Tonga



Official Country Name
Kingdom of Tonga

Tonga Overview
Tonga - unique among Pacific nations - never completely lost its indigenous governance. The archipelagos of "The Friendly Islands" were united into a Polynesian kingdom in 1845. Tonga became a constitutional monarchy in 1875 and a British protectorate in 1900; it withdrew from the protectorate and joined the Commonwealth of Nations in 1970. Tonga remains the only monarchy in the Pacific.

Tonga Economy
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. The country remains dependent on external aid and remittances from Tongan communities overseas to offset its trade deficit. Tourism is the second-largest source of hard currency earnings following remittances. 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, a continuing upturn in inflation, pressures for democratic reform, and rising civil service expenditures are major issues facing the government.

Tonga Location
Tonga is located in Oceania, archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand

Region
Tonga is located in Oceania

Tonga Population
Tonga has population of 114,689 (July 2006 est.)

Tonga Climate
Tonga has tropical; modified by trade winds; warm season (December to May), cool season (May to December)

Tonga Terrain
most islands have limestone base formed from uplifted coral formation; others have limestone overlying volcanic base

Tonga Natural Resources
fish, fertile soil

Ethnic Groups in Tonga
Tonga has the following ethnic groups - Polynesian, Europeans

Tonga Religions
Christian (Free Wesleyan Church claims over 30,000 adherents)

Tonga Languages
Tongan, English

Tonga Capital
Tonga capital is Nuku'alofa

Tonga Currency
Tonga currency is pa'anga

Map of Tonga