Tuvalu is one of the world's tiniest nations. It is a nation in Polynesia officially known as the Ellice Islands. It has become one of the least visited nations in the world, with a population of just 11,192 people. Tuvalu is the world's fourth-smallest nation, bigger than Monaco, Vatican City, and Nauru. Here is a compilation of some fascinating and remarkable Tuvalu facts that will astound you!

Fascinating Facts

1
Tuvalu means "eight standing together" and refers to the country's original eight islands and atolls, which were inhabited when Europeans first arrived there in 1765.
2
There were once nine islands, but A cyclone nearly wiped-out Funafuti in 1945 that killed about 50 percent of the population.
3
The capital of Tuvalu is Funafuti, which has a population of 2,000 and only one traffic light. Only four other countries in the world have a single-lane road as their main highway: Haiti, Bhutan, Nepal, and Vatican City.
4
The local language is Tuvaluan, which is closely related to Samoan.
5
The people of Tuvalu are Polynesian, and the official religion is Christianity (predominantly Anglican).
6
Most Tuvaluans rely on subsistence farming and fishing for their livelihoods.
7
Tuvalu has a GDP per capita of just $2,000.
8
The country is one of the most vulnerable in the world to climate change and sea-level rise. A recent study found that a 1.5-meter (5-foot) increase in global sea levels would completely submerge Tuvalu.
9
Tuvalu is a member of the Commonwealth, the IMF, and the World Bank.
10
Tuvalu was previously controlled by Britain and became fully independent in 1978.
11
In 2001, Tuvalu refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, a treaty committing states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, citing fears that compliance would damage its economy.
12
The country's main exports are copra (dried coconut meat), fish, and stamps.
13
The Tuvaluan dollar is pegged to the Australian dollar at a rate of 1:1.
14
The postal service in Tuvalu is one of the most efficient in the world, with a delivery rate of 100 percent.
15
The first inhabitants of Tuvalu are thought to have arrived from the nearby island of Tonga around 1,000 years ago.
16
Tuvalu has one of the youngest populations globally, with a median age of just 21 years.
17
There is no airport on any of the islands in Tuvalu, so all travel and trade are made by boat and air.
18
Tuvaluans speak both English and Tuvaluan, with the former favored official matters.
19
The country's most famous export is possibly fashion model Aminata Kambule, who goes by the name Pumpkin May.
20
There are no paved roads in Tuvalu, so all transportation is done by foot, bicycle or boat.
21
Tuvalu is the smallest country in the world in terms of land area (10 sq km/4 sq mi) and population (10,959).
22
The highest point in Tuvalu is just 5 meters (16 feet) above sea level.
23
Tuvalu's economy is extremely weak, but its primary sources of income are the sale of fishing licenses, financial assistance from New Zealand, and aid from Japan.
24
The Tuvaluan government provides free education up to the primary school level in each village with more than 200 residents.
25
One interesting fact about Tuvalu is that it produces more than 1,000 different types of seashells.
26
Tuvalu has no standing army. Instead, a police force carries out all defense and security issues.
27
The only sports recognized by the government in Tuvalu are volleyball, soccer, sailing, and surfing.
28
The most popular sport in Tuvalu is soccer, which is played by both men and women.
29
Tuvalu has produced a few notable athletes over the years, including weightlifter Pita Taufatofua (who famously represented Tonga at the 2016 Olympics shirtless) and cross-country runner Valerie Adams (winner of four Olympic gold medals).
30
One of the most popular attractions in Tuvalu is a grave, which belongs to an Irish-American whaling captain named John Martin. He died on the island of Nukulaelae in 1881.
31
In 2005, a number of Tuvaluans were granted visas to work as household staff in Britain after it was realized the country didn't have enough servants domestically.
32
Tuvalu is currently recruiting an unpaid climate change negotiator for another unique job opportunity. The "Climate Ambassador" will be expected to attend international conferences on the topic of global warming and advocate for action in order to prevent Tuvalu's permanent flooding due to rising sea levels.
33
Tuvalu's first postage stamp was issued in 1975.
34
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Tuvalu is the Nukufetau Cultural Centre, which showcases traditional art, dance, and music from the islands.
35
The currency of Tuvalu is the Tuvaluan dollar (TVD), which is pegged to the Australian dollar at a rate of 1:1.
36
There are no traffic lights in Tuvalu, nor any railroads or highways.
37
The first phosphate mining company arrived on the scene in the early 20th century but didn't stay for too long, as there was little rock available, and it wasn't of very high quality.
38
The United Nations has stated that the presence of Tuvalu's offshore banks has made it a prime money-laundering destination for foreign criminals, drug cartels, and terrorists. As such, several nations are pushing the country to crack down on illicit financial activities.
39
The United Nations now has 193 member nations. Tuvalu would be ranked 193rd in the world if all countries were ranked by population. The country's current population is estimated to be 11,192 people.
40
The Pentagon employs 23,000 people in a single facility, to put that in context!
41
The nation has a total land area of about 26 km2 (10 mi2), making it the third smallest country after Monaco and Nauru.
42
Although Vatican City is technically smaller in terms of both size and population, it is not a member of the United Nations.
43
Tuvalu also has the world's smallest economy owing to its tiny size, scarcity of resources, and remote location.
44
Tuvalu has no natural rivers or streams, thus collecting rainwater for drinking purposes.
45
Tuvalu declared a nation of emergency in 2011 after a prolonged dry season. Freshwater supplies, as well as desalination equipment, had to be airlifted into New Zealand.
46
Tuvalu is the world's smallest sovereign nation in terms of population. Although Vatican City is technically more minor, it is not a member of the United Nations.
47
Tuvalu is the world's third-smallest sovereign republic in terms of land area. Only Monaco and Nauru have a lower population. Similarly, although Vatican City is smaller, it is not a member of the United Nations.
48
Tuvalu has one of the world's lowest average altitudes, with a mean height of just two meters.
49
Like many Pacific countries, Tuvalu has one of the world's fattest populations. According to a 2017 assessment, Tuvalu is the world's fifth-most obese country, with 81 percent of its inhabitants over the age of 18 classed as obese.
50
As one of the world's tiniest and most distant countries, this pristine corner of the Pacific provides a calm, non-commercialized setting suitable for rest and leisure.

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