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Useful Notes / Tuvalu

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Tuvalu is a small country formed by a volcanic island chain that has the distinction of being one of the least populous countries in the world, after Vatican City and before Nauru, with a population of about 11,000. Considering that the Vatican is almost like a room (complete with the fact that it’s surrounded by walls), it says a lot. Of course, Tuvalu is also one of the smallest countries in the world, with a total land area of just 10 square miles.

They declared independence from the United Kingdom in 1978, and on September 5th, 2000, became the 189th member of the United Nations. Like Kiribati, they are very susceptible to sea level rising and passing storms, which is understandable considering the islands are less than five meters above sea level. As a result, they're one of the countries most interested in matters pertaining to climate change, since they fear their choices are "stop climate change" or "evacuate at some point in the next few centuries". It has no official military force.


Happily, Tuvalu happened to be assigned ".tv" as its internet domain name, and made a lot of money around the Turn of the Millennium by selling it to television companies who wanted .tv websites. It is served only by the Funafuti International Airport.

The Tuvaluan flag
Deviating from the standard British "blue ensign," the Tuvaluan flag's field is sky-blue, representing the Pacific Ocean. At the fly side is an array of nine stars, representing the accurate positioning of Tuvalu's main islands turned on its side (i.e., east is facing up) — Funafuti, Nanumanga, Nanumea, Niulakita, Niutao, Nui, Nukufetau, Nukulaelae and Vaitupu.

The Tuvaluan national anthem

Tuvalu mo te Atua,
Ko te Fakavae sili,
Ko te ala foki tena,
Mo te manuia katoa
Loto lasi o fai,
Tou malo saoloto
Fusi ake katoa
Ki te loto alofa
Kae amo fakatasi
Ate atu fenua.
Tuvalu mo te Atua
Ki te se gata mai!

Tuku atu tau pulega
Ki te pule mai luga,
Kilo tonu ki ou mua
Me ko ia e tautai.
Pule tasi mo ia
Ki te se gata mai,
Ko tena mana
Ko tou malosi tena.
Pati lima kae kalaga
Ulufonu ki te tupu.
Tuvalu ko tu saoloto
Ki te se gata mai!

Tuvalu for the Almighty
Are the words we hold most dear
For as people or as leaders
Of Tuvalu we all share
In the knowledge that God
Ever rules in heav’n above,
And that we in this land
Are united in His love.
We build on a sure foundation
When we trust in God’s great law
Tuvalu for the Almighty
Be our song for evermore!

Let us trust our lives henceforward
To the King to whom we pray,
With our eyes fixed firmly on Him
He is showing us the way.
May we reign with Him in glory
Be our song for evermore,
for His almighty power
Is our strength from shore to shore.
Shout aloud in jubilation
To the King whom we adore.
Tuvalu free and united
Be our song for evermore!

  • Unitary non-partisan parliamentary constitutional monarchy
    • Monarch: Elizabeth II
    • Governor-General: Teniku Talesi Honolulu (Acting)
    • Prime Minister: Kausea Natano

  • Capital and largest city: Funafuti
  • Population: 11,646
  • Area: 26 km² (10 sq mi) (191st)
  • Currency: Tuvaluan dollar (TV$) (TVD)
  • ISO-3166-1 Code: TV
  • Country calling code: 688
  • Highest point: Niulakita (5 m/15 ft) (202nd)
  • Lowest point: Pacific Ocean (10,911 m/35,797 ft) (-)