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Tonga, See : Flags, Maps

Tonga (Australia-Oceania)

Introduction ::Tonga

Background:

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.

Geography ::Tonga


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Location:

Oceania, archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand

Geographic coordinates:
20 00 S, 175 00 W

Map references:

Oceania

Area:

total: 747 sq km country comparison to the world: 189 land: 717 sq km

water: 30 sq km

Tonga__01

Area - comparative:

four times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:

0 km

Coastline:

419 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation

Climate:

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

Terrain:

most islands have limestone base formed from uplifted coral formation; others have limestone overlying volcanic base

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point: unnamed elevation on Kao Island 1,033 m

Natural resources:

fish, fertile soil

Land use:

arable land: 20%

permanent crops: 14.67%

other: 65.33% (2005)

Irrigated land:
NA

Natural hazards:

cyclones (October to April); earthquakes and volcanic activity on Fonuafo'ou

volcanism: the Tonga Islands experience volcanic activity; Fonualei (elev. 180 m, 591 ft) has shown frequent activity in recent years, while Niuafo'ou (elev. 260 m, 853 ft), which last erupted in 1985, has forced evacuations; other historically active volcanoes include Late and Tofua

Environment - current issues:

deforestation results as more and more land is being cleared for agriculture and settlement; some damage to coral reefs from starfish and indiscriminate coral and shell collectors; overhunting threatens native sea turtle populations

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

archipelago of 169 islands (36 inhabited)

People ::Tonga

Population:

122,580 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 188

Age structure:

0-14 years: 32.8% (male 20,270/female 19,428)

15-64 years: 62.9% (male 37,837/female 38,166)

65 years and over: 4.3% (male 2,163/female 3,034) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 22.7 years

male: 22.3 years

female: 23.2 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

1.282% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 96

Birth rate:

17.78 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 111

Death rate:

4.95 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 188

Net migration rate:

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population country comparison to the world: 103

Urbanization:

urban population: 25% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 1.6% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 11.28 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 147 male: 12.42 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 10.08 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 71.03 years country comparison to the world: 137 male: 68.46 years

female: 73.73 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 129

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA

Nationality:

noun: Tongan(s)

adjective: Tongan

Ethnic groups:

Polynesian, Europeans

Religions:

Christian (Free Wesleyan Church claims over 30,000 adherents)

Languages:

Tongan (official), English (official)

Literacy:

definition: can read and write Tongan and/or English

total population: 98.9%

male: 98.8%

female: 99% (1999 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 14 years

male: 14 years

female: 14 years (2004)

Education expenditures:

4.7% of GDP (2004) country comparison to the world: 84

Government ::Tonga

Country name:

conventional long form: Kingdom of Tonga

conventional short form: Tonga

local long form: Pule'anga Tonga

local short form: Tonga

former: Friendly Islands

Government type:

constitutional monarchy

Capital:

name: Nuku'alofa

geographic coordinates: 21 08 S, 175 12 W

time difference: UTC+13 (18 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

3 island groups; Ha'apai, Tongatapu, Vava'u

Independence:

4 June 1970 (from UK protectorate)

National holiday:

Emancipation Day, 4 June (1970)

Constitution:

4 November 1875; revised 1 January 1967

Legal system:

based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:

21 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: King George TUPOU V (since 11 September 2006)

head of government: Prime Minister Lord Siale'ataonga TU'IVAKANO (since 22 December 2010)

cabinet: Cabinet is nominated by the prime minister and appointed by the monarch (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) note: there is also a Privy Council that advises the monarch

elections: the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister and deputy prime minister elected by and from the members of parliament and appointed by the monarch

election results: Lord Siale'ataonga TU'IVAKANO elected by parliament on 21 December 2010 with 14 of 26 votes

Legislative branch:

unicameral Legislative Assembly or Fale Alea (26 seats - 9 for nobles elected from among the country's 29 nobles, 17 members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held on 25 November 2010 (next to be held in 2014)

election results: Peoples Representatives: percent of vote - independents 67.3%, Democratic Party 28.5%; seats - Democratic Party 12, independents 5

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the monarch); Court of Appeal (Chief Justice and high court justices from overseas chosen and approved by Privy Council)

Political parties and leaders:

Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands [Samuela 'Akilisi POHIVA];
People's Democratic Party or PDP [Tesina FUKO]; Sustainable
Nation-Building Party [Sione FONUA]; Tonga Democratic Labor Party
[NA]; Tonga Human Rights and Democracy Movement or THRDM [Uliti UATA]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Human Rights and Democracy Movement Tonga or HRDMT [Rev. Simote VEA, chairman]; Public Servant's Association [Finau TUTONE]

International organization participation:

ACP, ADB, AOSIS, C, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC,
IFRCS, IHO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, ITUC, OPCW, PIF,
Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO,
WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Sonatane Tu'akinamolahi TAUMOEPEAU-TUPOU

chancery: 250 East 51st Street, New York, NY 10022

telephone: [1] (917) 369-1025
FAX: [1] (917) 369-1024

consulate(s) general: San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US:

the US does not have an embassy in Tonga; the US ambassador to Fiji is accredited to Tonga

Flag description:

red with a bold red cross on a white rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner; the cross reflects the deep-rooted Christianity in Tonga; red represents the blood of Christ and his sacrifice; white signifies purity

National anthem:

name: "Ko e fasi `o e tu"i `o e `Otu Tonga" (Song of the King of the Tonga Islands)

lyrics/music: Uelingatoni Ngu TUPOUMALOHI/Karl Gustavus SCHMITT

note: in use since 1875; the anthem is more commonly known as "Fasi Fakafonua" (National Song)

Economy ::Tonga

Economy - overview:

Tonga has a small, open, South Pacific island economy. It has a narrow export base in agricultural goods. Squash, vanilla beans, and yams are the main crops. Agricultural exports, including fish, make up two-thirds of total exports. The country must import a high proportion of its food, mainly from New Zealand. The country remains dependent on external aid and remittances from Tongan communities overseas to offset its trade deficit. Tourism is the second-largest source of hard currency earnings following remittances. Tonga had 39,000 visitors in 2006. The government is emphasizing the development of the private sector, especially the encouragement of investment, and is committing increased funds for health and education. Tonga has a reasonably sound basic infrastructure and well developed social services. High unemployment among the young, a continuing upturn in inflation, pressures for democratic reform, and rising civil service expenditures are major issues facing the government.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$767 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 208 $770.9 million (2009 est.)

$774.7 million (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$301 million (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

-0.5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 194 -0.5% (2009 est.)

1.2% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$6,300 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 135 $6,400 (2009 est.)

$6,500 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 25%

industry: 17%

services: 57% (FY05/06 est.)

Labor force:

39,960 (2007) country comparison to the world: 195

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 31.8%

industry: 30.6%

services: 2,003% (2003 est.)

Unemployment rate:

13% (FY03/04 est.) country comparison to the world: 136

Population below poverty line:
24% (FY03/04)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

5.9% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 160

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

12.47% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 67 12.46% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$44.64 million (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 184 $36.16 million (31 December 2008)

Stock of broad money:

$153.8 million (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 183 $136.9 million (31 December 2008)

Stock of domestic credit:

$149.2 million (31 December 2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 177 $163.1 million (31 December 2007 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA

Agriculture - products:

squash, coconuts, copra, bananas, vanilla beans, cocoa, coffee, ginger, black pepper; fish

Industries:

tourism, construction, fishing

Industrial production growth rate:

1% (2003 est.) country comparison to the world: 146

Electricity - production:

43 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 199

Electricity - consumption:

39.99 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 199

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 125

Oil - consumption:

1,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 192

Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 169

Oil - imports:

1,173 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 185

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 112

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 118

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 167

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 108

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 123

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 126

Current account balance:

-$23 million (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 65

Exports:

$22 million (2006) country comparison to the world: 205

Exports - commodities:

squash, fish, vanilla beans, root crops

Exports - partners:

Hong Kong 25.42%, US 22.65%, Japan 12.21%, NZ 7.31%, Fiji 7.2%,
Samoa 6.06%, South Korea 4.48% (2009)

Imports:

$139 million (2006) country comparison to the world: 206

Imports - commodities:

foodstuffs, machinery and transport equipment, fuels, chemicals

Imports - partners:

Fiji 34.37%, NZ 25.03%, US 9.43%, Australia 7.53%, China 5.64% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$40.83 million (FY04/05) country comparison to the world: 132

Debt - external:

$80.7 million (2004) country comparison to the world: 182

Exchange rates:

pa'anga (TOP) per US dollar - NA (2007), 2.0277 (2006), 1.96 (2005), 1.9716 (2004), 2.142 (2003)

Communications ::Tonga

Telephones - main lines in use:

31,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 179

Telephones - mobile cellular:

53,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 196

Telephone system:

general assessment: competition between Tonga Telecommunications Corporation (TCC) and Shoreline Communications Tonga (SCT) is accelerating expansion of telecommunications; SCT granted approval to introduce high-speed digital service for telephone, Internet, and television while TCC has exclusive rights to operate the mobile-phone network; international telecom services are provided by government-owned Tonga Telecommunications International (TTI)

domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity about 70 telephones per 100 persons; fully automatic switched network

international: country code - 676; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2009)

Broadcast media:

2 state-owned television stations and 2 privately-owned stations; satellite and cable TV services are available; 2 state-owned and 3 privately-owned radio stations; Radio Australia broadcasts obtainable via a satellite feed (2009)

Internet country code:

.to

Internet hosts:

20,847 (2010) country comparison to the world: 110

Internet users:

8,400 (2009) country comparison to the world: 202

Transportation ::Tonga

Airports:

6 (2010) country comparison to the world: 174

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 5

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 3

under 914 m: 1 (2010)

Roadways:

total: 680 km country comparison to the world: 188 paved: 184 km

unpaved: 496 km (2000)

Merchant marine:

total: 10 country comparison to the world: 115 by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 6, carrier 1, liquefied gas 1, passenger/cargo 1

foreign-owned: 3 (Australia 1, Switzerland 1, UK 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Nuku'alofa, Neiafu, Pangai

Military ::Tonga

Military branches:

Tonga Defense Services (TDS): Land Force (Royal Guard), Maritime
Force (includes Royal Marines, Air Wing) (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

16 years of age for voluntary enlistment (with parental approval); no conscription (2010)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 34,254

females age 16-49: 32,974 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 27,404

females age 16-49: 28,509 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 1,448

female: 1,392 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

0.9% of GDP (2006 est.) country comparison to the world: 141

Transnational Issues ::Tonga

Disputes - international:

none

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