Society of Tuvalu



Population per sq km: 331

Life expectancy: 65 years (est.)

Population: 9,900 (2015); population density on inhabited islands is very high, especially on Funafuti; 60 per cent of people live in urban areas; growth 0.2 per cent p.a. 1990–2015; birth rate 23 per 1,000 people (est.); life expectancy 65 years (est.)

In February 2000, a request was made to New Zealand for resettlement of about one-third of Tuvalu’s population, which was threatened by rising sea levels.

The Tuvaluans are a Polynesian people.

Language: Tuvaluan and English are official languages. The people of Nui Island speak the language of Kiribati, I-Kiribati.

Religion: Mainly Christians, mostly of the Church of Tuvalu (Ekalesia Tuvalu), autonomous since 1968 and derived from the Congregationalist foundation of the London Missionary Society. There are small Roman Catholic communities on Nanumea and Nui, and some Seventh Day Adventists and Baha’is.

Media: The government publishes Tuvalu Echoes fortnightly in Tuvaluan and English, and a news sheet, Sikuleo o Tuvalu, in Tuvaluan.

Tuvalu Media Corporation provides Radio Tuvalu, a public radio service to all the islands. There is access to foreign TV broadcasts via satellite.

Public holidays: New Year’s Day, Commonwealth Day (second Monday in March), Bomb Day (23 April), Gospel Day (second Monday in May), Queen’s Official Birthday (second Saturday in June), National Children’s Day (early August), Independence Day (two days in early October), Heir to the Throne Day (second Monday in November), Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Each island has its own exclusive holiday. Bomb Day commemorates the bombing of Funafuti by Japan during World War II.

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