Main Content

Australia - Oceania :: Niue Print
Page last updated on November 13, 2018
No Photos Available
  • Introduction :: Niue
  • Background field listing
    Niue's remoteness, as well as cultural and linguistic differences between its Polynesian inhabitants and those of the adjacent Cook Islands, has caused it to be separately administered by New Zealand. The population of the island continues to drop (from a peak of 5,200 in 1966 to 1,618 in 2017) with substantial emigration to New Zealand 2,400 km to the southwest.
  • Geography :: Niue
  • Location field listing
    Oceania, island in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Tonga
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    19 02 S, 169 52 W
    Map references field listing
    Oceania
    Area field listing
    total: 260 sq km
    land: 260 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 213
    Area - comparative field listing
    1.5 times the size of Washington, DC
    Land boundaries field listing
    0 km
    Coastline field listing
    64 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    Climate field listing
    tropical; modified by southeast trade winds
    Terrain field listing
    steep limestone cliffs along coast, central plateau
    Elevation field listing
    0 m lowest point: Pacific Ocean
    80 highest point: unnamed elevation 1.4 km east of Hikutavake
    Natural resources field listing
    arable land, fish
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 19.1% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 3.8% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 11.5% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 3.8% (2011 est.)
    forest: 71.2% (2011 est.)
    other: 9.7% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    0 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    population distributed around the peripheral coastal areas of the island
    Natural hazards field listing
    tropical cyclones
    Environment - current issues field listing
    increasing attention to conservationist practices to counter loss of soil fertility from traditional slash and burn agriculture
    Environment - international agreements field listing
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
    Geography - note field listing
    one of world's largest coral islands; the only major break in the surrounding coral reef occurs in the central western part of the coast
  • People and Society :: Niue
  • Population field listing
    1,618 (July 2017 est.)

    note: because of the island's limited economic and educational opportunities, Niueans have emigrated for decades - primarily to New Zealand, but also to Australia and other Pacific island states; Niue's population peaked in 1966 at 5,194, but by 2005 had fallen to 1,508; since then it has rebounded slightly; as of 2013, 23,883 people of Niuean ancestry lived in New Zealand - with more than 20% Niue-born; this means that there are about 15 times as many persons of Niuean living in New Zealand as in Niue, possibly the most eccentric population distribution in the world

    country comparison to the world: 233
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Niuean(s)
    adjective: Niuean
    Ethnic groups field listing
    Niuen 66.5%, part-Niuen 13.4%, non-Niuen 20.1% (includes 12% European and Asian and 8% Pacific Islanders) (2011 est.)
    Languages field listing
    Niuean (official) 46% (a Polynesian language closely related to Tongan and Samoan), Niuean and English 32%, English (official) 11%, Niuean and others 5%, other 6% (2011 est.)
    Religions field listing
    Ekalesia Niue (Congregational Christian Church of Niue - a Protestant church founded by missionaries from the London Missionary Society) 67%, other Protestant 3% (includes Seventh Day Adventist 1%, Presbyterian 1%, and Methodist 1%), Mormon 10%, Roman Catholic 10%, Jehovah's Witnesses 2%, other 6%, none 2% (2011 est.)
    Population growth rate field listing
    -0.03% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 199
    Population distribution field listing
    population distributed around the peripheral coastal areas of the island
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 44.8% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 1.69% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    1,000 ALOFI (capital) (2018)
    Sex ratio field listing
    NA
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: NA
    male: NA
    female: NA
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: NA (2017 est.)
    male: NA (2017 est.)
    female: NA (2017 est.)
    Total fertility rate field listing
    NA
    Health expenditures field listing
    7.4% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    Physicians density field listing
    1.84 physicians/1,000 population (2008)
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: urban: 98.4% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 98.6% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 98.5% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 1.6% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 1.4% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 1.5% of population (2015 est.)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: urban: 100% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 100% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 100% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 0% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 0% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    NA
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    50% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    Education expenditures field listing
    NA
  • Government :: Niue
  • Country name field listing
    conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Niue
    former: Savage Island
    etymology: the origin of the name is obscure; in Niuean, the word supposedly translates as "behold the coconut"

    note: pronunciation falls between nyu-way and new-way, but not like new-wee

    Dependency status field listing
    self-governing in free association with New Zealand since 1974; Niue fully responsible for internal affairs; New Zealand retains responsibility for external affairs and defense; however, these responsibilities confer no rights of control and are only exercised at the request of the Government of Niue
    Government type field listing
    self-governing parliamentary democracy (Fouo Ekepule) in free association with New Zealand
    Capital field listing
    name: Alofi
    geographic coordinates: 19 01 S, 169 55 W
    time difference: UTC-11 (6 hours behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    Administrative divisions field listing
    none; note - there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 14 villages at the second order
    Independence field listing
    19 October 1974 (Niue became a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand)
    National holiday field listing
    Waitangi Day (Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty over New Zealand), 6 February (1840)
    Constitution field listing
    history: several previous (New Zealand colonial statutes); latest 19 October 1974 (Niue Constitution Act 1974) (2017)
    amendments: proposed by the Assembly; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly membership in each of three readings and approval by the majority of votes in a referendum; passage of amendments to a number of sections including Niue’s self-governing status, British nationality and New Zealand citizenship, external affairs and defense, economic and administrative assistance by New Zealand, and amendment procedures requires at least two-thirds majority vote by the Assembly and at least two-thirds of votes in a referendum; amended 1992, 2007 (2017)
    Suffrage field listing
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General of New Zealand Governor General Dame Patricia Lee REDDY (since 28 September 2016); the UK and New Zealand are represented by New Zealand High Commissioner Ross ARDEN (since February 2014)
    head of government: Premier Toke TALAGI (since 18 June 2008)
    cabinet: Cabinet chosen by the premier
    elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; premier indirectly elected by the Legislative Assembly for a 3-year term; election last held on 12 May 2017 (next to be held in 2020)
    election results: Toke TALAGI reelected premier; Legislative Assembly vote - Toke TALAGI (independent) 15, O'Love JACOBSEN (independent) 5
    Legislative branch field listing
    description: unicameral Assembly or Fono Ekepule (20 seats; 14 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 6 directly elected from the National Register or "common roll" by majority vote; members serve 3-year terms)
    elections: last held on 6 May 2017 (next to be held in 2020)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - independent 20
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Court of Appeal (consists of the chief justice and up to 3 judges); note - the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London) is the final appeal court beyond the Niue Court of Appeal
    judge selection and term of office: Niue chief justice appointed by the governor-general on the advice of the Cabinet and tendered by the premier; other judges appointed by the governor-general on the advice of the Cabinet and tendered by the chief justice and the minister of justice; judges serve until age 68
    subordinate courts: High Court

    note: Niue is a participant in the Pacific Judicial Development Program, which is designed to build governance and the rule of law in 15 Pacific island countries

    Political parties and leaders field listing
    Alliance of Independents or AI
    Niue People's Action Party or NPP [Young VIVIAN]
    International organization participation field listing
    ACP, AOSIS, FAO, IFAD, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    none (self-governing territory in free association with New Zealand)
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    none (self-governing territory in free association with New Zealand)
    Flag description field listing
    yellow with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant; the flag of the UK bears five yellow five-pointed stars - a large star on a blue disk in the center and a smaller star on each arm of the bold red cross; the larger star stands for Niue, the smaller stars recall the Southern Cross constellation on the New Zealand flag and symbolize links with that country; yellow represents the bright sunshine of Niue and the warmth and friendship between Niue and New Zealand
    National symbol(s) field listing
    yellow, five-pointed star; national color: yellow
    National anthem field listing
    name: "Ko e Iki he Lagi" (The Lord in Heaven)
    lyrics/music: unknown/unknown, prepared by Sioeli FUSIKATA

    note: adopted 1974

  • Economy :: Niue
  • Economy - overview field listing

    The economy suffers from the typical Pacific island problems of geographic isolation, few resources, and a small population. The agricultural sector consists mainly of subsistence gardening, although some cash crops are grown for export. Industry consists primarily of small factories for processing passion fruit, lime oil, honey, and coconut cream. The sale of postage stamps to foreign collectors is an important source of revenue.

    Government expenditures regularly exceed revenues, and the shortfall is made up by critically needed grants from New Zealand that are used to pay wages to public employees. Economic aid allocation from New Zealand in FY13/14 was US$10.1 million. Niue has cut government expenditures by reducing the public service by almost half.

    The island in recent years has suffered a serious loss of population because of emigration to New Zealand. Efforts to increase GDP include the promotion of tourism and financial services, although the International Banking Repeal Act of 2002 resulted in the termination of all offshore banking licenses.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $10.01 million (2003 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 228
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $10.01 million (2003) (2003)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    6.2% (2003 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $5,800 (2003 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 23.5% (2003)
    industry: 26.9% (2003)
    services: 49.5% (2003)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    coconuts, passion fruit, honey, limes, taro, yams, cassava (manioc, tapioca), sweet potatoes; pigs, poultry, beef cattle
    Industries field listing
    handicrafts, food processing
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    NA
    Labor force field listing
    663 (2001)
    country comparison to the world: 230
    Labor force - by occupation field listing

    note: most work on family plantations; paid work exists only in government service, small industry, and the Niue Development Board

    Unemployment rate field listing
    12% (2001)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    Population below poverty line field listing
    NA
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: NA
    highest 10%: NA
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 15.07 million (FY04/05)
    expenditures: 16.33 million (FY04/05)
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -12.6% (of GDP) (FY04/05)
    country comparison to the world: 215
    Fiscal year field listing
    1 April - 31 March
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    4% (2005)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    Exports field listing
    $201,400 (2004 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 221
    Exports - commodities field listing
    canned coconut cream, copra, honey, vanilla, passion fruit products, pawpaws, root crops, limes, footballs, stamps, handicrafts
    Imports field listing
    $9.038 million (2004 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 220
    Imports - commodities field listing
    food, live animals, manufactured goods, machinery, fuels, lubricants, chemicals, drugs
    Debt - external field listing
    $418,000 (2002 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 202
    Exchange rates field listing
    New Zealand dollars (NZD) per US dollar -
    1.416 (2017 est.)
    1.4279 (2016 est.)
    1.4279 (2015)
    1.4279 (2014 est.)
    1.2039 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Niue
  • Electricity - production field listing
    3 million kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 215
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    2.79 million kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 214
    Electricity - exports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    Electricity - imports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    1,000 kW (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 214
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    100% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 191
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 201
    Crude oil - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 176
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    0 bbl (1 January 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    60 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 214
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    64 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 211
    Natural gas - production field listing
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 184
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 182
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    3,520 Mt (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 213
  • Communications :: Niue
  • Telephone system field listing
    domestic: single-line (fixed line) telephone system connects all villages (and virtually all households) on island (2015)
    international: country code - 683 (2015)
    Broadcast media field listing
    1 government-owned TV station with many of the programs supplied by Television New Zealand; 1 government-owned radio station broadcasting in AM and FM (2009)
    Internet country code field listing
    .nu
    Internet users field listing
    total: 1,090 (July 2016 est.)
    percent of population: 91.6% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 223
  • Transportation :: Niue
  • Airports field listing
    1 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 231
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 1 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
    total: 1 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
    Roadways field listing
    total: 234 km (2017)
    paved: 210 km (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 209
    Ports and terminals field listing
    major seaport(s): Alofi
  • Military and Security :: Niue
  • Military branches field listing
    no regular indigenous military forces; Police Force
    Military - note field listing
    defense is the responsibility of New Zealand
  • Transnational Issues :: Niue
  • Disputes - international field listing
    none