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Careers, Jobs and Education Resources for: Tuvalu

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In 1974, ethnic differences within the British colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands caused the Polynesians of the Ellice Islands to vote for separation from the Micronesians of the Gilbert Islands. The following year, the Ellice Islands became the separate British colony of Tuvalu. Independence was granted in 1978. In 2000, Tuvalu negotiated a contract leasing its Internet domain name ".tv" for $50 million in royalties over a 12-year period. (from the CIA)


Economic Overview

Tuvalu consists of a densely populated, scattered group of nine coral atolls with poor soil. the country has no known mineral resources and few exports. subsistence farming and fishing are the primary economic activities. fewer than 1,000 tourists, on average, visit tuvalu annually. job opportunities are scarce and public sector workers make up the majority of those employed. about 15% of the adult male population work as seamen on merchant ships abroad and remittances are a vital source of income, contributing around $4 million in 2006. substantial income is received annually from the tuvalu trust fund (ttf), an international trust fund established in 1987 by australia, nz, and the uk and supported also by japan and south korea. thanks to wise investments and conservative withdrawals, this fund grew from an initial $17 million to an estimated value of $77 million in 2006. the tff contributed nearly $9 million towards the government budget in 2006 and is an important cushion for meeting shortfalls in the government's budget. the us government is also a major revenue source for tuvalu because of payments from a 1988 treaty on fisheries. in an effort to ensure financial stability and sustainability, the government is pursuing public sector reforms, including privatization of some government functions and personnel cuts. tuvalu also derives royalties from the lease of its ".tv" internet domain name, with revenue of more than $2 million in 2006. a minor source of government revenue comes from the sale of stamps and coins. with merchandise exports only a fraction of merchandise imports, continued reliance must be placed on fishing and telecommunications license fees, remittances from overseas workers, official transfers, and income from overseas investments. growing income disparities and the vulnerability of the country to climatic change are among leading concerns for the nation.

Environmental Issues

Since there are no streams or rivers and groundwater is not potable, most water needs must be met by catchment systems with storage facilities (the japanese government has built one desalination plant and plans to build one other); beachhead erosion because of the use of sand for building materials; excessive clearance of forest undergrowth for use as fuel; damage to coral reefs from the spread of the crown of thorns starfish; tuvalu is concerned about global increases in greenhouse gas emissions and their effect on rising sea levels, which threaten the country's underground water table; in 2000, the government appealed to australia and new zealand to take in tuvaluans if rising sea levels should make evacuation necessary

Government Type

Constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy


12,177 (july 2008 est.)


Oceania, island group consisting of nine coral atolls in the south pacific ocean, about one-half of the way from hawaii to australia


Total: 26 sq km land: 26 sq km water: 0 sq km

0.1 times the size of washington, dc

Country Aliases

Conventional long form: none conventional short form: tuvalu local long form: none local short form: tuvalu former: ellice islands note: "tuvalu" means "group of eight," referring to the country's eight traditionally inhabited islands


Name: funafuti geographic coordinates: 8 30 s, 179 12 e time difference: utc+12 (17 hours ahead of washington, dc during standard time) note: administrative offices are located in vaiaku village on fongafale islet

International Disputes


Sources: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

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