Tuvalu 2002Tuvalu

 Tuvalu | | | | | |
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Tuvalu - Introduction 2002
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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 2000 Tuvalu negotiated a contract leasing its Internet domain name '.tv' for $50 million in royalties over the next dozen years.

Tuvalu - Geography 2002
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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: 8 00 S 178 00 E

Map referenceOceania

Total: 26 km²
Water: 0 km²
Land: 26 km²
Comparative: 0.1 times the size of Washington DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 24 km

Maritime claims
Contiguous zone: 24 NM
Territorial sea: 12 NM
Exclusive economic zone: 200 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: unnamed location 5 m

Natural resources: fish
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 0%
Permanent crops: 0%
Other: 100% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: NA km²

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: 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

Note: 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

Tuvalu - People 2002
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Population: 11,146 (July 2002 est.)
Growth rate: 1.4% (2002 est.)
Below poverty line: NA%

Noun: Tuvaluan
Adjective: Tuvaluan

Ethnic groups: Polynesian 96% Micronesian 4%

Languages: Tuvaluan English Samoan Kiribati (on the island of Nui)

Religions: 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: 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.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 1.4% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 21.44 births/1000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate: 7.45 deaths/1000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1000 population (2002 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: 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
International agreements party to: Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
International agreements signed but not ratified: Biodiversity, Law of the Sea

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male/female
15-64 years: 0.93 male/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male/female
Total population: 0.95 male/female (2002 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 22 deaths/1000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 66.98 years
Female: 69.23 years (2002 est.)
Male: 64.83 years

Total fertility rate: 3.07 children born/woman (2002 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: percentage of people over the age of 15 who can read and write
Total population: 55% (1996)
Male: NA%
Female: NA%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Tuvalu - Government 2002
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Country name
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: constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy; began debating republic status in 1992

Capital: Fongafale

Administrative divisions: none

Dependent areas

Independence: 1 October 1978 (from UK)

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 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 2 August 2002 (next to be held NA)
Election results: Saufatu SOPOANGA elected prime minister; Parliamentary vote - Saufatu SOPOANGA 8, Amasone KILEI 7
Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister
Head of government: Prime Minister Saufatu SOPOANGA (since 2 August 2002)

Legislative branch
Elections: last held 25 July 2002 (next to be held NA 2006)
Election results: percent of vote - NA%; seats - independents 15

Judicial branch: 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: there are no political parties but members of Parliament usually align themselves in informal groupings

International organization participation: ACP AsDB C ESCAP IFRCS (associate) ITU Sparteca SPC SPF UN UNCTAD UNESCO UPU WHO WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation
In the us: 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 10,017 telephone: [1] (212) 490-0534
From the us: the US does not have an embassy in Tuvalu; the US ambassador to Fiji is accredited to Tuvalu

Flag descriptionflag of Tuvalu: 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

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Tuvalu - Economy 2002
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Economy overview: 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 1000 tourists on average visit Tuvalu annually. Government revenues largely come from the sale of stamps and coins and worker remittances. About 1000 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.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 3% (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: NA%
Industry: NA%
Services: NA%

Agriculture products: coconuts; fish

Industries: fishing tourism copra

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Labor force: 7,000 (2001 est.)
By occupation: 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)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: NA%

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: $22.5 million
Expenditures: $11.2 million, including capital expenditures of $4.2 million (2000 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 5% (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: $276,000 f.o.b. (1997)
Commodities: copra fish
Partners: Sweden Fiji Iceland Germany Greece (2000)

Imports: $7.2 million c.i.f. (1998)
Commodities: food animals mineral fuels machinery manufactured goods
Partners: Fiji Australia Portugal NZ (2000)

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 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)

Tuvalu - Energy 2002
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Electricity access

Electricity production
By source fossil fuel: NA%
By source hydro: NA%
By source nuclear: NA%
By source other: NA%

Electricity consumption

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 2002
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: 0 (1994)

Telephone system
General assessment: serves particular needs for internal communications
Domestic: radiotelephone communications between islands
International: NA

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .tv

Internet users: NA

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Tuvalu - Military 2002
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $NA
Percent of gdp: NA%

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Tuvalu - Transportation 2002
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 1 (2001)
With unpaved runways total: 1
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 1 (2002)

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 1
15-24 to 2437 m: 1 (2002)



Railways: 0 km


Waterways: none

Merchant marine
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

Ports and terminals

Tuvalu - Transnational issues 2002
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Disputes international: none

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

Undercover Tourist

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