Brief Facts About Tonga

Tonga is an island country located in the southern Pacific Ocean.

Tonga residents are known as Tongans.

The official name of the country is the Kingdom of Tonga.

Official Language : Tongan and English.

Government: Unitary Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy.

The capital of Tonga is Nuku’alofa which, according to an old legend, means “abode of love”.

Nuku’alofa (the capital of Tonga), N’Djamena (the capital of Chad), Sana’a (Yemen), St John’s (Antigua and Barbuda) and St George’s (Grenada) are the only capitals with apostrophes in their names.
It is the 175th largest country in the world in terms of area with 748 square kilometers (289 square miles).
Tonga is located about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand.

Tonga borders : Fiji and Wallis and Futuna (France) to the northwest, Samoa to the northeast, Niue to the east, Kermadec (part of New Zealand) to the southwest, and New Caledonia (France) and Vanuatu to the farther west.

Tonga is a South Pacific kingdom comprising more than 170 islands of which 52 are inhabited.

Tonga was settled by Polynesian explorers around 500 B.C. Tongans believe the Polynesian God had a son with a Tongan maiden. This son became king of Tonga around 950 A.D. Until recently, Tonga has been ruled by descendants of this first king. Relatives of the king were made chiefs. For centuries, the chiefs fought among themselves. They also sent warships to Fiji and Samoa. When European explorers and missionaries arrived, the Tongans plotted to kill them and succeeded more than once.

Like other Polynesian cultures, Tongans put value on close family relationships and religious observance. Most Tongans are Christian and stores and shops close on Sunday.

Geologically the Tongan islands are of two types: most have a limestone base formed from uplifted coral formations; others consist of limestone overlaying a volcanic base.

Tonga became a British protected state under a Treaty of Friendship on May 18, 1900

Tonga joined the Commonwealth of Nations in 1970

In Tonga, agriculture and forestry (together with fisheries) provide the majority of employment, foreign exchange earnings and food.

Tonga’s economy is characterised by a large non-monetary sector and a heavy dependence on remittances from the half of the country’s population who live abroad (chiefly in Australia, New Zealand and the United States).

Rugby is the national sport, and the national team (ʻIkale Tahi, or Sea Eagles) has performed quite
well on the international stage.

Migrating Humpback Whales often travel into Tongan waters to breed and give birth!

Tonga’s population was 106,501 in 2015

Tonga Life expectancy : 68 years.

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