Tuvalu Population: 11,147


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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. In 2000, Tuvalu negotiated a contract leasing its Internet domain name ".tv" for $50 million in royalties over a 12-year period. The agreement was subsequently renegotiated but details were not disclosed. Tuvalu will host the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in August 2019.

    One of the smallest and most remote countries on Earth; six of the nine coral atolls - Nanumea, Nui, Vaitupu, Nukufetau, Funafuti, and Nukulaelae - have lagoons open to the ocean; Nanumaya and Niutao have landlocked lagoons; Niulakita does not have a lagoon
Location: Oceania, island group consisting of nine coral atolls in the South Pacific Ocean, about half way from Hawaii to Australia
Geographic coordinates: 8 00 S, 178 00 E
Area: total: 26 sq km
land: 26 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Size comparison: 0.1 times the size of Washington, DC
Land Boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 24 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
Climate: tropical; moderated by easterly trade winds (March to November); westerly gales and heavy rain (November to March)
Terrain: low-lying and narrow coral atolls
Natural resources: fish, coconut (copra)
Land use: agricultural land: 60% (2011 est.) arable land: 0% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 60% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 0% (2011 est.) forest: 33.3% (2011 est.)
other: 6.7% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 0 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: severe tropical storms are usually rare, but in 1997 there were three cyclones; low levels of islands make them sensitive to changes in sea level
Current Environment Issues: water needs met by catchment systems; the use of sand as a building material has led to beachhead erosion; deforestation; damage to coral reefs from increasing ocean temperatures and acidification; rising sea levels threaten water table; in 2000, the government appealed to Australia and New Zealand to take in Tuvaluans if rising sea levels should make evacuation necessary
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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Nationality: noun: Tuvaluan(s)
adjective: Tuvaluan
Ethnic groups: Tuvaluan 86.8%, Tuvaluan/I-Kiribati 5.6%, Tuvaluan/other 6.7%, other 0.9% (2012 est.)
Languages: Tuvaluan (official), English (official), Samoan, Kiribati (on the island of Nui)
Religions: Protestant 92.4% (Congregational Christian Church of Tuvalu 85.7%, Brethren 3%, Seventh Day Adventist 2.8%, Assemblies of God .9%), Baha'i 2%, Jehovah's Witness 1.3%, Mormon 1%, other 3.1%, none 0.2% (2012 est.)
Population: 11,147 (July 2018 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 29.32% (male 1,675 /female 1,593)
15-24 years: 18.63% (male 1,078 /female 999)
25-54 years: 36.91% (male 2,080 /female 2,034)
55-64 years: 8.86% (male 404 /female 584)
65 years and over: 6.28% (male 274 /female 426) (2018 est.)
Median age: total: 26 years
male: 25 years
female: 27.2 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.86% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 23.7 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 8.4 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: -6.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 62.4% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 2.27% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 7,000 FUNAFUTI (capital) (2018)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.69 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 28.2 deaths/1,000 live births male: 30.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 25.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 67.2 years male: 65 years
female: 69.5 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.93 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Physicians density: 0.92 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 98.3% of population
rural: 97% of population
total: 97.7% of population

urban: 1.7% of population
rural: 3% of population
total: 2.3% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 86.3% of population (2012 est.)
rural: 80.2% of population (2012 est.)
total: 83.3% of population (2012 est.)

urban: 13.7% of population (2012 est.)
rural: 19.8% of population (2012 est.)
total: 16.7% of population (2012 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: n/a
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: n/a
HIV/AIDS - deaths: n/a
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 51.6% (2016)
Education expenditures: n/a Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 20.6% male: 9.8% female: 45.9% (2016)
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Country name: conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Tuvalu
local long form: none
local short form: Tuvalu
former: Ellice Islands
etymology: "tuvalu" means "group of eight" or "eight standing together" referring to the country's eight traditionally inhabited islands
Government type: parliamentary democracy (House of Assembly) 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
geographic coordinates: 8 31 S, 179 13 E
time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 7 island councils and 1 town council*; Funafuti*, Nanumaga, Nanumea, Niutao, Nui, Nukufetau, Nukulaelae, Vaitupu
Independence: 1 October 1978 (from the UK)
National holiday: Independence Day, 1 October (1978)
Constitution: history: previous 1978 (at independence); latest effective 1 October 1986 amendments: proposed by the House of Assembly; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote by the Assembly membership in the final reading; amended 2007, 2010, 2013 (2017)
Legal system: mixed legal system of English common law and local customary law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Iakoba TAEIA Italeli (since 16 April 2010)

head of government: Prime Minister Enele SOPOAGA (since 5 August 2013)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on recommendation of the prime minister elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on recommendation of the prime minister; prime minister and deputy prime minister elected by and from members of House of Assembly following parliamentary elections

election results: Enele SOPOAGA elected prime minister by House of Assembly; House of Assembly vote count on 4 August 2013 - 8 to 5; note - Willie TELAVI removed as prime minister by the governor general on 1 August 2013
Legislative branch: description: unicameral House of Assembly or Fale I Fono (15 seats; members directly elected in single- and multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 31 March 2015 (next to be held in 2019)

election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - independent 15 (12 members reelected); composition - men 14, women 1, percent of women 6.7%
Judicial branch: highest courts: Court of Appeal (consists of the chief justice and not less than 3 appeals judges); High Court (consists of the chief justice); appeals beyond the Court of Appeal are heard by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London) judge selection and term of office: Appeal Court judges appointed by the governor general on the advice of the Cabinet; judge tenure based on terms of appointment; High Court chief justice appointed by the governor general on the advice of the Cabinet; chief justice serves for life; other judges appointed by the governor general on the advice of the Cabinet after consultation with chief justice; judge tenure set by terms of appointment

subordinate courts: magistrates' courts; island courts; land courts
Political parties and leaders: there are no political parties but members of parliament usually align themselves in informal groupings
International organization participation: ACP, ADB, AOSIS, C, FAO, IBRD, IDA, IFAD, IFRCS (observer), ILO, IMF, IMO, IOC, ITU, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO
National symbol(s): maneapa (native meeting house);
national colors: light blue, yellow
National anthem: name: "Tuvalu mo te Atua" (Tuvalu for the Almighty)
lyrics/music: Afaese MANOA

note: adopted 1978; the anthem's name is also the nation's motto
Diplomatic representation in the US: none; the Tuvalu Permanent Mission to the UN serves as the Embassy; it is headed by Samuelu LALONIU (since 21 July 2017); address: 685 Third Avenue, Suite 1104, New York, NY 10017;
telephone: [1](212)490-0534;
FAX: [1](212)808-4975
Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Tuvalu; the US Ambassador to Fiji is accredited to Tuvalu
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Tuvalu consists of a densely populated, scattered group of nine coral atolls with poor soil. Only eight of the atolls are inhabited. It is one of the smallest countries in the world, with its highest point at 4.6 meters above sea level. The country is isolated, almost entirely dependent on imports, particularly of food and fuel, and vulnerable to climate change and rising sea levels, which pose significant challenges to development. The public sector dominates economic activity. Tuvalu has few natural resources, except for its fisheries. Earnings from fish exports and fishing licenses for Tuvalu’s territorial waters are a significant source of government revenue. In 2013, revenue from fishing licenses doubled and totaled more than 45% of GDP. Official aid from foreign development partners has also increased. Tuvalu has substantial assets abroad. The Tuvalu Trust Fund, an international trust fund established in 1987 by development partners, has grown to $104 million (A$141 million) in 2014 and is an important cushion for meeting shortfalls in the government's budget. While remittances are another substantial source of income, the value of remittances has declined since the 2008-09 global financial crisis, but has stabilized at nearly $4 million per year. The financial impact of climate change and the cost of climate related adaptation projects is one of many concerns for the nation.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $42 million (2017 est.) $40.68 million (2016 est.) $39.48 million (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $40 million (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.2% (2017 est.) 3% (2016 est.) 9.1% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $3,800 (2017 est.) $3,700 (2016 est.) $3,600 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars GDP - composition, by end use: government consumption: 87% (2016 est.) investment in fixed capital: 24.3% (2016 est.) exports of goods and services: 43.7% (2016 est.) imports of goods and services: -66.1% (2016 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 24.5% (2012 est.) industry: 5.6% (2012 est.) services: 70% (2012 est.)
Agriculture - products: coconuts; fish
Industries: fishing
Industrial production growth rate: -26.1% (2012 est.)
Labor force: 3,615 (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:

note: most people make a living through exploitation of the sea, reefs, and atolls - and through overseas remittances (mostly from workers in the phosphate industry and sailors)
Unemployment rate: n/a
Population below poverty line: 26.3% (2010 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: n/a
highest 10%: n/a
Budget: revenues: 42.68 million (2013 est.)
expenditures: 32.46 million (2012 est.)

note: revenue data include Official Development Assistance from Australia
Taxes and other revenues: 106.7% (of GDP) (2013 est.) note: revenue data include Official Development Assistance from Australia Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): 25.6% (of GDP) (2013 est.)
Public debt: 37% of GDP (2017 est.) 47.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4.1% (2017 est.) 3.5% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: $2 million (2017 est.) $8 million (2016 est.)
Exports: $600,000 (2010 est.) $1 million (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities: copra, fish
Exports - partners: US 18.2%, Bosnia and Herzegovina 17%, Fiji 14.8%, Nigeria 14.2%, Germany 8.2%, South Africa 5.9%, Colombia 5.1% (2017)
Imports: $20.69 billion (2018 est.) $19.09 billion (2017 est.)
Imports - commodities: food, animals, mineral fuels, machinery, manufactured goods
Imports - partners: Singapore 33.4%, South Korea 11.5%, Australia 10.8%, NZ 8%, Fiji 7.5%, Chile 6.1%, South Africa 5%, Japan 5% (2017)
Debt - external: n/a
Market value of publicly traded shares: $0 (2014)
Exchange rates: Tuvaluan dollars or Australian dollars (AUD) per US dollar - 1.311 (2017 est.) 1.3442 (2016 est.)
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Electricity - production: 11.8 million kWh (2011 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 5,100 kW (2011 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 96% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2014)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2014)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2014)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2014 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 7,600
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 69 (July 2016 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: serves particular needs for internal communications; small global scale of 10,000 people on 9 inhabited islands; mobile subscriber penetration at 40% and broadband at 10% penetration; govt owned and sole provider of telecommunications services; satellite technology; hopeful future 5-year contract to improve high speed Internet for schools, hospitals and banks; 3G not launched yet (2018)

domestic: radiotelephone communications between islands; fixed-line 18 per 100 and mobile-cellular 69 per 100 (2018)

international: country code - 688; international calls can be made by satellite
Broadcast media: no TV stations; many households use satellite dishes to watch foreign TV stations; 1 government-owned radio station, Radio Tuvalu, includes relays of programming from international broadcasters (2019)
Internet country code: .tv
Internet users: total: 5,042
percent of population: 46% (July 2016 est.)
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Airports: 1 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
Roadways: total 8 km
(2011) paved: 8 km (2011)
Merchant marine: total 254

by type: bulk carrier 24, container ship 1, general cargo 41, oil tanker 25, other 163 (2018)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Funafuti
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Military branches: no regular military forces; Tuvalu Police Force (2012)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: none
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