Country Summary

2022 population pyramid



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.



total: 747 sq km
land: 717 sq km
water: 30 sq km


tropical; modified by trade winds; warm season (December to May), cool season (May to December)

Natural resources

arable land, fish

People and Society


105,221 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

Tongan 97%, part-Tongan 0.8%, other 2.2%, unspecified <0.1% (2016 est.)


Tongan and English 76.8%, Tongan, English, and other language 10.6%, Tongan only (official) 8.7%, English only (official) 0.7%, other 1.7%, none 2.2% (2016 est.)


Protestant 64.1% (includes Free Wesleyan Church 35%, Free Church of Tonga 11.9%, Church of Tonga 6.8%, Assembly of God 2.3%, Seventh Day Adventist 2.2%, Tokaikolo Christian Church 1.6%, other 4.3%), Church of Jesus Christ 18.6%, Roman Catholic 14.2%, other 2.4%, none 0.5%, unspecified 0.1% (2016 est.)

Population growth rate

-0.3% (2023 est.)


Government type

constitutional monarchy


name: Nuku'alofa

Executive branch

chief of state: King TUPOU VI (since 18 March 2012); Heir Apparent Crown Prince Siaosi Manumataogo 'Alaivahamama'o 'Ahoeitu Konstantin Tuku'aho, son of the king (born 17 September 1985); 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 Siaosi SOVALENI (since 27 December 2021)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Legislative Assembly or Fale Alea (30 seats statutory, 27 current); 17 people's representatives directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, and 9 indirectly elected by hereditary leaders; members serve 4-year terms)


Economic overview

upper middle-income Pacific island economy; enormous diaspora and remittance reliance; key tourism and agricultural sectors; major fish exporter; rapidly growing Chinese infrastructure investments; rising methamphetamine hub

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$651.247 million (2021 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$6,100 (2021 est.)

Agricultural products

coconuts, gourds, cassava, sweet potatoes, vegetables, yams, taro, roots/tubers nes, plantains, lemons/limes


tourism, construction, fishing


$58.745 million (2021 est.)

Exports - partners

United States 38%, South Korea 18%, Australia 14%, New Zealand 14%, Japan 6%,  (2019)

Exports - commodities

squash, fish, various fruits and nuts, antiques, coral and shells (2019)


$285.675 million (2021 est.)

Imports - partners

Fiji 29%, New Zealand 23%, China 14%, United States 8%, Australia 6%, Japan 6% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, poultry meats, audio equipment, mutton, goat meat, broadcasting equipment (2019)

Exchange rates

pa'anga (TOP) per US dollar -
2.265 (2021 est.)

Page last updated: Wednesday, February 22, 2023