...I love travelling, and my wife, consequently, should love travelling also.
— Oscar Wilde, "The Happy Prince", 1888
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Tuvalu

Background

Tuvalu

In 1974, ethnic differences within the British colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands caused the Polynesians of the Ellice Islands to vote for separation from the Micronesians of the Gilbert Islands. The following year, the Ellice Islands became the separate British colony of Tuvalu. Independence was granted in 1978. In 2000, Tuvalu negotiated a contract leasing its Internet domain name ".tv" for $50 million in royalties over a 12-year period.

About

Tuvalu is an island group in the South Pacific that form the fourth smallest country in the world. In 1974, ethnic differences within the British colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands caused the Polynesians of the Ellice Islands to vote for separation from the Micronesians of the Gilbert Islands. The following year, the Ellice Islands became the separate British colony of Tuvalu. Independence was granted in 1978. In 2000, Tuvalu negotiated a contract leasing its Internet domain name ".tv" for $50 million in royalties over the next dozen years.

Read more about Tuvalu in our Tuvalu travel guide »

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Tuvalu

Capital
Vaiaku
Location

Oceania, island group consisting of nine coral atolls in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to Australia

Geographic coordinates

8 00 S, 178 00 E

Area comparative

0.1 times the size of Washington, DC

Coastline

24 km

Climate

tropical; moderated by easterly trade winds (March to November); westerly gales and heavy rain (November to March)

Terrain

low-lying and narrow coral atolls

Lowest point

Pacific Ocean 0 m

Highest point

unnamed location 5 m

Natural resources

fish

Population

10,472 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

Polynesian 96%, Micronesian 4%

Religions

Church of Tuvalu (Congregationalist) 97%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.4%, Baha'i 1%, other 0.6%

Languages

Tuvaluan (official), English (official), Samoan, Kiribati (on the island of Nui)

Government type

parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm

Independence

1 October 1978 (from the UK)

National holiday

Independence Day, 1 October (1978)

Chief of state

Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Iakoba TAEIA Italeli (since May 2010)

Head of government

Prime Minister Willie TELAVI (since 24 December 2010)

Internet country code

.tv

Internet users

4,200 (2008)

Airports

1 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Funafuti

Other countries in the region