Tuvalu

Country Summary

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

11,639 (2023 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

0.81% (2023 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: King CHARLES III (since 8 September 2022); represented by Governor General Tofiga Vaevalu FALANI (since 29 August 2021)
head of government: Prime Minister Feleti Penitala TEO (since 27 February 2024)

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 Pacific island economy; extremely environmentally fragile; currency pegged to Australian dollar; large international aid recipient; subsistence agrarian sector; Te Kakeega sustainable development; domain name licensing incomes

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$51.937 million (2022 est.)
$51.588 million (2021 est.)
$50.674 million (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$4,600 (2022 est.)
$4,600 (2021 est.)
$4,600 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

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

Industries

fishing

Exports

$2.232 million (2022 est.)
$2.745 million (2021 est.)
$3.089 million (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

Thailand 91%, Nigeria 5%, Philippines 3%, South Korea 1% (2021)

Exports - commodities

tugboats, tuna, nitrile compounds, integrated circuits, electrical power accessories (2021)

Imports

$57.388 million (2022 est.)
$63.962 million (2021 est.)
$56.947 million (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

China 36%, Japan 33%, Fiji 13%, South Korea 9%, New Zealand 4% (2021)

Imports - commodities

cargo ships, fishing ships, refined petroleum, tankers, tugboats, construction vehicles (2021)

Exchange rates

Tuvaluan dollars or Australian dollars (AUD) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
1.442 (2022 est.)
1.331 (2021 est.)
1.453 (2020 est.)
1.439 (2019 est.)
1.338 (2018 est.)


Page last updated: Tuesday, April 09, 2024