- Welcome to Tonga
- Tonga in the Commonwealth
- Facts and Figures
- Tonga became a member of the Commonwealth in 1970
- Tonga became an independent country on the 4th of June 1970
- Tonga is a monarchy
- Tonga has been competing in the Commonwealth Games since 1974, and has won one medal.
- Known as ‘The Friendly Islands’, it lies in the central south-west Pacific, comprises 172 islands (36 inhabited; some coral and some volcanic, four with active volcanoes) and straddles the international date line
- Tonga’s life expectancy (73 years) is the best among all the Pacific island countries
- Tongans receive substantial levels of their income from overseas. Tonga has one of the highest levels of remittances per capita in the world and certainly the highest among the small Pacific island states
- The country’s internet domain is ‘.to’
Mr ‘Akilisi Pohiva
Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga
This Message is from former Prime Minister Lord Tu’ivakano. The message from Mr Pohiva will be available shortly.
Malo e lelei! Greetings and welcome to the Tongan portal for the Commonwealth website.
Tonga is an archipelago of over 150 islands and only has a population of just over 100,000 people, however we are proud of the relationship we have with the Commonwealth. As the last remaining Kingdom we are as committed to upholding our constitution as we are to the Commonwealth and its aims.
Tonga boasts being named the ‘Friendly Islands’ by Captain Cook upon his first visit to Tonga in 1777. It is in this spirit of friendship and devotion we co-operate with the Commonwealth of Nations to achieve its goals of democracy, freedom, peace, the rule of law and opportunity for all. Tonga is a constitutional monarchy but we are pleased with the progress we have made with our democratic reforms.
We look to the future with confidence that in partnership with the Commonwealth, all goals can be achieved through the values that unite the Commonwealth nations together in peace.
Tonga in the Commonwealth
did you know?
Financial Controller and Commercial Marketing Officer (2007/08)
Specialist assistance was provided by a financial controller and a commercial marketing officer to support the restructuring of the Shipping Corporation of Polynesia, to reduce reliance on state subsidies and enable it to become a fully commercial company. The services provided by the experts improved the company’s commercial operations and enabled it to implement financial strategies for profitability and sustainability.
Law Revision Capacity Building & Institutional Development (2007/08)
This Commonwealth Secretariat commissioned project supported the administration of justice in Tonga through strengthening the law revision capacity of the institutions tasked with the drafting of amendments, proofreading and revising the Laws of Tonga. The immediate tasks were to explore the possibility of establishing a Law Revision Office; the expert also provided assistance in building the capacity of legal staff and practitioners in the process of law revision.
Consultant, Countrywide Consultation on Draft National Fisheries Legislation (2003)
Countrywide consultations on the draft national fisheries legislation were held, in conjunction with the Commonwealth, the conclusions from which were drawn together by a consultant to revise and submit draft legislation to the Parliament.
Anaesthetist Specialist (2002)
An anaesthetist was commissioned by the Commonwealth Secretariat to the Vaiola General and Referral Hospital for two years to provide anaesthetics services and to train post-intern doctors and nurses. Tonga has an acute shortage of specialist doctors, including anaesthetists, compounded by the high turnover of medical staff. The extension enabled the continued provision of anaesthetic services while a Tongan doctor completed his Masters degree in Anaesthesia.
Tourism Investment Advisor (2001)
A tourism expert was provided with Commonwealth backing for two years to assist Tonga in its long-term goal of expanding a sustainable tourism industry. The expert undertook a range of tasks, including: promoting investment opportunities in the tourism industry; training local counterparts; indentifying suitable sites for tourism development; developing appropriate concepts for investment, impediments to investment; and, promoting investment in accommodation and tourism facilities. The expert also reviewed the current licensing system and investment and development incentives.
Total area: 748 sq. km
Population in thousands (2010): 104
Population density (2010): 139 per sq. km
Proportion of population under 18 (2010): 44.2%
Proportion of population over 60 (2010): 8.1%
Proportion of population living in urban areas (2010): 23%
GNI in thousands (2010): US$ 341,659
GNI per capita (2010): US$3,280
GDP average annual growth (2006-10): 0.2%
Inflation, average annual (2006-10): 5.5%
Proportion of pupils completing primary school (2005): 90.4%
Adult literacy rate: 99.0%
Under 5 mortality per 1,000 live births (2010): 16
Population with access to adequate sanitation facilities (2008): 96%
Population with access to an improved water source (2008): 100%
Life expectancy (2010): 72
Public spending on health per capita (2009): US$161
Public spending on health as a proportion of total public expenditure (2009): 5%
Medical doctors per 100,000 people (latest data): 29
Nurses and midwives per 100,000 people (latest data): 293
CO2 emissions per capita (2008): 1.7 tonnes
Overall change in annual CO2 emissions (1990-2008): 128.6%
Forest area as a proportion total land area: 12.5%
Overall deforestation since 1990 (2008): 0.0%
Landline telephones per 1,000 people (2010): 298
Cumulative growth/decline in landline telephones (2005-10): 125.9%
PCs per 1,000 people (2009): 59
Mobile subscribers per 1,000 people (2010): 522
Overall growth in mobile subscribers (2005-10): 81.6%
Internet users per 1,000 (2010): 120