[Country map of Tokelau]


(territory of New Zealand)


Location: Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand

Map references: Oceania

total area: 10 sq km
land area: 10 sq km
comparative area: about 17 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 101 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

International disputes: none

Climate: tropical; moderated by trade winds (April to November)

Terrain: coral atolls enclosing large lagoons

Natural resources: negligible

Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
meadows and pastures: 0%
forest and woodland: 0%
other: 100%

Irrigated land: NA sq km

current issues: very limited natural resources and overcrowding are contributing to emigration to New Zealand
natural hazards: lies in Pacific typhoon belt
international agreements: NA


Population: 1,503 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: NA
15-64 years: NA
65 years and over: NA

Population growth rate: -1.3% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: NA births/1,000 population

Death rate: NA deaths/1,000 population

Net migration rate: NA migrant(s)/1,000 population

Infant mortality rate: NA deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: NA years
male: NA years
female: NA years

Total fertility rate: NA children born/woman

noun: Tokelauan(s)
adjective: Tokelauan

Ethnic divisions: Polynesian

Religions: 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

Languages: Tokelauan (a Polynesian language), English

Labor force: NA


conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Tokelau

Digraph: TL

Type: territory of New Zealand

Capital: none; each atoll has its own administrative center

Administrative divisions: none (territory of New Zealand)

Independence: none (territory of New Zealand)

National holiday: Waitangi Day, 6 February (1840) (Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty over New Zealand)

Constitution: administered under the Tokelau Islands Act of 1948, as amended in 1970

Legal system: British and local statutes

Suffrage: NA

Executive branch:
Chief of State: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)
Head of Government: Administrator Graham ANSELL (since NA 1990; appointed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in New Zealand); Official Secretary Casimilo J. PEREZ (since NA), Office of Tokelau Affairs; Tokelau's governing Council will elect its first head of government

Legislative branch: unicameral Council of Elders (Taupulega) on each atoll

Judicial branch: High Court in Niue, Supreme Court in New Zealand

Political parties and leaders: NA

Member of: SPC, WHO (associate)

Diplomatic representation in US: none (territory of New Zealand)

US diplomatic representation: none (territory of New Zealand)

Flag: the flag of New Zealand is used


Overview: Tokelau's small size, isolation, and lack of resources greatly restrain economic development and confine agriculture to the subsistence level. The people must rely on aid from New Zealand to maintain public services, 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.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $1.5 million (1993 est.)

National product real growth rate: NA%

National product per capita: $1,000 (1993 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%

Unemployment rate: NA%

revenues: $430,830
expenditures: $2.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $37,300 (1987 est.)

Exports: $98,000 (f.o.b., 1983)
commodities: stamps, copra, handicrafts
partners: NZ

Imports: $323,400 (c.i.f., 1983)
commodities: foodstuffs, building materials, fuel
partners: NZ

External debt: $0

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

capacity: 200 kW
production: 300,000 kWh
consumption per capita: 180 kWh (1990)

Industries: small-scale enterprises for copra production, wood work, plaited craft goods; stamps, coins; fishing

Agriculture: coconuts, copra; basic subsistence crops - breadfruit, papaya, bananas; pigs, poultry, goats

Economic aid:
recipient: Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $24 million

Currency: 1 New Zealand dollar (NZ$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: New Zealand dollars (NZ$) per US$1 - 1.5601 (January 1995), 1.6844 (1994), 1.8495 (1993), 1.8584 (1992), l.7265 (1991), 1.6750 (1990)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March


Railroads: 0 km

total: NA
paved: NA
unpaved: NA

Ports: none; offshore anchorage only

Merchant marine: none

Airports: none; lagoon landings by amphibious aircraft from Western Samoa


Telephone system: NA telephones
local: NA
intercity: radiotelephone service between islands
international: radiotelephone service to Western Samoa

broadcast stations: AM NA, FM NA, shortwave NA
radios: NA

broadcast stations: NA
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Note: defense is the responsibility of New Zealand