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  Introduction Back To Top

Niue's remoteness, as well as cultural and linguistic differences between its Polynesian inhabitants and those of the rest of the Cook Islands, have caused it to be separately administered. The population of the island continues to drop (from a peak of 5,200 in 1966 to an estimated 1,444 in 2008), with substantial emigration to New Zealand, 2,400 km to the southwest.

  Geography Back To Top

Land boundaries:
0 km

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

tropical; modified by southeast trade winds

Map references:

Geographic coordinates:
19 02 S, 169 52 W

Natural resources:
fish, arable land

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location near Mutalau settlement 68 m

steep limestone cliffs along coast, central plateau

Geography - note:
one of world's largest coral islands

total: 260 sq km
land: 260 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Oceania, island in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Tonga

64 km

Area - comparative:
1.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Irrigated land:

Environment - current issues:
increasing attention to conservationist practices to counter loss of soil fertility from traditional slash and burn agriculture

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Natural hazards:

Land use:
arable land: 11.54%
permanent crops: 15.38%
other: 73.08% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
NA (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: NA
male: NA
female: NA (2008 est.)

definition: NA
total population: 95%
male: NA
female: NA

Net migration rate:
NA (2008 est.)

Ethnic groups:
Niuen 78.2%, Pacific islander 10.2%, European 4.5%, mixed 3.9%, Asian 0.2%, unspecified 3% (2001 census)

1,444 (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:

Population growth rate:
-0.032% (2008 est.)

Niuean, a Polynesian language closely related to Tongan and Samoan; English

Death rate:
NA (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: NA
male: NA
female: NA (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 12 years (2005)

Age structure:
0-14 years: NA
15-64 years: NA
65 years and over: NA

Birth rate:
NA (2008 est.)

Ekalesia Niue (Niuean Church - a Protestant church closely related to the London Missionary Society) 61.1%, Latter-Day Saints 8.8%, Roman Catholic 7.2%, Jehovah's Witnesses 2.4%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.4%, other 8.4%, unspecified 8.7%, none 1.9% (2001 census)

noun: Niuean(s)
adjective: Niuean

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
none (self-governing territory in free association with New Zealand)

National holiday:
Waitangi Day (Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty over New Zealand), 6 February (1840)

18 years of age; universal

Government type:
self-governing parliamentary democracy

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (self-governing territory in free association with New Zealand)

Dependency status:
self-governing in free association with New Zealand since 1974; Niue fully responsible for internal affairs; New Zealand retains responsibility for external affairs and defense; however, these responsibilities confer no rights of control and are only exercised at the request of the Government of Niue

International organization participation:

Legislative branch:
unicameral Legislative Assembly (20 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve three-year terms; six elected from a common roll and 14 are village representatives)
elections: last held 7 June 2008 (next to be held in 2011)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - 20 independents

Legal system:
English common law; note - Niue is self-governing, with the power to make its own laws

Flag description:
yellow with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant; the flag of the UK bears five yellow five-pointed stars - a large star on a blue disk in the center and a smaller star on each arm of the bold red cross

on 19 October 1974, Niue became a self-governing parliamentary government in free association with New Zealand

Country name (Goverment):
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Niue
note: pronounciation falls between nyu-way and new-way, but not like new-wee
former: Savage Island

Political parties and leaders:
Alliance of Independents or AI; Niue People's Action Party or NPP [Young VIVIAN]

name: Alofi
geographic coordinates: 19 01 S, 169 55 W
time difference: UTC-11 (6 hours behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)

19 October 1974 (Niue Constitution Act)

Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General of New Zealand Anand SATYANAND (since 23 August 2006); the UK and New Zealand are represented by New Zealand High Commissioner John BRYAN (since May 2000)
head of government: Premier Toke TALAGI (since 18 June 2008)
cabinet: Cabinet consists of the premier and three ministers
elections: the monarch is hereditary; premier elected by the Legislative Assembly for a three-year term; election last held 18 June 2008 (next to be held in 2011)
election results: Toke TALAGI defeats incumbent Young VIVIAN in Legislative Assembly vote; Toke TALAGI - 14, Young VIVIAN - 5

Administrative divisions:
none; note - there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 14 villages at the second order

Judicial branch:
Supreme Court of New Zealand; High Court of Niue

  Economy Back To Top

Electricity - consumption:
3.72 million kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Debt - external:
$418,000 (2002 est.)

Unemployment rate:
12% (2001)

Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2005)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$5,800 (2003 est.)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$7.6 million (2000 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$10.01 million (2003)

Exchange rates:
New Zealand dollars (NZD) per US dollar - 1.4151 (2008 est.), 1.3811 (2007), 1.5408 (2006), 1.4203 (2005), 1.5087 (2004)

GDP - real growth rate:
6.2% (2003 est.)

Labor force:
663 (2001)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
4% (2005)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 23.5%
industry: 26.9%
services: 49.5% (2003)

Oil - imports:
26.57 bbl/day (2005)

$201,400 (2004)

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Currency (code):
New Zealand dollar (NZD)

Economy - overview:
The economy suffers from the typical Pacific island problems of geographic isolation, few resources, and a small population. Government expenditures regularly exceed revenues, and the shortfall is made up by critically needed grants from New Zealand that are used to pay wages to public employees. Niue has cut government expenditures by reducing the public service by almost half. The agricultural sector consists mainly of subsistence gardening, although some cash crops are grown for export. Industry consists primarily of small factories to process passion fruit, lime oil, honey, and coconut cream. The sale of postage stamps to foreign collectors is an important source of revenue. The island in recent years has suffered a serious loss of population because of emigration to New Zealand. Efforts to increase GDP include the promotion of tourism and a financial services industry, although the International Banking Repeal Act of 2002 resulted in the termination of all offshore banking licenses. Economic aid from New Zealand in 2002 was US$2.6 million. Niue suffered a devastating typhoon in January 2004, which decimated nascent economic programs. While in the process of rebuilding, Niue has been dependent on foreign aid.

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities:
food, live animals, manufactured goods, machinery, fuels, lubricants, chemicals, drugs

tourism, handicrafts, food processing

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line:

Electricity - production:
4 million kWh (2006 est.)

$9.038 million (2004)

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
note: most work on family plantations; paid work exists only in government service, small industry, and the Niue Development Board

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Oil - consumption:
20 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Currency code:

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Exports - commodities:
canned coconut cream, copra, honey, vanilla, passion fruit products, pawpaws, root crops, limes, footballs, stamps, handicrafts

Economic aid - recipient:
$2.6 million from New Zealand (2002)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

revenues: $15.07 million
expenditures: $16.33 million (FY0405)

Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
900 (2002)

Telephones - main lines in use:
1,100 (2002 est.)


Internet country code:

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 0 (1998)

1,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
400 (2002)

Television broadcast stations:
1 (1997)

Telephone system:
domestic: single-line telephone system connects all villages on island
international: country code - 683 (2001)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)

Internet hosts:
382,599 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

Ports and terminals:
none; offshore anchorage only

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2007)

total: 120 km
paved: 120 km (2008)

1 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of New Zealand

Military branches:
no regular indigenous military forces; Police Force

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

Disputes - international:

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