Tuvalu

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

In 1974, ethnic differences within the British colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands caused the Polynesians of the Ellice Islands to vote for separation from the Micronesians of the Gilbert Islands. The following year, the Ellice Islands became the separate British colony of Tuvalu. Independence was granted in 1978.

Geography

Area

total: 26 sq km

land: 26 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Climate

tropical; moderated by easterly trade winds (March to November); westerly gales and heavy rain (November to March)

Natural resources

fish, coconut (copra)

People and Society

Population

11,544 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

Tuvaluan 97%, Tuvaluan/I-Kiribati 1.6%, Tuvaluan/other 0.8%, other 0.6% (2017 est.)

Languages

Tuvaluan (official), English (official), Samoan, Kiribati (on the island of Nui)

Religions

Protestant 92.7% (Congregational Christian Church of Tuvalu 85.9%, Brethren 2.8%, Seventh Day Adventist 2.5%, Assemblies of God 1.5%), Baha'i 1.5%, Jehovah's Witness 1.5%, other 3.9%, none or refused 0.4% (2017 est.)

Population growth rate

0.83% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm

Capital

name: Funafuti; note - the capital is an atoll of some 29 islets; administrative offices are in Vaiaku Village on Fongafale Islet

Executive branch

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Tofiga Vaevalu FALANI (since 29 August 2021)

head of government: Prime Minister Kausea NATANO (since 19 September 2019)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral House of Assembly or Fale I Fono (16 seats; members directly elected in single- and multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms)

Economy

Economic overview

upper middle-income but very fragile Pacific island economy; currency pegged to Australian dollar; public revenues from international aid, fishing licenses, and national trust fund; pursuing Te Kakeega sustainable development; significant remittances

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$50 million (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$4,400 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

coconuts, vegetables, tropical fruit, bananas, roots/tubers nes, pork, poultry, eggs, pig fat, pig offals

Industries

fishing

Exports

$10 million (2019 est.)

Exports - partners

Thailand 50%, Indonesia 40% (2019)

Exports - commodities

fish, ships, coins, metal-clad products, electrical power accessories (2019)

Imports

$70 million (2019 est.)

Imports - partners

China 32%, Japan 29%, Fiji 23%, New Zealand 6% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, fishing ships, tug boats, other ships, iron structures (2019)


Page last updated: Thursday, Jun 02, 2022