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Tonga (2008)

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Tonga 2008 year

Administrative divisions 3 island groups; Ha'apai, Tongatapu, Vava'u
Age structure 0-14 years: 34.6% (male 20,624/female 19,779)

15-64 years: 61.2% (male 35,551/female 36,052)

65 years and over: 4.2% (male 2,087/female 2,828) (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products squash, coconuts, copra, bananas, vanilla beans, cocoa, coffee, ginger, black pepper; fish
Airports 6 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways total: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 5

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 3

under 914 m: 1 (2007)
Area total: 748 sq km

land: 718 sq km

water: 30 sq km
Area - comparative four times the size of Washington, DC
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.
Birth rate 23.67 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Budget revenues: $56.97 million

expenditures: $83.88 million (FY04/05)
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)
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

local long form: Pule'anga Tonga

local short form: Tonga

former: Friendly Islands
Death rate 5.2 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Debt - external $80.7 million (2004)
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 $31.75 million (2005)
Economy - overview Tonga has a small, open, South Pacific island economy. It 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. 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. 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.
Electricity - consumption 32.55 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - production 35 million kWh (2005)
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
Exchange rates pa'anga per US dollar - NA (2007), 2.0277 (2006), 1.96 (2005), 1.9716 (2004), 2.142 (2003)
Executive branch chief of state: King George TUPOU V (since 11 September 2006)

head of government: Prime Minister Dr. Feleti SEVELE (since 11 February 2006); Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Viliami TANGI (since 16 May 2006)

cabinet: Cabinet consists of 14 members, 10 appointed by the monarch for life; four appointed from among the elected members of the Legislative Assembly, including two 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 by the monarch
Exports 0 kWh (2005)
Exports $22 million f.o.b. (2006)
Exports 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Exports 0 bbl/day (2004)
Exports - commodities squash, fish, vanilla beans, root crops
Exports - partners US 39.7%, Japan 27.8%, NZ 8.2%, South Korea 7.6% (2006)
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: 27%

services: 50% (FY03/04 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 2.4% (2005 est.)
Geographic coordinates 20 00 S, 175 00 W
Geography - note archipelago of 169 islands (36 inhabited)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%
Imports 0 kWh (2005)
Imports $139 million f.o.b. (2006)
Imports 0 cu m (2005)
Imports 842.3 bbl/day (2004)
Imports - commodities foodstuffs, machinery and transport equipment, fuels, chemicals
Imports - partners Fiji 30.3%, NZ 27.7%, US 8.2%, Australia 7.5%, France 5.7%, UK 4.7% (2006)
Independence 4 June 1970 (from UK protectorate)
Industrial production growth rate 1% (2003 est.)
Industries tourism, fishing
Infant mortality rate total: 11.99 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 13.3 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 10.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 11.1% (2005 est.)
International organization participation ACP, ADB, C, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, ITUC, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Irrigated land NA
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)
Labor force 33,910 (2003)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture: 65%

industry and services: 35% (1997 est.)
Land boundaries 0 km
Land use arable land: 20%

permanent crops: 14.67%

other: 65.33% (2005)
Languages Tongan, English
Legal system based on English common law
Legislative branch unicameral Legislative Assembly or Fale Alea (32 seats - 14 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 on 21 March 2005 (next to be held in 2008)

election results: Peoples Representatives: percent of vote - HRDMT 70%, other 30%; seats - HRDMT 7, independents 2
Life expectancy at birth total population: 70.12 years

male: 67.6 years

female: 72.76 years (2007 est.)
Literacy definition: can read and write Tongan and/or English

total population: 98.9%

male: 98.8%

female: 99% (1999 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: 14 ships (1000 GRT or over) 58,756 GRT/67,889 DWT

by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 9, liquefied gas 1, livestock carrier 1, passenger/cargo 1, refrigerated cargo 1

foreign-owned: 3 (Australia 1, Switzerland 1, UK 1) (2007)
Military branches Tonga Defense Services (TDS): Land Force (Royal Guard), Naval Force (includes Royal Marines, Air Wing) (2008)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 0.9% (2006 est.)
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 (2007 est.)
Political parties and leaders People's Democratic Party [Tesina FUKO]
Political pressure groups and leaders Human Rights and Democracy Movement Tonga or HRDMT [Rev. Simote VEA, chairman]; Public Servant's Association [Finau TUTONE]
Population 116,921 (July 2007 est.)
Population below poverty line 24% (FY03/04)
Population growth rate 1.847% (2007 est.)
Radio broadcast stations AM 1, FM 4, shortwave 1 (2001)
Religions Christian (Free Wesleyan Church claims over 30,000 adherents)
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.043 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.986 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.738 male(s)/female

total population: 0.993 male(s)/female (2007 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: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity roughly 40 telephones per 100 persons; fully automatic switched network

international: country code - 676; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2004)
Telephones - main lines in use 13,700 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular 29,900 (2005)
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 2.75 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate 13% (FY03/04 est.)
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