Australia - Oceania :: Niue
  • Introduction :: Niue
  • Background:
    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:
    Oceania, island in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Tonga
    Geographic coordinates:
    19 02 S, 169 52 W
    Map references:
    Oceania
    Area:
    total: 260 sq km
    land: 260 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 213
    Area - comparative:
    1.5 times the size of Washington, DC
    Land boundaries:
    0 km
    Coastline:
    64 km
    Maritime claims:
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    Climate:
    tropical; modified by southeast trade winds
    Terrain:
    steep limestone cliffs along coast, central plateau
    Elevation:
    0 m lowest point: Pacific Ocean
    80 highest point: unnamed elevation 1.4 km east of Hikutavake
    Natural resources:
    arable land, fish
    Land use:
    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:
    0 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution:
    population distributed around the peripheral coastal areas of the island
    Natural hazards:
    tropical cyclones
    Environment - current issues:
    increasing attention to conservationist practices to counter loss of soil fertility from traditional slash and burn agriculture
    Environment - international agreements:
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
    Geography - note:
    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:
    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:
    noun: Niuean(s)
    adjective: Niuean
    Ethnic groups:
    Niuen 66.5%, part-Niuen 13.4%, non-Niuen 20.1% (includes 12% European and Asian and 8% Pacific Islanders) (2011 est.)
    Languages:
    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:
    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:
    -0.03% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 199
    Population distribution:
    population distributed around the peripheral coastal areas of the island
    Urbanization:
    urban population: 44.8% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 1.69% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population:
    1,000 ALOFI (capital) (2018)
    Sex ratio:
    NA
    Infant mortality rate:
    total: NA
    male: NA
    female: NA
    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: NA (2017 est.)
    male: NA (2017 est.)
    female: NA (2017 est.)
    Total fertility rate:
    NA
    Health expenditures:
    7.4% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    Physicians density:
    1.84 physicians/1,000 population (2008)
    Drinking water source:
    improved: urban: 98.4% of population
    rural: 98.6% of population
    total: 98.5% of population
    unimproved: urban: 1.6% of population
    rural: 1.4% of population
    total: 1.5% of population (2015 est.)
    Sanitation facility access:
    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:
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - deaths:
    NA
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
    50% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    Education expenditures:
    NA
  • Government :: Niue
  • Country name:
    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:
    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:
    self-governing parliamentary democracy (Fouo Ekepule) in free association with New Zealand
    Capital:
    name: Alofi
    geographic coordinates: 19 01 S, 169 55 W
    time difference: UTC-11 (6 hours behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    Administrative divisions:
    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:
    19 October 1974 (Niue became a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand)
    National holiday:
    Waitangi Day (Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty over New Zealand), 6 February (1840)
    Constitution:
    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:
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch:
    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:
    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; composition - men 15, women 5, percent of women 25%
    Judicial branch:
    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:
    Alliance of Independents or AI
    Niue People's Action Party or NPP [Young VIVIAN]
    International organization participation:
    ACP, AOSIS, FAO, IFAD, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO
    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    none (self-governing territory in free association with New Zealand)
    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    none (self-governing territory in free association with New Zealand)
    Flag description:
    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):
    yellow, five-pointed star; national color: yellow
    National anthem:
    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:

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

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

    Unemployment rate:
    12% (2001)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    Population below poverty line:
    NA
    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: NA
    highest 10%: NA
    Budget:
    revenues: 15.07 million (FY04/05)
    expenditures: 16.33 million (FY04/05)
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
    -12.6% (of GDP) (FY04/05)
    country comparison to the world: 215
    Fiscal year:
    1 April - 31 March
    Inflation rate (consumer prices):
    4% (2005)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    Exports:
    $201,400 (2004 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 221
    Exports - commodities:
    canned coconut cream, copra, honey, vanilla, passion fruit products, pawpaws, root crops, limes, footballs, stamps, handicrafts
    Imports:
    $9.038 million (2004 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 222
    Imports - commodities:
    food, live animals, manufactured goods, machinery, fuels, lubricants, chemicals, drugs
    Debt - external:
    $418,000 (2002 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 202
    Exchange rates:
    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:
    3 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 216
    Electricity - consumption:
    2.79 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 215
    Electricity - exports:
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    Electricity - imports:
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    Electricity - installed generating capacity:
    2,300 kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 214
    Electricity - from fossil fuels:
    87% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 191
    Electricity - from other renewable sources:
    13% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    Crude oil - production:
    0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    Crude oil - exports:
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    Crude oil - imports:
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    Crude oil - proved reserves:
    0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    Refined petroleum products - production:
    0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    Refined petroleum products - consumption:
    50 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 215
    Refined petroleum products - exports:
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    Refined petroleum products - imports:
    54 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 211
    Natural gas - production:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    Natural gas - consumption:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    Natural gas - exports:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    Natural gas - imports:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    Natural gas - proved reserves:
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
    7,252 Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 213
  • Communications :: Niue
  • Telephone system:
    domestic: single-line (fixed line) telephone system connects all villages (and virtually all households) on island (2015)
    international: country code - 683 (2015)
    Broadcast media:
    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:
    .nu
    Internet users:
    total: 1,090 (July 2016 est.)
    percent of population: 91.6% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 223
  • Transportation :: Niue
  • Airports:
    1 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 231
    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 1 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways:
    total: 1 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
    Roadways:
    total: 234 km (2017)
    paved: 210 km (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 209
    Ports and terminals:
    major seaport(s): Alofi
  • Military and Security :: Niue
  • Military branches:
    no regular indigenous military forces; Police Force
    Military - note:
    defense is the responsibility of New Zealand
  • Transnational Issues :: Niue
  • Disputes - international:
    none