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Basic Facts
Country name conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Tuvalu
local long form: none
local short form: Tuvalu
former: Ellice Islands
note: "Tuvalu" means "group of eight," referring to the country's eight traditionally inhabited islands
Gevernment typeconstitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy
Capital name: Funafuti
geographic coordinates: 8 30 S, 179 12 E
time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
note: administrative offices are located in Vaiaku Village on Fongafale Islet
Flag descriptionlight blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant; the outer half of the flag represents a map of the country with nine yellow five-pointed stars symbolizing the nine islands
CurrencyAustralian dollar (AUD); note - there is also a Tuvaluan dollar
Internet country
Ports and terminalsFunafuti
Agriculture productscoconuts; fish
Industriesfishing, tourism, copra
LocationOceania, island group consisting of nine coral atolls in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to Australia
Coordinates8 00 S, 178 00 E
Area total: 26 sq km
land: 26 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Boundaries0 km
Coastline24 km
Climatetropical; moderated by easterly trade winds (March to November); westerly gales and heavy rain (November to March)
Terrainvery low-lying and narrow coral atolls
Natural resourcesfish
Natural hazardssevere tropical storms are usually rare, but, in 1997, there were three cyclones; low level of islands make them sensitive to changes in sea level
Population11,810 (July 2006 est.)
Ethnic groupsPolynesian 96%, Micronesian 4%
ReligionsChurch of Tuvalu (Congregationalist) 97%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.4%, Baha'i 1%, other 0.6%
LanguagesTuvaluan, English, Samoan, Kiribati (on the island of Nui)

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