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Tonga (2005)

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Tonga 2005 year

Administrative divisions 3 island groups; Ha'apai, Tongatapu, Vava'u
Age structure 0-14 years: 36.2% (male 20,738/female 19,907)

15-64 years: 59.7% (male 33,226/female 33,853)

65 years and over: 4.2% (male 2,031/female 2,667) (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products squash, coconuts, copra, bananas, vanilla beans, cocoa, coffee, ginger, black pepper; fish
Airports 6 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 5

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 3

under 914 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Area total: 748 sq km

land: 718 sq km

water: 30 sq km
Area - comparative four times the size of Washington, DC
Background The archipelago of "The Friendly Islands" was united into a Polynesian kingdom in 1845. It became a constitutional monarchy in 1875 and a British protectorate in 1900. Tonga acquired its independence in 1970 and became a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. It remains the only monarchy in the Pacific.
Birth rate 25.18 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Budget revenues: $39.9 million

expenditures: $52.4 million, including capital expenditures of $1.9 million (FY99/00 est.)
Capital Nuku'alofa
Climate tropical; modified by trade winds; warm season (December to May), cool season (May to December)
Coastline 419 km
Constitution 4 November 1875; revised 1 January 1967
Country name conventional long form: Kingdom of Tonga

conventional short form: Tonga

former: Friendly Islands
Death rate 5.35 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Debt - external $63.4 million (2001)
Diplomatic representation from the US the US does not have an embassy in Tonga; the ambassador to Fiji is accredited to Tonga
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador Fekitamoeloa 'UTOIKAMANU

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

telephone: [1] (917) 369-1025

FAX: [1] (917) 369-1024

consulate(s) general: San Francisco
Disputes - international none
Economic aid - recipient Australia $5.5 million, New Zealand $2.3 million (FY01/02)
Economy - overview Tonga, a small, open, South Pacific island economy, has 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 reasonably sound basic infrastructure and well-developed social services. High unemployment among the young, a continuing upturn in inflation, and rising civil service expenditures are major issues facing the government.
Electricity - consumption 23.06 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - production 24.79 million kWh (2002)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point: unnamed location on Kao Island 1,033 m
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, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Ethnic groups Polynesian, Europeans about 300
Exchange rates pa'anga per US dollar - 1.9716 (2004), 2.142 (2003), 2.1952 (2002), 2.1236 (2001), 1.7585 (2000)
Executive branch chief of state: King Taufa'ahau TUPOU IV (since 16 December 1965)

head of government: Prime Minister Prince Lavaka ata ULUKALALA (since 3 January 2000) and Deputy Prime Minister James C. COCKER (since NA January 2001)

cabinet: cabinet consists of 16 members, 12 appointed by the monarch for life; 4 appointed from among the elected members of the Legislative Assembly including 2 each from the Nobles and Peoples representatives serving three year terms

note: there is also a Privy Council that consists of the monarch, the Cabinet, and two governors

elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed for life by the monarch
Exports 0 kWh (2002)
Exports $27 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports NA
Exports - commodities squash, fish, vanilla beans, root crops
Exports - partners Japan 37.1%, China 18.7%, US 17.7%, Taiwan 8.7%, New Zealand 7.4% (2004)
Fiscal year 1 July - 30 June
Flag description red with a bold red cross on a white rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 23%

industry: 13%

services: 64% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $2,300 (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 1.5% (2002 est.)
Geographic coordinates 20 00 S, 175 00 W
Geography - note archipelago of 169 islands (36 inhabited)
Highways total: 680 km

paved: 184 km

unpaved: 496 km (1999 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: NA

highest 10%: NA
Imports 0 kWh (2002)
Imports $86 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports NA
Imports - commodities foodstuffs, machinery and transport equipment, fuels, chemicals
Imports - partners New Zealand 37.1%, Fiji 24.3%, Australia 9.1%, China 8.9%, US 6.3% (2004)
Independence 4 June 1970 (from UK protectorate)
Industrial production growth rate 8.6% (FY98/99)
Industries tourism, fishing
Infant mortality rate total: 12.62 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 13.97 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 11.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 10.3% (2002 est.)
International organization participation ACP, AsDB, C, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Irrigated land NA
Judicial branch Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the monarch); Court of Appeal (consists of the Privy Council with the addition of the chief justice of the Supreme Court)
Labor force 33,910 (1996)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 65% (1997 est.)
Land boundaries 0 km
Land use arable land: 23.61%

permanent crops: 43.06%

other: 33.33% (2001)
Languages Tongan, English
Legal system based on English law
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 21 March 2005 (next to be held in 2008)

election results: Peoples Representatives: percent of vote - HRDMT 70%; seats - HRDMT 7, independents 2
Life expectancy at birth total population: 69.53 years

male: 67.05 years

female: 72.14 years (2005 est.)
Literacy definition: can read and write Tongan and/or English

total population: 98.9%

male: 98.8%

female: 99% (1996 est.)
Location Oceania, archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand
Map references Oceania
Maritime claims territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Merchant marine total: 29 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 136,977 GRT/200,751 DWT

by type: cargo 21, chemical tanker 1, liquefied gas 2, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 1, vehicle carrier 1

foreign-owned: 7 (Cyprus 1, France 1, Greece 1, Norway 1, Romania 2, United Kingdom 1) (2005)
Military branches Tonga Defense Services: Ground Forces (Royal Marines, Royal Guard), Maritime Force (includes Air Wing)
Military expenditures - dollar figure NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP NA
National holiday Emancipation Day, 4 June (1970)
Nationality noun: Tongan(s)

adjective: Tongan
Natural hazards cyclones (October to April); earthquakes and volcanic activity on Fonuafo'ou
Natural resources fish, fertile soil
Net migration rate 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Political parties and leaders there are no political parties
Political pressure groups and leaders Human Rights and Democracy Movement Tonga or HRDMT [Rev. Simote VEA, chairman]
Population 112,422 (July 2005 est.)
Population below poverty line NA
Population growth rate 1.98% (2005 est.)
Ports and harbors Nuku'alofa
Radio broadcast stations AM 1, FM 4, shortwave 1 (2004)
Religions Christian (Free Wesleyan Church claims over 30,000 adherents)
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Suffrage 21 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: competition between Tonga Telecommunications Corporation (TCC) and Shoreline Communications Tonga (SCT) is accelerating expansion of telecommunications; SCT recently granted authority to develop high-speed digital service for telephone, Internet, and television

domestic: fully automatic switched network

international: country code - 676; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2004)
Telephones - main lines in use 11,200 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular 9,000 (2004)
Television broadcast stations 3 (2004)
Terrain most islands have limestone base formed from uplifted coral formation; others have limestone overlying volcanic base
Total fertility rate 3 children born/woman (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate 13.3% (1996 est.)
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