Society of Tonga



Population per sq km: 147

Life expectancy: 73 years

Net primary enrolment: 87% (2014)

Population: 106,000 (2015); 24 per cent of people live in urban areas; growth 0.6 per cent p.a. 1990–2015; birth rate 25 per 1,000 people (37 in 1970); life expectancy 73 years (65 in 1970).

The vast majority of the people are of Polynesian descent. Tonga suffers from heavy emigration, mostly to New Zealand, Australia and the USA. There are 50,478 Tongans living in New Zealand, more than half of whom were born there (2006 New Zealand census).

Language: Tongan and English are official languages.

Religion: Mainly Christians (Wesleyans, Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Church of Tonga, Free Church of Tonga).

Media: Newspapers include Tonga Chronicle (state-owned weekly), and Times of Tonga (published in New Zealand). Matangi Tonga is an online news service.

Tonga Broadcasting Commission provides public radio and TV services; there are several private radio stations and a cable TV channel.

Public holidays: New Year’s Day, ANZAC Day (25 April), Emancipation Day (4 June), King’s Birthday (4 July), Crown Prince’s Birthday (17 September), Constitution Day (4 November), Tupou I Day (4 December), Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Religious festivals whose dates vary from year to year include Good Friday and Easter Monday