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Wallis and Futuna : The World Factbook

Original from The World Factbook at


Background: :: 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. ::


Location: :: Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand
Geographic coordinates: :: 13 18 S, 176 12 W
Map references: :: Oceania
Area: :: 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
Area - comparative: :: 1.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries: :: 0 km
Coastline: :: 129 km
Maritime claims: :: territorial sea: 12 nm exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: :: 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
Terrain: :: volcanic origin; low hills
Elevation extremes: :: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m highest point: Mont Singavi (on Futuna) 765 m
Natural resources: :: NEGL
Land use: :: arable land: 7.14% permanent crops: 35.71% other: 57.15% (2011)
Irrigated land: :: NA
Natural hazards: :: NA
Environment - current issues: :: 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
Geography - note: :: both island groups have fringing reefs ::

People and Society

Nationality: :: noun: Wallisian(s), Futunan(s), or Wallis and Futuna Islanders adjective: Wallisian, Futunan, or Wallis and Futuna Islander
Ethnic groups: :: Polynesian
Languages: :: Wallisian (indigenous Polynesian language) 58.9%, Futunian 30.1%, French (official) 10.8%, other 0.2% (2003 census)
Religions: :: Roman Catholic 99%, other 1%
Population: :: 15,507 (July 2013 est.) country comparison to the world: 223
Age structure: :: 0-14 years: 24.1% (male 1,952/female 1,786) 15-24 years: 18.1% (male 1,468/female 1,338) 25-54 years: 40.3% (male 3,089/female 3,163) 55-64 years: 8.9% (male 711/female 674) 65 years and over: 8.6% (male 625/female 701) (2013 est.)
Median age: :: total: 29.6 years male: 28.7 years female: 30.9 years (2013 est.)
Population growth rate: :: 0.35% (2013 est.) country comparison to the world: 161
Birth rate: :: 13.74 births/1,000 population (2013 est.) country comparison to the world: 146
Death rate: :: 4.84 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.) country comparison to the world: 193
Net migration rate: :: -5.42 migrant(s)/1,000 population country comparison to the world: 194 note: there has been steady emigration from Wallis and Futuna to New Caledonia (2013 est.)
Urbanization: :: urban population: 0% of total population (2008) rate of urbanization: 0% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio: :: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female 0-14 years: 1.09 male(s)/female 15-24 years: 1.08 male(s)/female 25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female 55-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
Infant mortality rate: :: total: 4.55 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 187 male: 4.79 deaths/1,000 live births female: 4.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: :: total population: 79.27 years country comparison to the world: 44 male: 76.29 years female: 82.4 years (2013 est.)
Total fertility rate: :: 1.77 children born/woman (2013 est.) country comparison to the world: 163
Drinking water source: :: improved: rural: 100% of population total: 100% of population (2008 est.)
Sanitation facility access: :: improved: rural: 96% of population total: 96% of population unimproved: rural: 4% of population total: 4% of population (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: :: NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: :: NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths: :: NA
Education expenditures: :: NA
Literacy: :: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 50% male: 50% female: 50% (1969 est.) ::


Country name: :: 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
Dependency status: :: overseas territory of France
Government type: :: parliamentary representive democratic French overseas collectivity
Capital: :: 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)
Administrative divisions: :: 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
Independence: :: none (overseas territory of France)
National holiday: :: Bastille Day, 14 July (1789)
Constitution: :: 4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
Legal system: :: French civil law
Suffrage: :: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: :: chief of state: President Francois HOLLANDE (since 15 May 2012); represented by High Administrator Michel JEANJEAN (since 10 June 2010) head of government: President of the Territorial Assembly Vetelino NAU (since 4 April 2012) 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 ) 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
Legislative branch: :: unicameral Territorial Assembly or Assemblee Territoriale (20 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) elections: last held on 22 March 2012 (next to be held in March 2017) election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PS 4, UMP 4, centrists, 3, other 9 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 2012 (next to be held by 2017); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats - UMP 1
Judicial branch: :: highest court(s): Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel, located in Noumea, New Caledonia judge selection and term of office: NA subordinate courts: note: 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
Political parties and leaders: :: 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
Political pressure groups and leaders: :: NA
International organization participation: :: PIF (observer), SPC, UPU
Diplomatic representation in the US: :: none (overseas territory of France)
Diplomatic representation from the US: :: none (overseas territory of France)
Flag description: :: 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 is used for official occasions
National symbol(s): :: red saltire (Saint Andrew's Cross) on a white square on a red field
National anthem: :: note: as a territory of France, "La Marseillaise" is official (see France) ::


Economy - overview: :: The economy is limited to traditional subsistence agriculture, with 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.
GDP (purchasing power parity): :: $60 million (2004 est.) country comparison to the world: 223
GDP (official exchange rate): :: $NA
GDP - real growth rate: :: NA%
GDP - per capita (PPP): :: $3,800 (2004 est.) country comparison to the world: 169
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: :: agriculture: NA% industry: NA% services: NA%
Agriculture - products: :: coconuts, breadfruit, yams, taro, bananas; pigs, goats; fish
Industries: :: copra, handicrafts, fishing, lumber
Industrial production growth rate: :: NA%
Labor force: :: 3,104 (2003) country comparison to the world: 226
Labor force - by occupation: :: agriculture: 80% industry: 4% services: 16% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate: :: 12.2% (2008) country comparison to the world: 128
Population below poverty line: :: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: :: lowest 10%: NA% highest 10%: NA%
Budget: :: revenues: $29,730 expenditures: $31,330 (2004)
Public debt: :: 5.6% of GDP (2004 est.) country comparison to the world: 151 note: offical data; data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions
Fiscal year: :: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): :: 2.8% (2005) country comparison to the world: 83
Exports: :: $47,450 (2004) country comparison to the world: 221
Exports - commodities: :: copra, chemicals, construction materials
Imports: :: $61.17 million (2004) country comparison to the world: 217
Imports - commodities: :: chemicals, machinery, consumer goods
Debt - external: :: $3.67 million (2004) country comparison to the world: 199
Exchange rates: :: Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (XPF) per US dollar - 90.01 (February 2012) 87.59 (2007) ::


Telephone system: :: international: country code - 681
Broadcast media: :: the publicly owned French Overseas Network (RFO), which broadcasts to France's overseas departments and territories, is carried on the RFO Wallis and Fortuna TV and radio stations (2008)
Internet country code: :: .wf
Internet hosts: :: 2,760 (2012) country comparison to the world: 157
Internet users: :: 1,300 (2009) country comparison to the world: 212 ::


Airports: :: 2 (2013) country comparison to the world: 203
Airports - with paved runways: :: total: 2 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
Ports and terminals: :: Leava, Mata-Utu ::


Manpower fit for military service: :: males age 16-49: 3,376 females age 16-49: 3,314 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually: :: male: 168 female: 139 (2010 est.)
Military - note: :: defense is the responsibility of France ::

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: :: none ::