The official name is Tuvalu. It is located in the southwestern part of the Pacific Ocean. The area is 26 km2, the population is 11.3 thousand people. (2003). The official languages are Tuvaluan and English. The capital is Funafuti (3 thousand people, 1999). Public holiday – Independence Day October 1 (1978). The monetary unit is the Tuvalu dollar (equal to the Australian dollar).
Member of the UN (since 2000), the Pacific Islands Forum (formerly UTF).
The state is located on 9 coral islands of the Tuvalu archipelago, stretching almost 680 km north of Fiji. Geographical coordinates: 8°00 south latitude and 178°00 east longitude. All islands are coral atolls no higher than 5 m. The length of the coastline is 24 km. There are no rivers or lakes. Soils are mostly poor. Bananas, papaya, breadfruit are grown. Rats, lizards, turtles are common. Lots of birds. The waters of the lagoons and reefs are rich in fish.
Minerals: fish stocks in the 200-mile economic zone (1.3 million km2).
The climate is equatorial. Temperature + 22 – 32 ° C with slight daily fluctuations. Dry and cooler in March-October. November-February is the season of heavy rains and stormy winds. Occasionally there are cyclones. On the southern atolls – up to 3550 mm of precipitation per year, the northern ones are prone to droughts.
According to Countryaah, population growth is held back by emigration. Tuvaluans (Polynesians) predominate – 96%, Micronesians – 4%. Tuvaluan, Kiribati and English are widely spoken. Competently 94% of the adult population. Life expectancy for men is 65, women – 69 years. Child mortality 21 people per 1000 newborns.
The main population of the country is concentrated on the Funafuti atoll.
Almost all believers (97%) are united in the Autonomous Congregational Church of Tuvalu. There are representatives of other Protestant religions and Catholics.
The first Europeans to Tuvalu were the Spaniards (1568). The British gave the archipelago the name Ellis Islands. Since 1892 – under the British protectorate (together with the Gilbert Islands). Since 1975, under the name of Tuvalu, it has been a separate British colony, and since 1978, an independent state.
Tuvalu is part of the Commonwealth (formerly British) of nations. The head of state is the British monarch. It is represented by the Governor General, appointed from the citizens of Tuvalu at the suggestion of the Prime Minister of the country. The legislature is a chamber of assembly of 15 deputies. General direct elections – 1 time in 4 years (next – in 2006). From among its members, the House of Assembly elects the Prime Minister (since August 2002 – S. Sopoanga) and his deputy.
There are no political parties, deputies usually unite in informal groups.
Tuvalu does not have diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation.
GDP per capita $1,100 (2002). The basis of the country’s economy is subsistence and semi-subsistence agriculture and fishing. They employ 70% of the population. There are several bakeries, construction and craft workshops.
Of the 20 km of roads, 8 km are paved. The main means of transportation are bicycles and mopeds. Funafuti has a seaport and an airfield. Regular flights are from Fiji and Kiribati.
The country is visited annually by no more than 1 thousand tourists.
There are some banknotes, but the Australian dollar is used for basic calculations.
The main sources of foreign exchange income are the sale of postage stamps, copra, fishing licenses in the 200-mile economic zone, remittances from Tuvaluans mining phosphates on Nauru or sailing on foreign fishing boats, and since 1998 – royalties for using the international dialing code of Tuvalu and from 2000 – Internet domain. Strong dependence on foreign aid. In 1987, the Tuvalu Trust Fund was created, the funds to which were mainly contributed by New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain, as well as Japan and South Korea.
Education for children aged 6-15 is compulsory and free. There is a Nautical School and a training center of the University of the South Pacific (Fiji).