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  • Capital: Fongafale

  • Population estimate, 2015: 10,000

  • GNI per capita, 2014: (PPP$) 5,278

  • Internet domain extension: .tv

Civil Aviation

In 2010 Air Pacific operated two flights a week from Funafuti International to Suva in the Fiji Islands.


A pleasant but monotonous climate with temperatures averaging 86 °F (30 °C), though trade winds from the east moderate conditions for much of the year. Rainfall ranges from 120“ (3,000 mm) to over 160” (4,000 mm). Funafuti, Jan. 84 °F (28.9 °C), July 81 °F (27.2 °C). Annual rainfall 160″ (4,003 mm). Although the islands are north of the recognized hurricane belt they were badly hit by hurricanes in the 1990s, raising fears for the long-term future of Tuvalu as the sea level continues to rise.

Constitution and Government

The Head of State is the British sovereign, represented by an appointed Governor-General. The Constitution provides for a Prime Minister and the cabinet ministers to be elected from among the 15 members of the Fale I Fono (Parliament).


The unit of currency is the Australian dollar although Tuvaluan coins up to $A1 are in local circulation.


Finance, real estate, public administration, defence and services accounted for 50.5% of GDP in 2008; agriculture and fishing, 18.2%; trade, hotels and restaurants, 13.9%; transport and communications, 12.2%.


The Government Broadcasting and Information Division produces Tuvalu Echoes, a fortnightly publication, and Te Lama, a monthly religious publication.


The majority of the population are Protestants who are members of the Congregational Christian Church of Tuvalu (also known as the Church of Tuvalu). There are also small numbers of Roman Catholics, Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Bahá’ís, Muslims and Latter-day Saints (Mormons).


In 2013 there were just 8 km of roads.


Funafuti is the only port and a deep-water wharf was opened in 1980. In Jan. 2009 there were 96 ships of 300 GT or over registered, totalling 1.03 m. GT. Of the 96 vessels registered, 40 were oil tankers, 36 general cargo ships, nine chemical tankers, five bulk carriers, four passenger ships and two container ships. Tuvalu is a ‘flag of convenience’ country.

Social Statistics

2005 births (est.), 230; deaths (est.), 60. Infant mortality, 2010, 27 per 1,000 live births. Expectation of life, 2008: males, 64 years; females, 63. Annual population growth rate, 1998–2008, 0.5%; fertility rate, 2008, 3.2 births per woman.


In 2013 there were approximately 1,450 main telephone lines in operation. There were an estimated 3,400 mobile phone subscriptions, and some 37.0% of the population used the internet that year.

Territory and Population

Tuvalu lies between 5. 30′ and 11° S. lat. and 176° and 180° E. long. and comprises Nanumea, Nanumaga, Niutao, Nui, Vaitupu, Nukufetau, Funafuti (administrative centre; 2012 census population, 5,879), Nukulaelae and Niulakita. Population (census 2012) 10,640, excluding an estimated 1,500 who were working abroad, mainly in Nauru and Kiribati. Area approximately 26 km2 (10 sq. miles). Density, 2012, 409 per km2. In 2011, 50.9% of the population lived in urban areas. The population is of a Polynesian race. The official languages are Tuvaluan and English.


There were 1,232 visitor arrivals in 2011, down from a record 1,665 in 2008.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

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