Wallis and Futuna

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PAGE LAST UPDATED ON NOVEMBER 10, 2011
Flag of Wallis and Futuna
(CONTAINS DESCRIPTION)
Location of Wallis and Futuna
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Map of Wallis and Futuna
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Introduction

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The Futuna island group was discovered by the Dutch in 1616 and Wallis by the British in 1767, but it was the French who declared a protectorate over the islands in 1842, and took official control of them between 1886 and 1888. Notably, Wallis and Futuna was the only French colony to side with the Vichy regime during World War II, a phase that ended in May of 1942 with the arrival of 2,000 American troops. In 1959, the inhabitants of the islands voted to become a French overseas territory and officially assumed this status in July 1961.
 
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Geography

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Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand
 
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13 18 S, 176 12 W
 
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total: 142 sq km
country comparison to the world: 221
land: 142 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Ile Uvea (Wallis Island), Ile Futuna (Futuna Island), Ile Alofi, and 20 islets
 
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1.5 times the size of Washington, DC
 
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0 km
 
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129 km
 
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territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
 
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tropical; hot, rainy season (November to April); cool, dry season (May to October); rains 2,500-3,000 mm per year (80% humidity); average temperature 26.6 degrees C
 
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volcanic origin; low hills
 
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lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Singavi (on Futuna) 765 m
 
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NEGL
 
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arable land: 7.14%
permanent crops: 35.71%
other: 57.15% (2005)
 
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NA
 
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NA
 
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deforestation (only small portions of the original forests remain) largely as a result of the continued use of wood as the main fuel source; as a consequence of cutting down the forests, the mountainous terrain of Futuna is particularly prone to erosion; there are no permanent settlements on Alofi because of the lack of natural freshwater resources
 
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both island groups have fringing reefs
 
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People and Society

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noun: Wallisian(s), Futunan(s), or Wallis and Futuna Islanders
adjective: Wallisian, Futunan, or Wallis and Futuna Islander
 
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Polynesian
 
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Wallisian (indigenous Polynesian language) 58.9%, Futunian 30.1%, French (official) 10.8%, other 0.2% (2003 census)
 
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Roman Catholic 99%, other 1%
 
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15,398 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 222
 
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0-14 years: 25.1% (male 2,018/female 1,846)
15-64 years: 67.1% (male 5,191/female 5,137)
65 years and over: 7.8% (male 563/female 643) (2011 est.)
 
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total: 28.5 years
male: 27.5 years
female: 29.7 years (2011 est.)
 
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0.357% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 165
 
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13.96 births/1,000 population NA (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148
 
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4.68 deaths/1,000 population NA (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 197
 
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-5.72 migrant(s)/1,000 population
country comparison to the world: 198
note: there has been steady emigration from Wallis and Futuna to New Caledonia (2011 est.)
 
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urban population: 0% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 0% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
 
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at birth: 1.048 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
 
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total: 4.67 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 188
male: 4.91 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.42 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
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total population: 78.98 years
country comparison to the world: 42
male: 76 years
female: 82.11 years (2011 est.)
 
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1.81 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 151
 
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improved:
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population (2008)
 
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improved:
rural: 96% of population
total: 96% of population
unimproved:
rural: 4% of population
total: 4% of population (2008)
 
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NA
 
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NA
 
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NA
 
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NA
 
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 50%
male: 50%
female: 50% (1969 est.)
 
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NA
 
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Government

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conventional long form: Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands
conventional short form: Wallis and Futuna
local long form: Territoire des Iles Wallis et Futuna
local short form: Wallis et Futuna
 
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overseas territory of France
 
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NA
 
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name: Mata-Utu (on Ile Uvea)
geographic coordinates: 13 57 S, 171 56 W
time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
 
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none (overseas territory of France); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are three kingdoms at the second order named Alo, Sigave, Wallis
 
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none (overseas territory of France)
 
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Bastille Day, 14 July (1789)
 
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4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
 
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French civil law
 
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18 years of age; universal
 
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chief of state: President Nicolas SARKOZY (since 16 May 2007); represented by High Administrator Michel JEANJEAN (since 10 June 2010)
head of government: President of the Territorial Assembly Victor BRIAL (since 11 December 2007)
cabinet: Council of the Territory consists of 3 kings and 3 members appointed by the high administrator on the advice of the Territorial Assembly
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
note: there are 3 traditional kings with limited powers
elections: French president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; high administrator appointed by the French president on the advice of the French Ministry of the Interior; the presidents of the Territorial Government and the Territorial Assembly elected by the members of the assembly
 
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unicameral Territorial Assembly or Assemblee Territoriale (20 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held on 1 April 2007 (next to be held in April 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 13, other 7
note: Wallis and Futuna elects one senator to the French Senate and one deputy to the French National Assembly; French Senate - elections last held on 21 September 2008 (next to be held by September 2014); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats - UMP 1; French National Assembly - elections last held on 17 June 2007 (next to be held by 2012); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats - PS 1
 
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justice generally administered under French law by the high administrator, but the three traditional kings administer customary law and there is a magistrate in Mata-Utu; a court of appeal is located in Noumea, New Caledonia
 
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Lua Kae Tahi (Giscardians); Mouvement des Radicaux de Gauche or MRG; Rally for the Republic or RPR (UMP); Socialist Party or PS; Taumu'a Lelei; Union Populaire Locale or UPL; Union Pour la Democratie Francaise or UDF
 
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NA
 
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PIF (observer), SPC, UPU
 
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none (overseas territory of France)
 
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none (overseas territory of France)
 
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unofficial, local flag has a red field with four white isosceles triangles in the middle, representing the three native kings of the islands and the French administrator; the apexes of the triangles are oriented inward and at right angles to each other; the flag of France, outlined in white on two sides, is in the upper hoist quadrant
note: the design is derived from an original red banner with a white cross pattee that was introduced in the 19th century by French missionaries; the flag of France used for official occasions
 
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red saltire (Saint Andrew's Cross) on a white square on a red field
 
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note: as a territory of France, "La Marseillaise" is official (see France)
 
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Economy

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The economy is limited to traditional subsistence agriculture, with about 80% of labor force earnings from agriculture (coconuts and vegetables), livestock (mostly pigs), and fishing. About 4% of the population is employed in government. Revenues come from French Government subsidies, licensing of fishing rights to Japan and South Korea, import taxes, and remittances from expatriate workers in New Caledonia.
 
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$60 million (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 222
 
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$NA
 
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NA%
 
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$3,800 (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 160
 
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agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
 
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3,104 (2003)
country comparison to the world: 223
 
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agriculture: 80%
industry: 4%
services: 16% (2001 est.)
 
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15.2% (2003)
country comparison to the world: 151
 
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NA%
 
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lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
 
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revenues: $29,730
expenditures: $31,330 (2004)
 
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5.6% of GDP (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
 
 
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2.8% (2005)
country comparison to the world: 100
 
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coconuts, breadfruit, yams, taro, bananas; pigs, goats; fish
 
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copra, handicrafts, fishing, lumber
 
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NA%
 
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NA kWh
 
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NA kWh
 
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0 kWh (2002)
 
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0 kWh (2002)
 
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$47,450 (2004)
country comparison to the world: 222
 
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copra, chemicals, construction materials
 
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$61.17 million (2004)
country comparison to the world: 217
 
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chemicals, machinery, consumer goods
 
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$3.67 million (2004)
country comparison to the world: 197
 
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Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (XPF) per US dollar -
87.59 (2007)
94.97 (2006)
95.89 (2005)
96.04 (2004)
105.66 (2003)
 
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Communications

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3,100 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 219
 
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NA
 
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general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: country code - 681
 
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the publicly-owned French Overseas Network (RFO), which broadcasts to France's overseas departments and territories, is carried on the RFO Wallis and Fortuna television and radio stations (2008)
 
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.wf
 
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1,734 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 156
 
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1,300 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 212
 
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Transportation

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2 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 205
 
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total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2010)
 
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total: 8
country comparison to the world: 122
by type: chemical tanker 2, passenger 6
foreign-owned: 8 (France 6, French Polynesia 2) (2008)
 
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Leava, Mata-Utu
 
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Military

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males age 16-49: 3,376
females age 16-49: 3,314 (2010 est.)
 
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male: 168
female: 139 (2010 est.)
 
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defense is the responsibility of France
 
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Transnational Issues

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none
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