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Tuvalu (2004)

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Tuvalu 2004 year

Administrative divisions none
Age structure 0-14 years: 31.3% (male 1,828; female 1,761)

15-64 years: 63.7% (male 3,530; female 3,770)

65 years and over: 5% (male 227; female 352) (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products coconuts; fish
Airports 1 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Area total: 26 sq km

land: 26 sq km

water: 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 21.63 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Budget revenues: $22.5 million

expenditures: $11.2 million, including capital expenditures of $4.2 million (2000 est.)
Capital Funafuti; note - administrative offices are located in Vaiaku Village on Fongafale Islet
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: none

conventional short form: Tuvalu

former: Ellice Islands

note: "Tuvalu" means "group of eight," referring to the country's eight traditionally inhabited islands
Currency Australian dollar (AUD); note - there is also a Tuvaluan dollar
Death rate 7.24 deaths/1,000 population (2004 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 - the country's only diplomatic post is in Fiji - Tuvalu does, however, have a UN office located at 800 2nd Avenue, Suite 400D, New York, New York 10017, telephone: [1] (212) 490-0534
Disputes - international none
Economic aid - recipient $13 million ; note - major donors are Australia, Japan, and the US (1999 est.)
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. Fewer than 1,000 tourists, on average, visit Tuvalu annually. 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, because of payments from a 1988 treaty on fisheries. 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 lease of its ".tv" Internet domain name. Royalties from these new technology sources could increase substantially over the next decade. With merchandise exports only a fraction of merchandise imports, continued reliance must be placed on fishing and telecommunications license fees, remittances from overseas workers, official transfers, and investment income from overseas assets.
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; in 2000, the government appealed to Australia and New Zealand to take in Tuvaluans if rising sea levels should make evacuation necessary
Environment - international agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Ethnic groups Polynesian 96%, Micronesian 4%
Exchange rates Tuvaluan dollars or Australian dollars per US dollar - 1.5419, (2003), 1.8406 (2002), 1.9320 (2001), 1.7173 (2000), 1.5497 (1999)
Executive branch chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Faimalaga LUKA (since 9 September 2003)

head of government: Prime Minister Maatia TOAFA (since 11 October 2004)

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

elections: 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 11 October 2004 (next to be held following parliamentary elections in 2006)

election results: Saufatu SOPOANGA resigned parliamentary seat on 27 August 2004 following no-confidence vote on 25 August 2004; succeeded by Deputy Prime Minister Maatia TOAFA in an acting capacity on 27 August 2004; Maatia TOAFA confirmed Prime Minister in a Parliamentary election (8-7 vote) on 11 Ocotober 2004
Exports $1 million f.o.b. (2002)
Exports - commodities copra, fish
Exports - partners UK 37.5%, Poland 19.1%, Philippines 9.2%, Australia 9.1%, Fiji 6.2% (2003)
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 - $12.2 million NA (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: NA

industry: NA

services: NA
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $1,100 (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 3% (2000 est.)
Geographic coordinates 8 00 S, 178 00 E
Geography - note one of the smallest and most remote countries on Earth; six of the coral atolls - Nanumea, Nui, Vaitupu, Nukufetau, Funafuti, and Nukulaelae - have lagoons open to the ocean; Nanumaya and Niutao have landlocked lagoons; Niulakita does not have a lagoon
Highways total: 8 km

paved: 0 km

unpaved: 8 km (1999 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: NA

highest 10%: NA
Imports $79 million c.i.f. (2002)
Imports - commodities food, animals, mineral fuels, machinery, manufactured goods
Imports - partners Fiji 47.3%, Australia 13.9%, Poland 10.8%, Germany 10.2%, Japan 8%, New Zealand 6.2% (2003)
Independence 1 October 1978 (from UK)
Industrial production growth rate NA
Industries fishing, tourism, copra
Infant mortality rate total: 20.69 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 23.63 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 17.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 5% (2000 est.)
International organization participation ACP, AsDB, C, FAO, IFRCS (observer), IMO, ITU, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WHO
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 7,000 (2001 est.)
Labor force - by occupation people make a living mainly through exploitation of the sea, reefs, and atolls and from wages sent home by those abroad (mostly workers in the phosphate industry and sailors)
Land boundaries 0 km
Land use arable land: 0%

permanent crops: 0%

other: 100% (2001)
Languages Tuvaluan, English, Samoan, Kiribati (on the island of Nui)
Legal system NA
Legislative branch unicameral Parliament or Fale I Fono, also called House of Assembly (15 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held 25 July 2002 (next to be held NA 2006)

election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 15
Life expectancy at birth total population: 67.66 years

male: 65.47 years

female: 69.96 years (2004 est.)
Literacy definition: NA

total population: NA

male: NA

female: NA
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 territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Merchant marine total: 6 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 54,993 GRT/86,048 DWT

by type: cargo 3, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 1, specialized tanker 1

foreign-owned: Germany 4, Singapore 1, Thailand 1 (2004 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: Tuvaluan(s)

adjective: Tuvaluan
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 (2004 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 11,468 (July 2004 est.)
Population below poverty line NA
Population growth rate 1.44% (2004 est.)
Ports and harbors Funafuti, Nukufetau
Radio broadcast stations AM 1, FM 0, shortwave 0 (1999)
Religions Church of Tuvalu (Congregationalist) 97%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.4%, Baha'i 1%, other 0.6%
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.65 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: serves particular needs for internal communications

domestic: radiotelephone communications between islands

international: country code - 688
Telephones - main lines in use 700 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular 0 (1994)
Television broadcast stations 0 (1997)
Terrain very low-lying and narrow coral atolls
Total fertility rate 3.02 children born/woman (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate NA
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