Tuvalu Facts

Tuvalu, known as the Ellice Islands prior to 1978, a state comprising nine atolls in Polynesia in the southwestern Pacific, 26 km2, 12,000 residents (2019), of which about 10 percent are living abroad as guest workers.The largest atoll is Funafuti, where the capital Fongafale (5,300 residents, 2012) is located.

Tuvalu Country Flag

Country facts

  • Tuvalu / Tuvalu
  • Country abbreviation: TV
  • Area: 26 km2
  • Population (2019): 12,000 residents
  • Capital: Fongafale
  • Main language: tuvalu
  • State: Monarchy
  • Head of State: Elizabeth II (Queen)
  • Head of Government: Enele Sopoaga
  • Per capita GDP (2018): US $ 3,701
  • GNI per capita (2018): US $ 5,430
  • Currency unit: $ 1 = 100 cents
  • Currency code: AUD
  • Country number (telephony): 688
  • Internet domain name: tv
  • Time difference compared to Sweden: +11
  • National Day: October 1 (Independence Day, 1978)


  • Land use: no information available
  • Highest mountain: not named height (5 m above sea level)


  • Population density (2019): 462 residents per km2
  • Natural population growth (2019): 1.6%; birthrate 25 ‰, death count 9 ‰
  • Age structure (2019): 0-14 years (31%), 15-64 (64%), 65- (5%)
  • Life expectancy (2019): men 64 years, women 67 years
  • Infant mortality (2019): 21 per 1,000 live births
  • HDI: no data available
  • Urbanization rate (2019): 62%
  • Most populous city (2012): Fongafale (5,300 residents)


  • Industry’s contribution to GDP (2013): agriculture (24%), industry (6%), service (70%)
  • Exports (2010): US $ 600,000
  • Main export products: copra, fish
  • Main exporting countries: Germany, Fiji, Italy
  • Imports (2013): US $ 136 million
  • Main import products: food, industrial goods, transport
  • Main importing countries: Fiji, Japan, Australia
  • Railway network: nothing in operation

Most of the islands in Tuvalu are atolls with lagoons in the middle and slightly raised coral reefs at the edges. None of the islands reach more than 5 meters above sea level. The average temperature varies between 27 °C in July and 29 °C in January.

Tuvalu is a member of the Commonwealth. The head of state is the monarch of the United Kingdom, represented on the island by a native general governor. According to the constitution, the legislative assembly is elected in general elections for four years. The government is directly responsible to Parliament. Political parties do not exist. The country became independent from the UK in 1978.

As a result, climate change in the region with elevated sea level can threaten Tuvalu’s survival, and the country’s politicians have criticized the industrial world for neglecting the vulnerability of the island states on this point. Tuvalu has tried in vain to get the neighboring countries to approve a plan to relocate affected tuvaluans. Most of the population lives on agriculture, mostly as self-catering. The soil is lean, and the only forage product is copra from coconut trees.

In March 2015, tropical cyclone Pam pulled over Tuvalu, causing major devastation, mainly on the outer islands.

Tuvalu Map

Tuvalu Map

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