With a population of just over 11,000 people spread across nine low-lying coral atolls, Tuvalu faces a range of challenges related to climate change and sustainable development. Despite these challenges, Tuvalu has a rich cultural heritage, a unique language, traditional dances, and intricate handicrafts.
Let’s explore the wonders of this beautiful and resilient island nation with these 21 fun facts about Tuvalu:
1. It wasn’t always called Tuvalu.
Formerly known as the Ellice Islands, Tuvalu (pronounced Too-vah-loo) is a beautiful archipelago in the Pacific Ocean.
2. It has plenty of neighbors.
Its nearest neighbors are Nauru, Federated States of Micronesia and Marshall Islands to the northwest, Kiribati to the northeast, Tokelau to the east, American Samoa and Niue to the southeast, Wallis and Futuna, Tonga and Fiji to the south, New Caledonia and Vanuatu to the southwest and Solomon Islands to the west.
3. Here’s how to get there!
4. It’s mostly a low level paradise!
The terrain here is low lying, narrow coral atolls. In fact, the highest point on the islands is a mere 15 feet above sea level!
5. It’s absolutely minute.
The total land area of Tuvalu is 10 square miles (26 square kilometers)…that’s around 2/3 the size of Truro, Cornwall.
6. But, plenty of people live here!
Tuvalu’s population was 11,792 in 2020…that’s only slightly less than the population of Truro in Cornwall, UK!
7. What are people from Tuvalu called?
Residents here are known as Tuvaluans.
8. What’s the capital of Tuvalu?
The capital is Funafuti; it covers an area of 0.9 square miles (2.4 square kilometers) and had a population of 6,000 in 2014.
9. There are two main seasons in Tuvalu.
10. Mammals were brought to Tuvalu.
11. What do people speak in Tuvalu?
The official languages of Tuvalu are Tuvaluan, English and Samoan.
12. The money situation has been confusing!
The Tuvaluan Dollar became the official currency in 1976, although it is used alongside the Australian Dollar which was previously the official currency. Interestingly, the Pound Sterling and US Dollar have also been official currencies of Tuvalu in the past.
13. The life expectancy here says you are likely to retire.
Tuvaluans live for an average of 66 years.
14. It used to be owned by the British.
Tuvalu actually came under British jurisdiction in 1877 and was finally granted independence almost 100 years later in 1976.
15. Many people depend on their exports.
As a country, Tuvalu grows coconuts and catches fish. Its industry consists of tourism, fishing and copra.
16. Ever heard of the .tv domain?
FAQs about Tuvalu
Is Tuvalu a safe country to visit?
Yes - Tuvalu’s remote nature and tight-knit community means that it’s one of the safest vacation spots on the planet.
Is Tuvalu a popular tourist destination?
Not as much as you’d think - the rising sea levels here prevent the island from appealing to mass crowds.
Will Tuvalu sink?
It’s unlikely to happen soon, but many scientists believe that eventually Tuvalu could fully submerge as a result of climate change.
Do you know any fun facts about Tuvalu? Share them in the comments below!