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Tuvalu (2001)

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Tuvalu 2001 year

Administrative divisions none
Age structure 0-14 years:
33.28% (male 1,862; female 1,796)

15-64 years:
61.6% (male 3,241; female 3,529)

65 years and over:
5.12% (male 236; female 327) (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products coconuts; fish
Airports 1 (2000 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total:

1,524 to 2,437 m:
1 (2000 est.)
Area total:
26 sq km

26 sq km

0 sq km
Area - comparative 0.1 times the size of Washington, DC
Background 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 the next dozen years.
Birth rate 21.56 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Budget revenues:
$6.2 million

$6.1 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1998 est.)
Capital Funafuti
Climate tropical; moderated by easterly trade winds (March to November); westerly gales and heavy rain (November to March)
Coastline 24 km
Constitution 1 October 1978
Country name conventional long form:

conventional short form:

Ellice Islands
Currency Australian dollar (AUD); note - there is also a Tuvaluan dollar
Death rate 7.55 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Debt - external $NA
Diplomatic representation from the US the US does not have an embassy in Tuvalu; the US ambassador to Fiji is accredited to Tuvalu
Diplomatic representation in the US Tuvalu does not have an embassy in the US
Disputes - international none
Economic aid - recipient $13 million (1999 est.); note - major donors are Japan and Australia
Economy - overview Tuvalu consists of a densely populated, scattered group of nine coral atolls with poor soil. The country has no known mineral resources and few exports. Subsistence farming and fishing are the primary economic activities. Government revenues largely come from the sale of stamps and coins and worker remittances. About 1,000 Tuvaluans work in Nauru in the phosphate mining industry. Nauru has begun repatriating Tuvaluans, however, as phosphate resources decline. Substantial income is received annually from an international trust fund established in 1987 by Australia, NZ, and the UK and supported also by Japan and South Korea. Thanks to wise investments and conservative withdrawals, this Fund has grown from an initial $17 million to over $35 million in 1999. The US government is also a major revenue source for Tuvalu, with 1999 payments from a 1988 treaty on fisheries at about $9 million, a total which is expected to rise annually. In an effort to reduce its dependence on foreign aid, the government is pursuing public sector reforms, including privatization of some government functions and personnel cuts of up to 7%. In 1998, Tuvalu began deriving revenue from use of its area code for "900" lines and in 2000, from the sale of its ".tv" Internet domain name. Royalties from these new technology sources could raise GDP three or more times over the next decade. In 1999, with merchandise exports falling and financing reaching less than 5% of imports, continued reliance was placed on fishing and telecommunications license fees, remittances from overseas workers, official transfers, and investment income from overseas assets to cover the trade deficit.
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel:



Elevation extremes lowest point:
Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point:
unnamed location 5 m
Environment - current issues since there are no streams or rivers and groundwater is not potable, most water needs must be met by catchment systems with storage facilities (the Japanese Government has built one desalination plant and plans to build one other); beachhead erosion because of the use of sand for building materials; excessive clearance of forest undergrowth for use as fuel; damage to coral reefs from the spread of the Crown of Thorns starfish; Tuvalu is very concerned about global increases in greenhouse gas emissions and their effect on rising sea levels, which threaten the country's underground water table
Environment - international agreements party to:
Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution

signed, but not ratified:
Biodiversity, Law of the Sea
Ethnic groups Polynesian 96%
Exchange rates Tuvaluan dollars or Australian dollars per US dollar - 1.7995 (January 2001), 1.7173 (2000), 1.5497 (1999), 1.5888 (1998), 1.3439 (1997), 1.2773 (1996)
Executive branch chief of state:
Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Sir Tomasi PUAPUA (since 26 June 1998)

head of government:
Acting Prime Minister Lagitupu (of Nanumea) TUILIMU (since 8 December 2000); note - TUILIMU took over after Prime Minister Ionatana IONATANA died suddenly of a heart attack on 8 December 2000

Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister

the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the prime minister; prime minister and deputy prime minister elected by and from the members of Parliament; election last held 27 April 1999 (next to be held NA 2002)

election results:
results of the last election for prime minister - Ionatana IONATANA elected prime minister; percent of Parliament vote - NA%; Lagitupu (of Nanumea) TUILIMU elected deputy prime minister; percent of Parliament vote - NA%; note - Deputy Prime Minister Lagitupu (of Nanumea) TUILIMU became acting prime minister following the death of Prime Minister Ionatana IONATANA on 8 December 2000
Exports $165,000 (f.o.b., 1989)
Exports - commodities copra
Exports - partners Fiji, Australia, NZ
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description light blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant; the outer half of the flag represents a map of the country with nine yellow five-pointed stars symbolizing the nine islands
GDP purchasing power parity - $11.6 million (1999 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture:


GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $1,100 (1999 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 3% (1999 est.)
Geographic coordinates 8 00 S, 178 00 E
Highways total:
8 km

0 km

8 km (1996)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%:

highest 10%:
Imports $4.4 million (c.i.f., 1989)
Imports - commodities food, animals, mineral fuels, machinery, manufactured goods
Imports - partners Fiji, Australia, NZ
Independence 1 October 1978 (from UK)
Industrial production growth rate NA%
Industries fishing, tourism, copra
Infant mortality rate 22.65 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 7% (1999 est.)
International organization participation ACP, AsDB, C, ESCAP, IFRCS (associate), Intelsat (nonsignatory user), ITU, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WTrO (applicant)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 1 (2000)
Irrigated land NA sq km
Judicial branch High Court (a chief justice visits twice a year to preside over its sessions; its rulings can be appealed to the Court of Appeal in Fiji); eight Island Courts (with limited jurisdiction)
Labor force NA
Labor force - by occupation people make a living mainly through exploitation of the sea, reefs, and atolls and from wages sent home by those working abroad (mostly workers in the phosphate industry and sailors)
Land boundaries 0 km
Land use arable land:

permanent crops:

permanent pastures:

forests and woodland:

100% (1993 est.)
Languages Tuvaluan, English
Legal system NA
Legislative branch unicameral Parliament or Fale I Fono, also called House of Assembly (12 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

last held 26-27 March 1998 (next to be held by NA 2002)

election results:
percent of vote - NA%; seats - independents 12
Life expectancy at birth total population:
66.65 years

64.52 years

68.88 years (2001 est.)
Literacy definition:

total population:


Location Oceania, island group consisting of nine coral atolls in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to Australia
Map references Oceania
Maritime claims contiguous zone:
24 NM

exclusive economic zone:
200 NM

territorial sea:
12 NM
Merchant marine total:
9 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 52,135 GRT/68,300 DWT

ships by type:
cargo 5, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 2 (2000 est.)
Military branches no regular military forces; Police Force includes Maritime Surveillance Unit for search and rescue missions and surveillance operations
Military expenditures - dollar figure $NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP NA%
National holiday Independence Day, 1 October (1978)
Nationality noun:

Natural hazards severe tropical storms are usually rare, but, in 1997, there were three cyclones; low level of islands make them very sensitive to changes in sea level
Natural resources fish
Net migration rate 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Political parties and leaders there are no political parties but members of Parliament usually align themselves in informal groupings
Political pressure groups and leaders none
Population 10,991 (July 2001 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 1.4% (2001 est.)
Ports and harbors Funafuti, Nukufetau
Radio broadcast stations AM 1, FM 0, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios 4,000 (1997)
Railways 0 km
Religions Church of Tuvalu (Congregationalist) 97%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.4%, Baha'i 1%, other 0.6%
Sex ratio at birth:
1.04 male(s)/female

under 15 years:
1.04 male(s)/female

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

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

total population:
0.94 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment:
serves particular needs for internal communications

radiotelephone communications between islands

Telephones - main lines in use 1,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular 0 (1994)
Television broadcast stations 0 (1997)
Terrain very low-lying and narrow coral atolls
Total fertility rate 3.09 children born/woman (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate NA%
Waterways none
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