the ambassador to Fiji is accredited to Tonga

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 2001
top of page

Economy overview: Tonga has a small open economy with a narrow export base in agricultural goods which contributes 30% 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 industrial sector accounts for only 10% of GDP. Tourism is the primary source of hard currency earnings. The country remains dependent on sizable 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.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 5% (2000 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: 30%
Industry: 10%
Services: 60% (1997)

Agriculture products: squash coconuts copra bananas vanilla beans cocoa coffee ginger black pepper; fish

Industries: tourism fishing

Industrial production growth rate: 8.6% (FY98/99)

Labor force: 34,000 (FY96/97)
By occupation: agriculture 65% (1997 est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 13.3% (FY96/97)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: NA%

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10: NA%
Highest 10: NA%

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $49 million
Expenditures: $120 million, including capital expenditures of $75 million (FY96/97 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 7% (2000 est.)

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: $8 million (f.o.b. 1998)
Commodities: squash fish vanilla beans
Partners: Japan 53% US 18% NZ 6% Australia 6% (1997 est.)

Imports: $69 million (f.o.b. 1998)
Commodities: foodstuffs machinery and transport equipment fuels chemicals
Partners: NZ 30% Australia 19% US 11% UK 11% Japan 3% (1997 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $62 million (1998)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: pa'anga per US dollar - 1.9885 (January 2001) 1.7585 (2000) 1.5991 (1999) 1.4920 (1998) 1.2635 (1997) 1.2323 (1996)

Tonga - Energy 2001
top of page

Electricity access

Electricity production: 35 million kWh (1999)
By source fossil fuel: 100%
By source hydro: 0%
By source nuclear: 0%
By source other: 0% (1999)

Electricity consumption: 32.6 million kWh (1999)

Electricity exports: 0 kWh (1999)

Electricity imports: 0 kWh (1999)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Tonga - Communication 2001
top of page

Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: 302 (1996)

Telephone system
General assessment: NA
Domestic: NA
International: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .to

Internet users: 1000 (2000)

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Tonga - Military 2001
top of page

Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $NA
Percent of gdp: NA%

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Tonga - Transportation 2001
top of page

National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 6 (2000 est.)
With paved runways total: 1
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 1 (2000 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 5
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 1
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 2
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 2 (2000 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 1
2438 to 3047 m: 1 (2000 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 5
15-24 to 2437 m: 1
914 to 1523 m: 2
Under 914 m: 2 (2000 est.)



Railways: 0 km


Waterways: none

Merchant marine
Total: 8 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 20,626 GRT/29,468 DWT
Ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 2, liquefied gas 3, petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 1 (2000 est.)

Ports and terminals

Tonga - Transnational issues 2001
top of page

Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


You found a piece of the puzzle

Please click here to complete it