Tonga State Overview

Tonga State Overview

According to abbreviationfinder, Tonga is a state of Oceania, made up of 169 islands located east of Australia of which 96 are inhabited, are divided into three main groups: Mayorga, Gálvez and Amsterdam. Tonga is one of the few Pacific island territories that has not been fully colonized by a foreign power.

Geographic location

State of Oceania made up of an archipelago located in the South of the Pacific Ocean, South of Samoa and East of the Fiji Islands. The 169 islands and islets that make up the territory of Tonga are aligned parallel, in a northeast-southwest direction.


About 3000 years ago, Tonga was inhabited by Austronesian peoples, speakers who used decorated vessels similar to those found in Fiji. The archipelago soon developed a stratified social system, ruled by a supreme chief who, in the 13th century, extended his dominions to Hawaii. In 1616, two Dutch navigators, Jan Schouten and Jacobn Lamaire, arrived at Niuatoputapu. Abel Tasman discovered Tongatapu in 1646. From 1845 to 1893 the kingdom was consolidated and adopted its first Constitution (1875).

In 1900 George Tupou II signed a treaty of friendship and protectorate with Great Britain. Queen Salóte Tupou III ruled between 1918 and 1965, the year she died. His son Taufa’ahau Tupou IV succeeded him to the throne. In 1970, Tonga gained full independence within the British Commonwealth.

The Minerva Reefs, 482 km southwest of Nuku’alofa, were claimed by Tonga in 1972. In 1975, the nation signed the Lomé Convention. In 1981 elections were held that showed the electorate’s preference for conservative currents.

In 1982, the worst natural cataclysm in Tonga’s history, Cyclone Isaac, swept through the archipelago, destroying lives and property on all three island groups. In 1988, Nuku’alofa was devastated by a tornado.

In September of 1985, the king publicly declared his support for the French program of nuclear weapons tests in the South Pacific, on the basis that this step Tonga benefited alliance with the West. However, the king maintained his earlier declaration of rejection of the atomic tests carried out in the atoll of Mururoa, in French Polynesia.

In June of 1989, Tonga ratified a fisheries treaty that the United States could fish in their exclusive economic zones, within the framework of the South Pacific Forum. Tonga was the last country to sign the five-year treaty that commits the United States to financing development projects. In 1999, he joined the UN.



The islands that make up the eastern chain are coral deformation and have a lower altitude. Those of the western chain are higher and of volcanic origin, and four of them have active volcanoes. The archipelago contains numerous coral reefs. The limestone islands have soils formed from volcanic ash, generally very fertile.


The climate of this territory is warm and very rainy. Hurricanes usually hit the northern islands between December and April.


The lush and lush plant life is enriched by numerous varieties of cultivated tropical plants, introduced by man.


Ethnic groups

Almost the entire population of Tonga belongs to the Polynesian ethnic group. The society that they have formed maintains a rigid traditional structure, mostly peasant, although some habits from Western civilization have been introduced into it. See population of Tonga.


More than half of the residents of Tonga, practice the Protestant cult, in its part of the Free Wesleyans, a branch of the Methodist Church. There are also sizable groups of the faithful of the Catholic Church, indigenous Christians, members of the Free Church of Tonga, as well as small communities of Mormon Latter-day Saints, Anglicans, and Seventh-day Adventists.

In total, fourteen Christian churches are represented in the Tongan territory. The Catholic Church of Tonga forms a single diocese, directly responsible to the Holy See. On 31 December as as 1988 there were about 12,728 Catholics across the country. The bishop participates in the Pacific Catholic Conference of Bishops, established in Fiji.


The only important urban center, and main commercial nucleus, is Nuku’alofa. Other populated nuclei are those of Mu’a, in Tongatapu, and Neiafu, in Vava’u. Almost 70% of the population is concentrated on the main island of Tongatapu. Tongan, of Austronesian origin, is the official language of the country, where English is also spoken.


Nuku’alofa: Located on the north coast of the island of Tongatapu, in the south Pacific, the city, in addition to the capital, is the main port of Tonga. Its most notable buildings include the Royal Palace, built in 1865; the Temple, built in 1862, which stands facing the sea, at the end of the old pier; and the Royal Tombs. In Nuku’alofa are the Vaiola Hospital, several secondary schools (called colleges), a teacher’s school, various government buildings, and a huge Wesleyan church.

Among the modern constructions you can see the radio station and an urbanization located on the outskirts of the city in which there are houses, a cabinetmaker and establishments of the Junta de la Copra. Its deep- water reef- protected harbor allows the export of copra, bananas and vanilla, as well as the sale of traditional handicrafts from the Malae market.

Since 1977, a small industrial center has developed in the suburbs. Fua’amotu International Airport is 22 km from the capital, by road, to the southeast.

Tonga State Overview

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