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Countries > Tonga Tonga Flag

Languages   One language is spoken in Tonga. We have 14 products available for that language.

Capital: Nuku'alofa
Population: 110,000
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Tonga Map


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

total: 748 sq km
land: 718 sq km
water: 30 sq km

Area - comparative: four times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 419 km

Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone : 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

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 location on Kao Island 1,033 m

Natural resources: fish, fertile soil

Land use:
arable land: 24%
permanent crops: 43%
permanent pastures: 6%
forests and woodland: 11%
other : 16% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

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

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: Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ship Pollution, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note: archipelago of 170 islands (36 inhabited)


Population: 106,137 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years : 39.5% (male 21,374; female 20,555)
15-64 years: 56.4% (male 29,519; female 30,322)
65 years and over: 4.1% (male 1,945; female 2,422) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.85% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 24.08 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:5.63 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years:1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:13.72 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population:68.56 years
male : 66.13 years
female: 71.11 years (2002 est.)

Total fertility rate:3 children born/woman (2002 est.)

noun : Tongan(s)
adjective: Tongan

Ethnic groups: Polynesian, Europeans about 300

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

Languages: Tongan, English

definition: age 15 and over can read and write a simple message in Tongan or English
total population:98.5%
female : 98.7% (1996 est.)


Country name:
conventional long form: Kingdom of Tonga
conventional short form: Tonga
former: Friendly Islands

Data code: TN

Government type: hereditary constitutional monarchy

National capital: Nuku'alofa

Administrative divisions: three island groups; Ha'apai, Tongatapu, Vava'u

Independence: 4 June 1970 (emancipation from UK protectorate)

National holiday: Emancipation Day, 4 June (1970)

Constitution: 4 November 1875, revised 1 January 1967

Legal system: based on English law

Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: King Taufa'ahau TUPOU IV (since 16 December 1965)
head of government: Prime Minister Prince Lavaka ata ULUKALALA (since NA February 2000) and Deputy Prime Minister Tevita TOPOU (since NA January 2001)
cabinet : Cabinet appointed by the king, consists of 12 members
note: there is also a Privy Council that consists of the king and the Cabinet
elections: none; the king is a constitutional monarch; prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed for life by the king

Legislative branch:unicameral Legislative Assembly or Fale Alea (30 seats - 12 reserved for cabinet ministers sitting ex officio, nine for nobles selected by the country's 33 nobles, and nine elected by popular vote; members serve three-year terms)
elections: last held 7 March 2002 (next to be held NA 2005)
election results :percent of vote - pro-democratic 70%; seats - pro-democratic 7, traditionalist 2

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges are appointed by the king; Privy Council with the addition of the chief justice of the Supreme Court sits as the Court of Appeal

Political parties and leaders: there are no political parties

International organization participation: ACP, AsDB, C, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, IMF, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ITU, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WMO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Sione KITE
chancery: 250 East 51st Street, New York, NY 10022
telephone: [1] (917) 369-1136
consulate(s) general: San Francisco
FAX: [1] (917) 369-1024

Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Tonga; the 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


Economy - overview: Tonga has a small, open economy with a narrow export base in agricultural goods. Squash, coconuts, bananas, and vanilla beans are the main crops, and agricultural exports make up two-thirds of total exports. The country must import a high proportion of its food, mainly from New Zealand. Tourism is the second largest source of hard currency earnings following remittances. The country remains dependent on external aid and remittances from Tongan communities overseas to offset its trade deficit. 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 reasonable basic infrastructure and well-developed social services.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $225 million (2000 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 5.3% (2000 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $2,200 (2000 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 30%
industry: 10%
services:60% (2001 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 9.4% (2001 est.)

Labor force:
total: 33,908 (1996)
by occupation : agriculture 65% (1997 est.)

Unemployment rate: 13.3% (1996 est.)

revenues: $39.9 million
expenditures : $52.4 million, including capital expenditures of $1.9 million (FY99/00 est.)

Industries: tourism, fishing

Industrial production growth rate: 8.6% (FY98/99)

Electricity - capacity: 7,000 kW (1995)

Electricity - production: 30 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 27.9 million kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products: coconuts, copra, bananas, vanilla beans, cocoa, coffee, ginger, black pepper

total value : $9.3 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
commodities: squash, vanilla, fish, root crops, coconut oil
partners: Japan 50.4%, US 31.6%, NZ 4.1%, Australia 2.1%, Fiji 1.7% (2000 est.)

total value:$70 million (c.i.f., 2000 est.)
commodities : food products, live animals, machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, fuels, chemicals
partners:New Zealand 29.8%, Japan 18.6%, Australia 12.7%, US 12.7%, Fiji 12.2% (2000 est.)

Debt - external: $57.5 million (June 2001)

Economic aid:
recipient: Australia $5.5 million, New Zealand $2.3 million (FY01/02)

Currency: 1 pa'anga (TOP) = 100 seniti

Exchange rates:pa'anga per US dollar - 2.1920 (January 2002), 2.1236 (2001), 1.7585 (2000), 1.5991 (1999), 1.4920 (1998), 1.2635 (1997)

Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June


Telephones: 8,000 (1996)

Telephone system:
domestic: NA
international : satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 1 (2001)

Radios: 61,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 2 (2001)

Televisions: 2,000 (1997)


Railways: 0 km

total:680 km
paved :184 km
unpaved: 496 km (1996)

Ports and harbors: Neiafu, Nuku'alofa, Pangai

Merchant marine:
total: 80 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 292,139 GRT/421,221 DWT
ships by type : bulk 10, cargo 54, liquefied gas 4, petroleum tanker 8, roll on/roll off 4 note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Albania 1, Australia 4, Austria 1, Bolivia 1, Cyprus 1, Djibouti 1, Egypt 2, Greece 4, Lebanon 2, Liberia 2, Marshall Islands 2, Morocco 1, Norway 1, Panama 1, Romania 3, Russia 1, Sao Tome and Principe 1, Saudi Arabia 2, Singapore 1, Sweden 1, Switzerland 3, Syria 5, Ukraine 1, United Arab Emirates 16, United States 4 (2002 est.)

Airports: 6 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:
total : 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (2001)


Military branches: Tonga Defense Services (made up of three operational command components and two support elements, including the Royal Marines, Royal Guards, Maritime Force, a support/logistics group, and a training group), Police; note - a new air wing that will be subordinate to the Ministry of Defense is being developed

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: NA

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: NA

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $NA

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA%

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none