Niue

Country Summary

Introduction

Background

Samoans settled Niue in about A.D. 900, followed by Tongans around 1500.  In 1889, tribal chiefs asked the UK for protectorate status, which was granted in 1900. In 1901, Niue was annexed to New Zealand as part of the Cook Islands. Niue became self-governing in 1974, in free association with New Zealand, which is responsible for its defense and foreign affairs. In September 2023, the US recognized Niue as a sovereign and independent state.

Geography

Area

total: 260 sq km
land: 260 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Climate

tropical; modified by southeast trade winds

Natural resources

arable land, fish

People and Society

Population

2,000 (July 2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

Niuean 65.4%, part-Niuean 14%, non-Niuean 20.6% (2017 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) 61.7%, Church of Jesus Christ 8.7%, Roman Catholic 8.4%, Jehovah's Witness 2.7%, Seventh Day Adventist 1.4%, other 8.2%, none 8.9% (2017 est.)

Population growth rate

-0.03% (2021 est.)

Government

Government type

parliamentary democracy

Capital

name: Alofi

Executive branch

chief of state: King CHARLES III (since 8 September 2022); represented by Governor-General of New Zealand Cindy KIRO (since 21 October 2021); the UK and New Zealand are represented by New Zealand High Commissioner Helen TUNNAH (since July 2020)
head of government: Premier Dalton TAGELAGI (since 10 June 2020)

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)

Economy

Economic overview

upper-middle-income self-governing New Zealand territorial economy; environmentally fragile; massive emigration; post-pandemic tourism rebound; postage stamps, small-scale agricultural processing, and subsistence farming; most recent Asian Development Bank member

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$18.7 million (2021 est.)
$19.9 million (2020 est.)
$20.9 million (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$11,100 (2021 est.)
$11,800 (2020 est.)
$12,400 (2019 est.)

Agricultural products

coconuts, taro, fruit, sweet potatoes, tropical fruit, yams, vegetables, lemons, limes, bananas

Industries

handicrafts, food processing

Exports

$5.68 million (2021 est.)
$201,400 (2004 est.)

Exports - partners

Indonesia 57%, Thailand 7%, South Korea 5%, Czechia 4%, Poland 4% (2021)

Exports - commodities

tanker ships, collector's items, commemorative coins, fruits, nuts, juice, electrical resistors (2021)

Imports

$43.8 million (2021 est.)
$9.038 million (2004 est.)

Imports - partners

New Zealand 41%, United Kingdom 40%, Japan 15%, Israel 3%, Fiji 1% (2021)

Imports - commodities

floating platforms, tugboats, refined petroleum, cargo ships, cars, plasticware (2021)

Exchange rates

New Zealand dollars (NZD) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
1.416 (2017 est.)
1.4279 (2016 est.)
1.4279 (2015)
1.4279 (2014 est.)
1.2039 (2013 est.)


Page last updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2024