Niue

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Niue's remoteness, as well as cultural and linguistic differences between its Polynesian inhabitants and those of the adjacent Cook Islands, has caused it to be separately administered by New Zealand. The population of the island continues to drop (from a peak of 5,200 in 1966 to an estimated 1,190 in 2014) with substantial emigration to New Zealand 2,400 km to the southwest.

Geography

Location

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

Geographic coordinates

19.02° S, 169.52° W

Area 213/257

total: 260 sq km

land: 260 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative

1.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries

0 km

Coastline

64 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Climate

tropical; modified by southeast trade winds

Terrain

steep limestone cliffs along coast, central plateau

Elevation

mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point: unnamed elevation near Mutalau settlement 68 m

Natural resources

fish, arable land

Land use

agricultural land: 19.1%

arable land 3.8%; permanent crops 11.5%; permanent pasture 3.8%

forest: 71.2%

other: 9.7% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

0 sq km (2012)

Natural hazards

typhoons

Environment - current issues

increasing attention to conservationist practices to counter loss of soil fertility from traditional slash and burn agriculture

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection

Geography - note

one of world's largest coral islands

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Niuean(s)

adjective: Niuean

Ethnic groups

Niuen 66.5%, part-Niuen 13.4%, non-Niuen 20.1% (includes 12% European and Asian and 8% Pacific Islanders) (2011 est.)

Languages

Niuean (official) 46% (a Polynesian language closely related to Tongan and Samoan), Niuean and English 32%, English (official) 11%, Niuean and others 5%, other 6% (2011 est.)

Religions

Ekalesia Niue (Congregational Christian Church of Niue - a Protestant church founded by missionaries from the London Missionary Society) 67%, other Protestant 3% (includes Seventh Day Adventist 1%, Presbyterian 1%, and Methodist 1%), Mormon 10%, Roman Catholic 10%, Jehovah's Witnesses 2%, other 6%, none 2% (2011 est.)

Population 235/238

1,190 (July 2014 est.)

Population growth rate 202/233

-0.03% (2014 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 42.5% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: -0.94% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

ALOFI (capital) 1,000 (2014)

Sex ratio

NA

Infant mortality rate

total: NA

male: NA

female: NA

Life expectancy at birth

total population: NA

male: NA

female: NA

Total fertility rate

NA

Health expenditures 87/191

7.1% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

3 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Drinking water source

improved:

urban: 98.4% of population

rural: 98.6% of population

total: 98.5% of population

unimproved:

urban: 1.6% of population

rural: 1.4% of population

total: 1.5% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

improved:

urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved:

urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths

NA

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

42.5% (2014)

Education expenditures

NA

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 13 years

male: 12 years

female: 15 years (2005)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Niue

note: pronunciation falls between nyu-way and new-way, but not like new-wee

former: Savage Island

etymology: the origin of the name is obscure; in Niuean, the word supposedly translates as "behold the coconut"

Government type

self-governing parliamentary democracy

Capital

name: Alofi

geographic coordinates: 19.01° S, 169.55° W

time difference: UTC-11 (6 hours behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

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

Independence

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

National holiday

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

Constitution

several previous (New Zealand colonial statutes); latest 19 October 1974 (Niue Constitution Act 1974); amended 1992, 2007 (2015)

Legal system

English common law

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General of New Zealand Lt. Gen. Sir Jerry MATEPARAE (since 31 August 2011); the UK and New Zealand are represented by New Zealand High Commissioner Ross ARDEN (since February 2014)

head of government: Premier Toke TALAGI (since 18 June 2008)

cabinet: Cabinet chosen by the premier

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; premier indirectly elected by the Legislative Assembly for a 3-year term; election last held on 24 April 2014 (next to be held in 2017)

election results: Toke TALAGI reelected premier; Legislative Assembly vote - Toke TALAGI (independent) 12, Stanley KALAUNI 8

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Assembly or Fono Ekepule (20 seats; 14 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 6 directly elected from the National Register or "common roll" by majority vote; members serve 3-year terms)

elections: last held on 12 April 2014 (next to be held in 2017)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - 20 independents

Judicial branch

highest resident court(s): Court of Appeal (consists of the chief justice and up to 3 judges); note - the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London) is the final appeal court beyond the Niue Court of Appeal

note - Niue is a participant in the Pacific Judicial Development Program; the program is designed to build governance and the rule of law in 15 Pacific island countries

judge selection and term of office: Niue chief justice appointed by the governor-general on the advice of the Cabinet and tendered by the premier; other judges appointed by the governor-general on the advice of the Cabinet and tendered by the chief justice and the minister of justice; judges serve until age 68

subordinate courts: High Court

Political parties and leaders

Alliance of Independents or AI

Niue People's Action Party or NPP [Young VIVIAN]

Political pressure groups and leaders

NA

International organization participation

ACP, AOSIS, FAO, IFAD, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO

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; the larger star stands for Niue, the smaller stars recall the Southern Cross constellation on the New Zealand flag and symbolize links with that country; yellow represents the bright sunshine of Niue and the warmth and friendship between Niue and New Zealand

National symbol(s)

yellow, five-pointed star; national color: yellow

National anthem

name: "Ko e Iki he Lagi" (The Lord in Heaven)

lyrics/music: unknown/unknown, prepared by Sioeli FUSIKATA

note: adopted 1974

Economy

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 financial services, although the International Banking Repeal Act of 2002 resulted in the termination of all offshore banking licenses. Economic aid allocation from New Zealand in FY13/14 was US$10.1 million. While in the process of rebuilding, Niue has been dependent on foreign aid.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 229/230

$10.01 million (2003 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate)

$10.01 million (2003)

GDP - real growth rate 26/225

6.2% (2003 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 161/230

$5,800 (2003 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 23.5%

industry: 26.9%

services: 49.5% (2003)

Agriculture - products

coconuts, passion fruit, honey, limes, taro, yams, cassava (manioc, tapioca), sweet potatoes; pigs, poultry, beef cattle

Industries

handicrafts, food processing

Industrial production growth rate

NA%

Labor force 231/233

663 (2001)

Labor force - by occupation

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

Unemployment rate 132/207

12% (2001)

Population below poverty line

NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Budget

revenues: $15.07 million

expenditures: $16.33 million (FY04/05)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 209/220

-12.6% of GDP (FY04/05)

Fiscal year

1 April - 31 March

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 153/226

4% (2005)

Exports 222/224

$201,400 (2004)

Exports - commodities

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

Exports - partners

Germany 25%, Belgium 11%, United Kingdom 8%, France 8%, Italy 4%, United States 4% (2014)

Imports 222/223

$9.038 million (2004)

Imports - commodities

food, live animals, manufactured goods, machinery, fuels, lubricants, chemicals, drugs

Imports - partners

Germany 16%, Belgium 10%, China 9%, United States 7%, United Kingdom 7%, Russia 5%, France 4%, Norway 4% (2014)

Debt - external 203/206

$418,000 (2002 est.)

Exchange rates

New Zealand dollars (NZD) per US dollar -

1.45 (2015)

1.22 (2013)

1.22 (2013)

1.23 (2012)

1.26 (2011)

Energy

Electricity - production 218/220

3 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 217/219

2.79 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 175/218

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports 181/219

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 214/214

1,000 kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 22/214

100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 151/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 190/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 206/212

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 174/214

0 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 168/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 105/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 174/215

0 bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 116/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 212/212

20 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 207/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 209/213

22.57 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 109/216

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 177/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 153/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 107/214

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 176/212

0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 211/212

3,520 Mt (2012 est.)

Communications

Telephone system

domestic: single-line telephone system connects all villages on island

international: country code - 683 (2001)

Broadcast media

1 government-owned TV station with many of the programs supplied by Television New Zealand; 1 government-owned radio station broadcasting in AM and FM (2009)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 0 (1998)

Television broadcast stations

1 (1997)

Internet country code

.nu

Internet hosts 83/232

79,508 (2012)

Internet users 213/217

total: 1,100

percent of population: 92.4% (2014 est.)

Transportation

Airports 228/236

1 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2012)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)

Roadways 214/223

total: 120 km

paved: 120 km (2011)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Alofi

Military and Security

Military branches

no regular indigenous military forces; Police Force

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

none