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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.


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Economy - overview
Tuvalu consists of a densely populated, scattered group of nine coral atolls with poor soil. The country has no known mineral resources and few exports and is almost entirely dependent upon imported food and fuel. Subsistence farming and fishing are the primary economic activities. Fewer than 1,000 tourists, on average, visit Tuvalu annually. Job opportunities are scarce and public sector workers make up most of those employed. About 15% of the adult male population work as seamen on merchant ships abroad, and remittances are a vital source of income contributing around $2 million in 2007. Substantial income is received annually from the Tuvalu Trust Fund (TTF) an international trust fund established in 1987 by Australia, NZ, and the UK and supported also by Japan and South Korea. Thanks to wise investments and conservative withdrawals, this fund grew from an initial $17 million to an estimated value of $77 million in 2006. The TTF contributed nearly $9 million towards the government budget in 2006 and is an important cushion for meeting shortfalls in the government's budget. The US Government is also a major revenue source for Tuvalu because of payments from a 1988 treaty on fisheries. In an effort to ensure financial stability and sustainability, the government is pursuing public sector reforms, including privatization of some government functions and personnel cuts. Tuvalu also derives royalties from the lease of its ".tv" Internet domain name with revenue of more than $2 million in 2006. A minor source of government revenue comes from the sale of stamps and coins. With merchandise exports only a fraction of merchandise imports, continued reliance must be placed on fishing and telecommunications license fees, remittances from overseas workers, official transfers, and income from overseas investments. Growing income disparities and the vulnerability of the country to climatic change are among leading concerns for the nation.

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 224
$37.47 million (2011 est.)
$37.24 million (2010 est.)
$37.67 million (2009 est.)

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$35 million (2011 est.)

Gdp - real growth rate World Ranking: 190
0.4% (2011 est.)
-0.5% (2010 est.)
-1.7% (2009 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 167
$3,400 (2010 est.)
$3,400 (2010 est.)
$3,400 (2009 est.)

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 16.6%
Industry 27.2%
Services 56.2% (2002)

Labor force World Ranking: 222
3,615 (2004 est.)

Labor force - by occupation
People make a living mainly through exploitation of the sea, reefs, and atolls and from wages sent home by those abroad (mostly workers in the phosphate industry and sailors)

Unemployment rate

Population below poverty line

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10% NA%
Highest 10% NA%

Revenues $21.54 million
Expenditures $23.05 million (2006)

Taxes and other revenues World Ranking: 7
61.5% of GDP (2006)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) World Ranking: 138
-4.3% of GDP (2006)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 90
3.8% (2006 est.)

Agriculture - products
Coconuts; fish

Fishing, tourism, copra

Industrial production growth rate

Current account balance World Ranking: 61
-$11.68 million (2003)

Exports World Ranking: 218
$1 million (2004 est.)

Exports - commodities
Copra, fish

Imports World Ranking: 220
$12.91 million (2005)

Imports - commodities
Food, animals, mineral fuels, machinery, manufactured goods

Debt - external

Exchange rates
Tuvaluan dollars or Australian dollars (AUD) per US dollar -
0.9695 (2011)
1.67 (2010)
1.2822 (2009)
1.2059 (2008)
1.2137 (2007)

Fiscal year
Calendar year


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  Tuvalu (Funafuti):

  GPS points from Tuvalu (Funafuti)

Lowis Patch Tuvalu (general)

Motuloa Tuvalu (general)

Te Akau A Talie Tuvalu (general)

Fongafale Tuvalu (general)

Ellice Islands District Tuvalu (general)

Te Akau Tuluaga Tuvalu (general)

Motuloa Niuelosolo Tuvalu (general)

Flemming Rock Tuvalu (general)
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