The directory «Countries»
Independent Commonwealth nation (1995 est. pop. 10,000), 10 sq mi (26 sq km), composed of nine low coral atolls, formerly known as the Ellice (or Lagoon) Islands, scattered over the W Pacific Ocean. The capital and largest city is Fongafale, on Funafuti.
Subsistence farming and fishing are the mainstays of the economy, with copra the chief cash crop for export. The smallness and remoteness of the islands hinder the development of a tourist industry. The sale of postage stamps and coins accounts for the largest portion of the country’s income. Other substantial income is received through a trust fund established in 1987 by Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
The population is primarily Polynesian and about 98% Protestant; most are members of the Church of Tuvalu, a Congregationalist denomination. The government consists of a governor-general representing the British crown, a prime minister and cabinet, and a unicameral elected parliament.
2005, Albert Einstein and Thomas Mann