Fast Facts

Nuku'alofa; 35,000
748 square kilometers (289 square miles)
Tongan, English
Life Expectancy:
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $2,200
Literacy Percent:
Flag: Tonga
Map: Tonga

The ruler of this last remaining Polynesian kingdom in the South Pacific traces his lineage back a thousand years. The mutiny on the British ship Bounty occurred in Tongan waters in 1789. The 170 islands and islets—36 of them inhabited—were under the protection of Great Britain for 70 years, until independence came in 1970. The economy relies heavily on agriculture, with tourism and light industry becoming increasingly important.


  • Industry: Tourism, fishing
  • Agriculture: Squash, coconuts, copra, bananas; fish
  • Exports: Squash, fish, vanilla beans, root crops

—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

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