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Australia-Oceania :: TONGA
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TONGA
  • Introduction :: TONGA

  • Tonga - unique among Pacific nations - never completely lost its indigenous governance. The archipelagos of "The Friendly Islands" were united into a Polynesian kingdom in 1845. Tonga became a constitutional monarchy in 1875 and a British protectorate in 1900; it withdrew from the protectorate and joined the Commonwealth of Nations in 1970. Tonga remains the only monarchy in the Pacific.
  • Geography :: TONGA

  • Oceania, archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand
    20 00 S, 175 00 W
    Oceania
    total: 747 sq km
    land: 717 sq km
    water: 30 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 190
    four times the size of Washington, DC
    0 km
    419 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
    tropical; modified by trade winds; warm season (December to May), cool season (May to December)
    mostly flat islands with limestone bedrock formed from uplifted coral formation; others have limestone overlying volcanic rock
    mean elevation: NA
    elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: unnamed elevation on Kao Island 1,033 m
    fish, arable land
    agricultural land: 43.1%
    arable land 22.2%; permanent crops 15.3%; permanent pasture 5.6%
    forest: 12.5%
    other: 44.4% (2011 est.)
    0 sq km (2012)
    cyclones (October to April); earthquakes and volcanic activity on Fonuafo'ou
    volcanism: moderate volcanic activity; Fonualei (elev. 180 m) has shown frequent activity in recent years, while Niuafo'ou (elev. 260 m), which last erupted in 1985, has forced evacuations; other historically active volcanoes include Late and Tofua
    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
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    archipelago of 169 islands (36 inhabited)
  • People and Society :: TONGA

  • noun: Tongan(s)
    adjective: Tongan
    Tongan 96.6%, part-Tongan 1.7%, other 1.7%, unspecified 0.03% (2006 est.)
    English and Tongan 87%, Tongan (official) 10.7%, English (official) 1.2%, other 1.1%, unspecified 0.03% (2006 est.)
    Protestant 64.9% (includes Free Wesleyan Church 37.3%, Free Church of Tonga 11.4%, Church of Tonga 7.2%, Tokaikolo Christian Church 2.6%, Assembly of God 2.3%, Seventh Day Adventist 2.2%, Constitutional Church of Tonga 0.9%, Anglican 0.8% and Full Gospel Church 0.2%), Mormon 16.8%, Roman Catholic 15.6%, other 1.1%, none 0.03%, unspecified 1.7% (2006 est.)
    106,501 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    0-14 years: 35.06% (male 18,971/female 18,370)
    15-24 years: 19.44% (male 10,605/female 10,103)
    25-54 years: 33.6% (male 17,880/female 17,901)
    55-64 years: 5.61% (male 2,924/female 3,047)
    65 years and over: 6.29% (male 3,050/female 3,650) (2015 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 74.3%
    youth dependency ratio: 64.1%
    elderly dependency ratio: 10.2%
    potential support ratio: 9.8% (2015 est.)
    total: 22.3 years
    male: 21.9 years
    female: 22.8 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    0.03% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 190
    23 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    4.85 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    -17.84 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 219
    urban population: 23.7% of total population (2015)
    rate of urbanization: 0.71% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    NUKU'ALOFA 25,000 (2014)
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
    24.9
    note: median age at first birth among women 25-49 (2012 est.)
    124 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    total: 11.96 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 12.38 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 11.53 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    total population: 76.04 years
    male: 74.53 years
    female: 77.59 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    3.26 children born/woman (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    5.2% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    0.56 physicians/1,000 population (2010)
    2.6 beds/1,000 population (2010)
    improved:
    urban: 99.7% of population
    rural: 99.6% of population
    total: 99.6% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 0.3% of population
    rural: 0.4% of population
    total: 0.4% of population (2015 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 97.6% of population
    rural: 89% of population
    total: 91% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 2.4% of population
    rural: 11% of population
    total: 9% of population (2015 est.)
    NA
    NA
    NA
    note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)
    41.1% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    1.9% (2012)
    definition: can read and write Tongan and/or English
    total population: 99.4%
    male: 99.3%
    female: 99.4% (2015 est.)
  • Government :: TONGA

  • conventional long form: Kingdom of Tonga
    conventional short form: Tonga
    local long form: Pule'anga Tonga
    local short form: Tonga
    former: Friendly Islands
    etymology: "tonga" means "south" in the Tongan language and refers to the country's geographic position in relation to central Polynesia
    constitutional monarchy
    name: Nuku'alofa
    geographic coordinates: 21 08 S, 175 12 W
    time difference: UTC+13 (18 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    5 island divisions; 'Eua, Ha'apai, Ongo Niua, Tongatapu, Vava'u
    4 June 1970 (from UK protectorate)
    King's Official Birthday, 4 July (1959); Constitution Day (National Day), 4 November (1875)
    adopted 4 November 1875, revised 1988; amended many times, last in 2014 (2016)
    English common law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Tonga; if a child is born out of wedlock, the mother must be a citizen of Tonga
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
    21 years of age; universal
    chief of state: King TUPOU VI (since 18 March 2012); note - on 18 March 2012, King George TUPOU V died and his brother, Crown Prince TUPOUTO'A Lavaka, assumed the throne as TUPOU VI
    head of government: Prime Minister 'Akilisi POHIVA (since 30 December 2014)
    cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the prime minister and appointed by the monarch
    elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister and deputy prime minister indirectly elected by the Legislative Assembly and appointed by the monarch; election last held on 21 December 2010 (next to be held in November 2014)
    election results: 'Akilisi POHIVA (Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands) elected prime minister by parliament on 29 December 2014; vote - 15 of 26 votes
    note: a Privy Council advises the monarch
    description: unicameral Legislative Assembly or Fale Alea (26 seats; 17 people's representatives directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 9 indirectly elected by hereditary leaders; members serve 3-year terms)
    elections: last held on 27 November 2014 (next to be held in 2017)
    election results: percent of vote - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 9, noble's representatives 9, independent 8
    highest court(s): Court of Appeal (consists of the court president and a number of judges determined by the monarch); note - appeals beyond the Court of Appeal are brought before the King in Privy Council, the monarch's advisory organ that has both judicial and legislative powers
    judge selection and term of office: judge appointments and tenures made by the King in Privy Council, judge appointments subject to consent of the Legislative Assembly
    subordinate courts: Supreme Court; Magistrate's Courts; Land Courts
    Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands [Samuela 'Akilisi POHIVA]
    People's Democratic Party or PDP [Tesina FUKO]
    Sustainable Nation-Building Party [Sione FONUA]
    Tonga Democratic Labor Party
    Tonga Human Rights and Democracy Movement or THRDM
    Human Rights and Democracy Movement Tonga or HRDMT [Rev. Simote VEA, chairman]
    Public Servant's Association [Finau TUTONE]
    ACP, ADB, AOSIS, C, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador Mahe'uli'uli Sandhurst TUPOUNIUA (since 10 September 2013)
    chancery: 250 E. 51st Street, New York, NY, 10022
    telephone: [1] (917) 369-1025
    FAX: [1] (917) 369-1024
    consulate(s) general: San Francisco
    the US does not have an embassy in Tonga; the US Ambassador to Fiji is accredited to Tonga
    red with a bold red cross on a white rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner; the cross reflects the deep-rooted Christianity in Tonga; red represents the blood of Christ and his sacrifice; white signifies purity
    red cross on white field, arms equal length; national colors: red, white
    name: "Ko e fasi `o e tu"i `o e `Otu Tonga" (Song of the King of the Tonga Islands)
    lyrics/music: Uelingatoni Ngu TUPOUMALOHI/Karl Gustavus SCHMITT
    note: in use since 1875; more commonly known as "Fasi Fakafonua" (National Song)
  • Economy :: TONGA

  • Tonga has a small, open, island economy and is the last constitutional monarchy among the Pacific Island countries. It has a narrow export base in agricultural goods. Squash, vanilla beans, and yams are the main crops. Agricultural exports, including fish, make up two-thirds of total exports. Tourism is the second-largest source of hard currency earnings following remittances. Tonga had 45,000 visitors in 2013. The country must import a high proportion of its food, mainly from New Zealand.
    The country remains dependent on external aid and remittances from overseas Tongans to offset its trade deficit. The government is emphasizing the development of the private sector, encouraging investment, and is committing increased funds for healthcare and education. Tonga's English-speaking and educated workforce offer a viable labor market, and the tropical climate provides fertile soil. Renewable energy and deep sea mining also offer opportunities for investment.
    Tonga has a reasonably sound basic infrastructure and well developed social services. The government faces high unemployment among the young, moderate inflation, pressures for democratic reform, and rising civil service expenditures.
    $526 million (2015 est.)
    $512.6 million (2014 est.)
    $502.4 million (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 213
    $414 million (2015 est.)
    2.6% (2015 est.)
    2% (2014 est.)
    -0.6% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    $5,100 (2015 est.)
    $4,900 (2014 est.)
    $4,800 (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 167
    household consumption: 79.9%
    government consumption: 21.6%
    investment in fixed capital: 40.2%
    investment in inventories: 0%
    exports of goods and services: 18.7%
    imports of goods and services: -60.4% (2015 est.)
    agriculture: 18.3%
    industry: 18.8%
    services: 62.9% (2015 est.)
    squash, coconuts, copra, bananas, vanilla beans, cocoa, coffee, sweet potatoes, cassava, taro and kava
    tourism, construction, fishing
    1.2% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    33,800 (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 202
    agriculture: 27.5%
    industry: 27.5%
    services: 45.1% (2006 est.)
    1.1% (2011 est.)
    1.1% (2006)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    24% (FY03/04 est.)
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    revenues: $146.3 million
    expenditures: $146.3 million (2015 est.)
    33% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    0% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    45.1% of GDP (2013)
    46.5% of GDP (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    1 July - 30 June
    -0.1% (2015 est.)
    1.2% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    8.6% (31 December 2015 est.)
    8.89% (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    $83.91 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    $95.17 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    $198.4 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $195.1 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 190
    $106.6 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    $121.2 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    $NA
    -$32 million (2015 est.)
    -$37 million (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    $29.4 million (2015 est.)
    $38.8 million (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 206
    squash, fish, vanilla beans, root crops
    Japan 15.9%, US 15.4%, Fiji 12.7%, NZ 12.5%, South Korea 11%, Samoa 10.7%, Australia 7.5%, American Samoa 6.8% (2015)
    $151.9 million (2015 est.)
    $152.7 million (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 210
    foodstuffs, machinery and transport equipment, fuels, chemicals
    Fiji 37.7%, NZ 21.2%, China 14.2%, US 6.4%, Australia 4.5% (2015)
    $166.5 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    $158.8 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    $215 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $198.9 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    $76.97 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    $73.97 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    pa'anga (TOP) per US dollar -
    2.05 (2015 est.)
    1.847 (2014 est.)
    1.847 (2013 est.)
    1.72 (2012 est.)
    1.729 (2011 est.)
  • Energy :: TONGA

  • 48 million kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 208
    44.64 million kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 207
    0 kWh (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 208
    14,000 kW (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 206
    100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 190
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 207
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 197
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    1,200 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    1,202 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 193
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 199
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 199
    188,800 Mt (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 197
  • Communications :: TONGA

  • total subscriptions: 13,220
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 12 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    total: 70,000
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 66 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 197
    general assessment: competition between Tonga Telecommunications Corporation (TCC) and Digicel Tonga Limited is accelerating expansion of telecommunications; both parties provide high speed Internet, mobile telephone networks, and international telecom services; Digicel also holds a telecommunication license after its acquisition of TonFon (a subsidiary of former Shoreline Communications Tonga); submarine cable infrastructure, managed by Tonga Cable Limited, has also been brought to the country by Asian Development Bank and World Bank aid
    domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity about 80 telephones per 100 persons; fully automatic switched network
    international: country code - 676; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2015)
    1 state-owned TV station and 3 privately owned TV stations; satellite and cable TV services are available; 1 state-owned and 3 privately owned radio stations; Radio Australia broadcasts available via satellite (2015)
    AM 1, FM 4, shortwave 1 (2001)
    3 (2004)
    .to
    5,367 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    total: 48,000
    percent of population: 45% (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 191
  • Transportation :: TONGA

  • 6 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    total: 1
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 5
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 3
    under 914 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 680 km
    paved: 184 km
    unpaved: 496 km (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 190
    total: 7
    by type: cargo 4, carrier 1, passenger/cargo 2
    foreign-owned: 2 (Australia 1, UK 1) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    major seaport(s): Nuku'alofa, Neiafu, Pangai
  • Military and Security :: TONGA

  • Tonga Defense Services (TDS): Land Force (Royal Guard), Maritime Force (includes Royal Marines, Air Wing) (2013)
    16 years of age for voluntary enlistment (with parental consent); no conscription; the king retains the right to call up "all those capable of bearing arms" in wartime (2012)
  • Transnational Issues :: TONGA

  • none