Geography of Tuvalu

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
Map references:Oceania
Area:total: 26 sq km
land: 26 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:0.1 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:0 km
Coastline:24 km
Maritime claims:territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:tropical; moderated by easterly trade winds (March to November); westerly gales and heavy rain (November to March)
Terrain:very low-lying and narrow coral atolls
Elevation extremes:lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 5 m
Natural resources:fish
Land use:arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 66.67%
other: 33.33% (2005)
Irrigated land:NA
Natural hazards:severe tropical storms are usually rare, but, in 1997, there were three cyclones; low level of islands make them sensitive to changes in sea level
Environment - current issues:since there are no streams or rivers and groundwater is not potable, most water needs must be met by catchment systems with storage facilities (the Japanese Government has built one desalination plant and plans to build one other); beachhead erosion because of the use of sand for building materials; excessive clearance of forest undergrowth for use as fuel; damage to coral reefs from the spread of the Crown of Thorns starfish; Tuvalu is concerned about global increases in greenhouse gas emissions and their effect on rising sea levels, which threaten the country's underground water table; in 2000, the government appealed to Australia and New Zealand to take in Tuvaluans if rising sea levels should make evacuation necessary
Environment - international agreements:party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:one of the smallest and most remote countries on Earth; six of the 9 coral atolls - Nanumea, Nui, Vaitupu, Nukufetau, Funafuti, and Nukulaelae - have lagoons open to the ocean; Nanumaya and Niutao have landlocked lagoons; Niulakita does not have a lagoon

Tuvalu Quickstats

  • Population: 11,992 (July 2007 est.)
  • Area: 26 sq km
  • Density: 441 /km² (22nd)
  • GDP (total): $12.2 million (228th)
  • GDP (per capita): $1,100 (2000 estimate) (unranked)
  • Literacy:

Languages of Tuvalu

Useful to know

  • Currency: Tuvaluan dollar Australian dollar (AUD)
  • Dial code: +688

International Trade

External sites

More Resources

Tuvalu Internet

  • Usage: 1,300
  • Penetration: 13.3 %
  • Top Domain: .tv

WT eBusiness info:

  • Success Ranking: 100
  • Market testing: Untested
  • Overall risk: High
  • Overall reward: Low


  • Tourism: 10%
  • eCommerce: 10%
  • Gaming: 10%
  • eLearning: 10%

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