The World Factbook (1990)/Tokelau

The World Factbook (1990)
United States Central Intelligence Agency

page 309

Tokelau (territory of New Zealand)

World Factbook (1990) Tokelau.jpg

See regional map X


Total area: 10 km²; land area: 10 km²

Comparative area: about 17 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC

Land boundaries: none

Coastline: 101 km

Maritime claims:

Extended economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

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

Terrain: coral atolls enclosing large lagoons

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

Environment: lies in Pacific typhoon belt Note: located 3,750 km southwest of Honolulu in the South Pacific Ocean, about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand


Population: 1,700 (July 1990), growth rate 0.0% (1990)

Birth rate: NA births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: NA deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: NA migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: NA deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: NA years male, NA years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: NA children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Tokelauan(s); adjective—Tokelauan

Ethnic divisions: all Polynesian, with cultural ties to Western Samoa

Religion: 70% Congregational Christian Church, 30% Roman Catholic; on Atafu, all Congregational Christian Church of Samoa; on Nukunonu, all Roman Catholic; on Fakaofo, both denominations, with the Congregational Christian Church predominant

Language: Tokelauan (a Polynesian language) and English

Literacy: NA%, but probably high

Labor force: NA

Organized labor: NA


Long-form name: none

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)

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

Legal system: British and local statutes

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

Executive branch: administrator (appointed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in New Zealand), official secretary

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

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

Leaders: Chief of State Queen—ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952);

Head of Government—Administrator Neil WALTER; Official Secretary M. NORRISH, Office of Tokelau Affairs

Suffrage: NA

Elections: NA

Communists: probably none

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.

GDP: $1.4 million, per capita $800; real growth rate NA% (1988 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget: revenues $430,830; expenditures $2.8 million, including capital expenditures of $37,300 (FY87)

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: none

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

Electricity: 200 kW capacity; 0.30 million kWh produced, 175 kWh per capita (1989)

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

Aid: Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $21 million

Currency: New Zealand dollar (plural—dollars); 1 New Zealand dollar (NZ$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: New Zealand dollars (NZ$) per US$1—1.6581 (January 1990), 1.6708 (1989), 1.5244 (1988), 1.6886 (1987), 1.9088 (1986), 2.0064 (1985)

Fiscal year: 1 April-31 March


Ports: none; offshore anchorage only

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

Telecommunications: telephone service between islands and to Western Samoa

Defense Forces

Note: defense is the responsibility of New Zealand