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  Tonga  
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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
  Government
  Economy
  Communications
  Transportation
  Military
  Transnational Issues

Anyone going to Tonga should first take a look at this page. Tonga is a country with much to know about. You really need to absorb the info on this page before going to Tonga .

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Country map showing major cities and other features.


Map of Tonga

DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Tonga
Background:
Definition Field Listing
The archipelago of "The Friendly Islands" was united into a Polynesian kingdom in 1845. It became a constitutional monarchy in 1875 and a British protectorate in 1900. Tonga acquired its independence in 1970 and became a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. It remains the only monarchy in the Pacific.

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   Geography    Tonga
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Oceania, archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
20 00 S, 175 00 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Oceania
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 748 sq km
land: 718 sq km
water: 30 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
four times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
419 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical; modified by trade winds; warm season (December to May), cool season (May to December)
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
most islands have limestone base formed from uplifted coral formation; others have limestone overlying volcanic base
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location on Kao Island 1,033 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
fish, fertile soil
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 23.61%
permanent crops: 43.06%
other: 33.33% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
NA sq km
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
cyclones (October to April); earthquakes and volcanic activity on Fonuafo'ou
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
archipelago of 169 islands (36 inhabited)

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   People    Tonga
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
110,237 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 37.1% (male 20,873; female 20,050)
15-64 years: 58.7% (male 32,018; female 32,707)
65 years and over: 4.2% (male 2,005; female 2,584) (2004 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 20.1 years
male: 19.7 years
female: 20.7 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.94% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
24.87 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.45 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 12.99 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 14.36 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 11.54 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 69.2 years
male: 66.74 years
female: 71.79 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Tongan(s)
adjective: Tongan
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Polynesian, Europeans about 300
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Christian (Free Wesleyan Church claims over 30,000 adherents)
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Tongan, English
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: can read and write Tongan and/or English
total population: 98.5%
male: 98.4%
female: 98.7% (1996 est.)

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   Government    Tonga
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Kingdom of Tonga
conventional short form: Tonga
former: Friendly Islands
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
hereditary constitutional monarchy
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Nuku'alofa
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
3 island groups; Ha'apai, Tongatapu, Vava'u
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
4 June 1970 (from UK protectorate)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 4 June (1970)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
4 November 1875, revised 1 January 1967
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on English law
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
21 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: King Taufa'ahau TUPOU IV (since 16 December 1965)
head of government: Prime Minister Prince Lavaka ata ULUKALALA (since NA February 2000) and Deputy Prime Minister James C. COCKER (since NA January 2001)
cabinet: Cabinet, appointed by the monarch, consists of 12 members
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 for life by the monarch
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral Legislative Assembly or Fale Alea (30 seats - 12 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 7 March 2002 (next to be held NA 2005)
election results: percent of vote - HRDMT 70%; seats - HRDMT 7, traditionalist 2
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the monarch); Court of Appeal (consists of the Privy Council with the addition of the chief justice of the Supreme Court)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
there are no political parties
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Human Rights and Democracy Movement Tonga or HRDMT [Rev. Simote VEA, chair]
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACP, AsDB, C, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Sonatane T. T. TUPOU
chancery: 250 East 51st Street, New York, NY 10022
telephone: [1] (917) 369-1025
FAX: [1] (917) 369-1024
consulate(s) general: San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
the US does not have an embassy in Tonga; the ambassador to Fiji is accredited to Tonga
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
red with a bold red cross on a white rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner

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   Economy    Tonga
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Tonga, a small, open, South Pacific island economy, 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. Tourism is the second-largest source of hard currency earnings following remittances. The country remains dependent on external aid and remittances from Tongan communities overseas to offset its trade deficit. 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 and the continuing upturn in inflation are major issues facing the government.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $236 million (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $2,200 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 26%
industry: 12%
services: 62% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10.3% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
33,910 (1996)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 65% (1997 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
13.3% (1996 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $39.9 million
expenditures: $52.4 million, including capital expenditures of $1.9 million (FY99/00 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
squash, coconuts, copra, bananas, vanilla beans, cocoa, coffee, ginger, black pepper; fish
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
tourism, fishing
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8.6% (FY98/99)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
27.27 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
25.36 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$27 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
squash, fish, vanilla beans, root crops
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 50%, Japan 35.7%, Italy 3.6% (2003 est.)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$86 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
foodstuffs, machinery and transport equipment, fuels, chemicals
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
New Zealand 43%, Fiji 22%, Australia 11%, US 6% (2003 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$63.4 million (2001)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
Australia $5.5 million, New Zealand $2.3 million (FY01/02)
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
pa'anga (TOP)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
TOP
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
pa'anga per US dollar - NA (2003), 2.1952 (2002), 2.1236 (2001), 1.7585 (2000), 1.5991 (1999)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 July - 30 June

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   Communications    Tonga
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
11,200 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3,400 (2002)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: country code - 676; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (1996)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 1 (2001)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
2 (2001)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.to
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
18,906 (2003)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2,900 (2002)

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   Transportation    Tonga
Highways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 680 km
paved: 184 km
unpaved: 496 km (1999 est.)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Neiafu, Nuku'alofa, Pangai
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 40 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 136,977 GRT/200,751 DWT
by type: bulk 3, cargo 21, chemical tanker 2, container 1, liquefied gas 4, petroleum tanker 5, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 1, specialized tanker 1, vehicle carrier 1
foreign-owned: Albania 1, Australia 4, Brazil 1, Cyprus 1, Egypt 1, Greece 1, Lebanon 1, Liberia 1, Marshall Islands 1, Norway 1, Panama 2, Romania 1, Russia 1, Saudi Arabia 1, Switzerland 3, Syria 1, United (2003 est.)
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
6 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 1 (2003 est.)

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   Military    Tonga
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Tonga Defense Services: Ground Forces (Royal Marines, Royal Guard), Maritime Force (including Air Wing)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA

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   Transnational Issues    Tonga
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
none

Large portions of this information is from the US government open source publication "The World Factbook", other content copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. You may use this information without permission for educational or other non-profit purposes if you refer to us as the source, contact us if you want to use this commercially.


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