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Country Snapshot

Population: 105,000 (2013)  

Unemployment Rate: 1.1% (2006 estimate)

All maps (c) Google

All maps (c) Google

Life Expectancy: 72 years (2012)

GDP (nominal per capita): US$4,400 ‎(2013)

Reporters Without Borders Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2015 Rank: 44 of 180

Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2011  Rank: 95 of 182

Tonga's King appointed the nation's financial advisor, Jesse Bogdonoff of Bank of America, as Court Jester in 1999, the latter serving until alleged losses of US$26 million surfaced in the early 2000s. Bogdonoff is reportedly now a California based hypnosis practitioner.

Tonga became known as "The Friendly Islands" following Captain James Cook's 1773 visit.

Tonga is the only Pacific nation to maintain its monarchical government, and its monarchy's hereditary line has continued uninterrupted. The country has maintained its sovereignty, despite being a British Protectorate from 1900-1970.

Tonga has contributed troops to the conflicts in both Iraq and Afghanistan

Tourist Highlights

Beautiful beaches, abundant natural scenery, slow paced island life and relaxed locals makes Tonga a great destination for unwinding.

It's possible to swim with whales around July-October, in the Vava'u island group.


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