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CIA Seal  World Factbook Seal Tokelau
Flag of Tokelau
Map of Tokelau
Introduction Tokelau
Originally settled by Polynesian emigrants from surrounding island groups, the Tokelau Islands were made a British protectorate in 1889. They were transferred to New Zealand administration in 1925.
Geography Tokelau
Oceania, group of three atolls in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand
Geographic coordinates:
9 00 S, 172 00 W
Map references:
total: 10 sq km
land: 10 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
about 17 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
101 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
tropical; moderated by trade winds (April to November)
low-lying coral atolls enclosing large lagoons
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 5 m
Natural resources:
Land use:
arable land: 0% (soil is thin and infertile)
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Natural hazards:
lies in Pacific typhoon belt
Environment - current issues:
very limited natural resources and overcrowding are contributing to emigration to New Zealand
Geography - note:
consists of three atolls, each with a lagoon surrounded by a number of reef-bound islets of varying length and rising to over three meters above sea level
People Tokelau
1,392 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 42%
15-64 years: 53%
65 years and over: 5% (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
-0.01% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Death rate:
NA deaths/1,000 population
Net migration rate:
Sex ratio:
Infant mortality rate:
total: NA
male: NA
female: NA
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: NA
male: NA
female: NA
Total fertility rate:
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Tokelauan(s)
adjective: Tokelauan
Ethnic groups:
Congregational Christian Church 70%, Roman Catholic 28%, other 2%
note: on Atafu, all Congregational Christian Church of Samoa; on Nukunonu, all Roman Catholic; on Fakaofo, both denominations, with the Congregational Christian Church predominant
Tokelauan (a Polynesian language), English
Government Tokelau
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Tokelau
Dependency status:
self-administering territory of New Zealand; note - Tokelau and New Zealand have agreed to a draft constitution as Tokelau moves toward free association with New Zealand; a UN sponsored referendum on self-governance, in February 2006, did not produce the two thirds majority vote necessary for changing the current political status
Government type:
none; each atoll has its own administrative center
time difference: UTC-11 (6 hours behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
none (territory of New Zealand)
none (territory of New Zealand)
National holiday:
Waitangi Day (Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty over New Zealand), 6 February (1840)
administered under the Tokelau Islands Act of 1948; amended in 1970
Legal system:
New Zealand and local statutes
21 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General of New Zealand Anand SATYANAND (since 23 August 2006); New Zealand is represented by Administrator David PAYTON (since 17 October 2006)
head of government: Kolouei O'BRIEN (2006); note - position rotates annually among the three Faipule (village leaders)
cabinet: the Council for the Ongoing Government of Tokelau, consisting of three Faipule (village leaders) and three Pulenuku (village mayors), functions as a cabinet
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; administrator appointed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade in New Zealand; the head of government is chosen from the Council of Faipule and serves a one-year term
Legislative branch:
unicameral General Fono (21 seats; based upon proportional representation from the three islands elected by popular vote to serve three-year terms; Nukunonu has 6 seats, Fakaofo has 7 seats, Atafu has 8 seats); note - the Tokelau Amendment Act of 1996 confers limited legislative power on the General Fono
elections: last held January 2005 (next to be held January 2008)
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court in New Zealand exercises civil and criminal jurisdiction in Tokelau
Political parties and leaders:
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
PIF (observer), SPC, UNESCO (associate), UPU
Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (territory of New Zealand)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
none (territory of New Zealand)
Flag description:
the flag of New Zealand is used
Economy Tokelau
Economy - overview:
Tokelau's small size (three villages), isolation, and lack of resources greatly restrain economic development and confine agriculture to the subsistence level. The people rely heavily on aid from New Zealand - about $4 million annually - to maintain public services, with annual aid being substantially greater than GDP. The principal sources of revenue come from sales of copra, postage stamps, souvenir coins, and handicrafts. Money is also remitted to families from relatives in New Zealand.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$1.5 million (1993 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
GDP - real growth rate:
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$1,000 (1993 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Labor force:
440 (2001)
Unemployment rate:
Population below poverty line:
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
revenues: $430,800
expenditures: $2.8 million; including capital expenditures of NA (1987 est.)
Agriculture - products:
coconuts, copra, breadfruit, papayas, bananas; pigs, poultry, goats; fish
small-scale enterprises for copra production, woodworking, plaited craft goods; stamps, coins; fishing
Electricity - production:
NA kWh
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
NA kWh
$0 f.o.b. (2002)
Exports - commodities:
stamps, copra, handicrafts
Exports - partners:
New Zealand (2004)
$969,200 c.i.f. (2002)
Imports - commodities:
foodstuffs, building materials, fuel
Imports - partners:
New Zealand (2004)
Debt - external:
Economic aid - recipient:
about $4 million annually from New Zealand
Currency (code):
New Zealand dollar (NZD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
New Zealand dollars per US dollar - 1.4203 (2005), 1.5087 (2004), 1.7221 (2003), 2.1622 (2002)
Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March
Communications Tokelau
Telephones - main lines in use:
300 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
0 (2001)
Telephone system:
general assessment: modern satellite-based communications system;
domestic: radiotelephone service between islands
international: country code - 690; radiotelephone service to Samoa; government-regulated telephone service (TeleTok), with 3 satellite earth stations
Radio broadcast stations:
AM NA, FM NA, shortwave NA
note: 1 radio station provides service to all islands (2002)
1,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
298 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)
Internet users:
Transportation Tokelau
Ports and terminals:
none; offshore anchorage only
Military Tokelau
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$66.72 million
Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of New Zealand
Transnational Issues Tokelau
Disputes - international:

This page was last updated on 18 January, 2007