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Where Is Tuvalu and What
Is It Known For?


Nui atoll, Tuvalu, from space: NASA.

Tuvalu, formerly known as the Ellice Islands, is located in the south Pacific Ocean. Its nearest neighbours are Kiribati, Nauru, Samoa and Fiji. It comprises four reef islands and five true atolls (an island of coral that encircles a lagoon partially or completely).

Its population of 12,373 makes it the second-least populous sovereign state in the world, with only Vatican City having fewer inhabitants. In terms of physical land size, at just 26 square kilometres (10 sq mi) Tuvalu is the fourth smallest country in the world, larger only than the Vatican City at 0.44 km2 (0.17 sq mi), Monaco at 1.95 km2 (0.75 sq mi) and Nauru at 21 km2 (8.1 sq mi).

One-third of the population lives on Funafuti, and most people depend on subsistence farming and fishing. The islands export copra, stamps and clothing, but rely heavily on foreign aid. Most trade is with Fiji, Australia and New Zealand.

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