Australia-Oceania :: WALLIS AND FUTUNA
Page last updated on November 10, 2016
  • Introduction :: WALLIS AND FUTUNA

  • The Futuna island group was discovered by the Dutch in 1616 and Wallis by the British in 1767, but it was the French who declared a protectorate over the islands in 1842, and took official control of them between 1886 and 1888. Notably, Wallis and Futuna was the only French colony to side with the Vichy regime during World War II, a phase that ended in May of 1942 with the arrival of 2,000 American troops. In 1959, the inhabitants of the islands voted to become a French overseas territory and officially assumed this status in July 1961.
  • Geography :: WALLIS AND FUTUNA

  • Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand
    13 18 S, 176 12 W
    total: 142 sq km
    land: 142 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    note: includes Ile Uvea (Wallis Island), Ile Futuna (Futuna Island), Ile Alofi, and 20 islets
    country comparison to the world: 221
    1.5 times the size of Washington, DC
    0 km
    129 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    tropical; hot, rainy season (November to April); cool, dry season (May to October); rains 250-300 cm per year (80% humidity); average temperature 26.6 degrees Celsius
    volcanic origin; low hills
    mean elevation: NA
    elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Mont Singavi (on Futuna) 765 m
    agricultural land: 42.8%
    arable land 7.1%; permanent crops 35.7%; permanent pasture 0%
    forest: 41.9%
    other: 15.3% (2011 est.)
    0 sq km (2012)
    deforestation (only small portions of the original forests remain) largely as a result of the continued use of wood as the main fuel source; as a consequence of cutting down the forests, the mountainous terrain of Futuna is particularly prone to erosion; there are no permanent settlements on Alofi because of the lack of natural freshwater resources
    both island groups have fringing reefs
  • People and Society :: WALLIS AND FUTUNA

  • 15,664 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 222
    noun: Wallisian(s), Futunan(s), or Wallis and Futuna Islanders
    adjective: Wallisian, Futunan, or Wallis and Futuna Islander
    Wallisian (indigenous Polynesian language) 58.9%, Futunian 30.1%, French (official) 10.8%, other 0.2% (2003 census)
    Roman Catholic 99%, other 1%
    0-14 years: 22.25% (male 1,819/female 1,667)
    15-24 years: 16.9% (male 1,395/female 1,252)
    25-54 years: 41.52% (male 3,266/female 3,237)
    55-64 years: 9.7% (male 746/female 773)
    65 years and over: 9.63% (male 721/female 788) (2016 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total: 31.6 years
    male: 30.6 years
    female: 32.8 years (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    0.33% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    13.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    5.2 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    -4.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population
    note: there has been steady emigration from Wallis and Futuna to New Caledonia (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    urban population: 0% of total population (2015)
    rate of urbanization: 0% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
    MATA-UTU (capital) 1,000 (2014)
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.11 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
    total: 4.4 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 4.6 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 4.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 184
    total population: 79.7 years
    male: 76.7 years
    female: 82.8 years (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    1.74 children born/woman (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    rural: 96% of population
    total: 96% of population
    rural: 4% of population
    total: 4% of population (2008 est.)
  • Government :: WALLIS AND FUTUNA

  • conventional long form: Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands
    conventional short form: Wallis and Futuna
    local long form: Territoire des Iles Wallis et Futuna
    local short form: Wallis et Futuna
    etymology: Wallis Island is named after British Captain Samuel WALLIS who discovered it in 1767; Futuna is derived from the native word "futu," which is the name of the fish-poison tree found on the island
    overseas territory of France
    parliamentary democracy (Territorial Assembly); overseas collectivity of France
    name: Mata-Utu (on Ile Uvea)
    geographic coordinates: 13 57 S, 171 56 W
    time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    3 administrative precincts (circonscriptions, singular - circonscription) Alo, Sigave, Uvea
    none (overseas territory of France)
    Bastille Day, 14 July (1789)
    4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
    French civil law
    see France
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Francois HOLLANDE (since 15 May 2012); represented by High Administrator Marcel RENOUF (since 26 January 2015)
    head of government: President of the Territorial Assembly Mikaele KULIMOETOKE (since 26 November 2014)
    cabinet: Council of the Territory appointed by the high administrator on the advice of the Territorial Assembly
    elections/appointments: French president elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); high administrator appointed by the French president on the advice of the French Ministry of the Interior; the presidents of the Territorial Government and the Territorial Assembly elected by assembly members
    note: there are 3 traditional kings with limited powers
    description: unicameral Territorial Assembly or Assemblee Territoriale (20 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation to serve 5-year terms)
    note: Wallis and Futuna elects 1 senator to the French Senate and 1 deputy to the French National Assembly; French Senate - elections last held on 28 September 2014 (next to be held by September 2017); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats - UMP 1; French National Assembly - by-election last held on 24 March 2013 (next to be held by 2017); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats - independent (backed by UMP) 1
    elections: last held on 22 March 2012 (next to be held in March 2017)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PS 4, UMP 4, centrist, 3, other 9
    highest resident court(s): Court of Assizes or Cour d'Assizes (consists of 1 judge; court hears primarily serious criminal cases); note - appeals beyond the Court of Assizes are heard before the Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel, located in Noumea, New Caledonia
    judge selection and term of office: NA
    subordinate courts: courts of first instance; labor court; note - justice generally administered under French law by the high administrator, but the 3 traditional kings administer customary law, and there is a magistrate in Mata-Utu
    Lua Kae Tahi (Giscardians)
    Mouvement des Radicaux de Gauche or MRG
    Rally for the Republic or RPR (UMP) [Clovis LOGOLOGOFOLAU]
    Socialist Party or PS
    Taumu'a Lelei [Soane Muni UHILA]
    Union Populaire Locale or UPL [Falakiko GATA]
    Union Pour la Democratie Francaise or UDF
    PIF (observer), SPC, UPU
    none (overseas territory of France)
    none (overseas territory of France)
    unofficial, local flag has a red field with four white isosceles triangles in the middle, representing the three native kings of the islands and the French administrator; the apexes of the triangles are oriented inward and at right angles to each other; the flag of France, outlined in white on two sides, is in the upper hoist quadrant
    note: the design is derived from an original red banner with a white cross pattee that was introduced in the 19th century by French missionaries; the flag of France is used for official occasions
    red saltire (Saint Andrew's Cross) on a white square on a red field; national colors: red, white
    note: as a territory of France, "La Marseillaise" is official (see France)
  • Economy :: WALLIS AND FUTUNA

  • The economy is limited to traditional subsistence agriculture, with 80% of labor force earnings coming from agriculture (coconuts and vegetables), livestock (mostly pigs), and fishing. However, roughly 70% of the labor force is employed in the public sector, although only about 20% of the population is in salaried employment.
    Revenues come from French Government subsidies, licensing of fishing rights to Japan and South Korea, import taxes, and remittances from expatriate workers in New Caledonia. France directly finances the public sector and healthcare and education services. It also provides funding for key development projects in a range of areas, including infrastructure, economic development, environmental management, and healthcare facilities.
    A key concern for Wallis and Futuna is an aging population with consequent economic development issues. Very few people aged 18-30 live on the islands due to the limited formal employment opportunities. Improving job creation is a current priority for the territorial government.
    $60 million (2004 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 225
    $3,800 (2004 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    agriculture: NA%
    industry: NA%
    services: NA%
    coconuts, breadfruit, yams, taro, bananas; pigs, goats; fish
    copra, handicrafts, fishing, lumber
    3,104 (2003)
    country comparison to the world: 224
    agriculture: 80%
    industry: 4%
    services: 16% (2001)
    12.2% (2008 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    revenues: $29,730
    expenditures: $31,330 (2004 est.)
    5.6% of GDP (2004 est.)
    note: offical data; data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions
    country comparison to the world: 179
    calendar year
    2.8% (2005)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    $47,450 (2004 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 223
    copra, chemicals, construction materials
    $61.17 million (2004)
    country comparison to the world: 219
    chemicals, machinery, consumer goods
    $3.67 million (2004)
    country comparison to the world: 202
    Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (XPF) per US dollar -
    89.85 (2013 est.)
    90.56 (2012 est.)
    85.74 (2011 est.)
  • Communications :: WALLIS AND FUTUNA

  • total subscriptions: 3,132
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 20 (July 2014 est.)
    international: country code - 681
    the publicly owned French Overseas Network (RFO), which broadcasts to France's overseas departments and territories, is carried on the RFO Wallis and Fortuna TV and radio stations (2008)
    total: 3,450
    percent of population: 22.1% (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 211
  • Transportation :: WALLIS AND FUTUNA

  • 2 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 208
    total: 2
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
    major seaport(s): Leava, Mata-Utu
  • Military and Security :: WALLIS AND FUTUNA

  • defense is the responsibility of France
  • Transnational Issues :: WALLIS AND FUTUNA

  • none