Tuvalu Travel Information

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Tuvalu > Map Economy

Bob and Kerrie Girdo visit Tuvalu A travelogue with lots of pictures.

Facts About Tuvalu

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 $50 million in royalties over the next dozen years.
Government type: constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy; began debating republic status in 1992
Capital: Funafuti
Currency: 1 Tuvaluan dollar ($T) or 1 Australian dollar ($A) = 100 cents

Geography of Tuvalu

Location: Oceania, island group consisting of nine coral atolls in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to Australia
Geographic coordinates: 8 00 S, 178 00 E
Area:
total: 26 sq km
land: 26 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 24 km
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate: tropical; moderated by easterly trade winds (March to November); westerly gales and heavy rain (November to March)
Terrain: very low-lying and narrow coral atolls
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 5 m
Natural resources: fish
Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 0%
other: 100% (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: severe tropical storms are usually rare, but, in 1997, there were three cyclones; low-level of islands make them very sensitive to sea-level rise
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
Geography - note: one of the smallest and most remote countries on Earth; five of the coral atolls enclose sizable lagoons, but the other four are just pinnacles.

People of Tuvalu

Population: 11,636 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 34% 
15-64 years: 61%
65 years and over: 5% 
Population growth rate: 1.41% 
Birth rate: 21.78 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 7.66 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 23.3 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 66.32 years
male: 64.21 years
female: 68.53 years 
Total fertility rate: 3.11 children born/woman 
Nationality:
noun: Tuvaluan(s)
adjective: Tuvaluan
Ethnic groups: Polynesian 96%
Religions: Church of Tuvalu (Congregationalist) 97%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.4%, Baha'i 1%, other 0.6%
Languages: Tuvaluan, English

SOURCE: The World Factbook

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