Wallis and Futuna

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The Futuna island group was discovered by the Dutch in 1616 and Wallis by the British in 1767, but it was the French who declared a protectorate over the islands in 1842, and took official control of them between 1886 and 1888. Notably, Wallis and Futuna was the only French colony to side with the Vichy regime during World War II, a phase that ended in May of 1942 with the arrival of 2,000 American troops. In 1959, the inhabitants of the islands voted to become a French overseas territory and officially assumed this status in July 1961.



Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand

Geographic coordinates

13.18° S, 176.12° W

Area 221/257

total: 142 sq km

land: 142 sq km

water: 0 sq km

note: includes Ile Uvea (Wallis Island), Ile Futuna (Futuna Island), Ile Alofi, and 20 islets

Area - comparative

1.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries

0 km


129 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


tropical; hot, rainy season (November to April); cool, dry season (May to October); rains 250-300 cm per year (80% humidity); average temperature 26.6 degrees Celsius


volcanic origin; low hills


mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point: Mont Singavi (on Futuna) 765 m

Natural resources


Land use

agricultural land: 42.8%

arable land 7.1%; permanent crops 35.7%; permanent pasture 0%

forest: 41.9%

other: 15.3% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land


Natural hazards


Environment - current issues

deforestation (only small portions of the original forests remain) largely as a result of the continued use of wood as the main fuel source; as a consequence of cutting down the forests, the mountainous terrain of Futuna is particularly prone to erosion; there are no permanent settlements on Alofi because of the lack of natural freshwater resources

Geography - note

both island groups have fringing reefs

People and Society


noun: Wallisian(s), Futunan(s), or Wallis and Futuna Islanders

adjective: Wallisian, Futunan, or Wallis and Futuna Islander

Ethnic groups



Wallisian (indigenous Polynesian language) 58.9%, Futunian 30.1%, French (official) 10.8%, other 0.2% (2003 census)


Roman Catholic 99%, other 1%

Population 222/238

15,613 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 22.71% (male 1,850/female 1,695)

15-24 years: 17.41% (male 1,426/female 1,292)

25-54 years: 41.11% (male 3,210/female 3,208)

55-64 years: 9.45% (male 731/female 744)

65 years and over: 9.33% (male 697/female 760) (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 30.9 years

male: 30 years

female: 32.2 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 171/233

0.33% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 149/224

13.45 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 187/225

5.06 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 193/222

-5.06 migrant(s)/1,000 population

note: there has been steady emigration from Wallis and Futuna to New Caledonia (2015 est.)


urban population: 0% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 0% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Major urban areas - population

MATA-UTU (capital) 1,000 (2014)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.09 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.1 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female

total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 186/224

total: 4.43 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 4.66 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 4.18 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 44/224

total population: 79.57 years

male: 76.58 years

female: 82.7 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 165/224

1.75 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access


rural: 96% of population

total: 96% of population


rural: 4% of population

total: 4% of population (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS


HIV/AIDS - deaths



Country name

conventional long form: Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands

conventional short form: Wallis and Futuna

local long form: Territoire des Iles Wallis et Futuna

local short form: Wallis et Futuna

Government type

parliamentary representive democratic French overseas collectivity


name: Mata-Utu (on Ile Uvea)

geographic coordinates: 13.57° S, 171.56° W

time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

3 administrative precincts (circonscriptions, singular - circonscription) Alo, Sigave, Uvea


none (overseas territory of France)

National holiday

Bastille Day, 14 July (1789)


4 October 1958 (French Constitution)

Legal system

French civil law


see France


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Francois HOLLANDE (since 15 May 2012); represented by High Administrator Marcel RENOUF (since 26 January 2015)

head of government: President of the Territorial Assembly Mikaele KULIMOETOKE (since 26 November 2014)

cabinet: Council of the Territory appointed by the high administrator on the advice of the Territorial Assembly

elections/appointments: French president elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); high administrator appointed by the French president on the advice of the French Ministry of the Interior; the presidents of the Territorial Government and the Territorial Assembly elected by assembly members

note: there are 3 traditional kings with limited powers

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Territorial Assembly or Assemblee Territoriale (20 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation to serve 5-year terms)

note: Wallis and Futuna elects one senator to the French Senate and one deputy to the French National Assembly; French Senate - elections last held on 28 September 2014 (next to be held by September 2017); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats - UMP 1; French National Assembly - by-election last held on 24 March 2013 (next to be held by 2017); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats - independent (backed by UMP) 1

elections: last held on 22 March 2012 (next to be held in March 2017)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PS 4, UMP 4, centrist, 3, other 9

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel, located in Noumea, New Caledonia

judge selection and term of office: NA

subordinate courts: note - justice generally administered under French law by the high administrator, but the 3 traditional kings administer customary law, and there is a magistrate in Mata-Utu

Political parties and leaders

Lua Kae Tahi (Giscardians)

Mouvement des Radicaux de Gauche or MRG

Rally for the Republic or RPR (UMP) [Clovis LOGOLOGOFOLAU]

Socialist Party or PS

Taumu'a Lelei [Soane Muni UHILA]

Union Populaire Locale or UPL [Falakiko GATA]

Union Pour la Democratie Francaise or UDF

Political pressure groups and leaders


International organization participation

PIF (observer), SPC, UPU

Flag description

unofficial, local flag has a red field with four white isosceles triangles in the middle, representing the three native kings of the islands and the French administrator; the apexes of the triangles are oriented inward and at right angles to each other; the flag of France, outlined in white on two sides, is in the upper hoist quadrant

note: the design is derived from an original red banner with a white cross pattee that was introduced in the 19th century by French missionaries; the flag of France is used for official occasions

National symbol(s)

red saltire (Saint Andrew's Cross) on a white square on a red field; national colors: red, white

National anthem

note: as a territory of France, "La Marseillaise" is official (see France)


Economy - overview

The economy is limited to traditional subsistence agriculture, with 80% of labor force earnings coming from agriculture (coconuts and vegetables), livestock (mostly pigs), and fishing. Revenues come from French Government subsidies, licensing of fishing rights to Japan and South Korea, import taxes, and remittances from expatriate workers in New Caledonia. France directly finances the public sector, health and education services. It also provides funding for key development projects in a range of areas, including infrastructure, economic development, environmental management, and health facilities. 70% of employment is in the public sector, although only about 20% of the population is in salaried employment. A key concern for Wallis and Futuna is an aging population with consequent economic development issues. Very few people aged 18-30 live in the islands due to the limited formal employment opportunities. Improving job creation is a current priority for the territorial government.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 225/230

$60 million (2004 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate)

GDP - real growth rate


GDP - per capita (PPP) 177/230

$3,800 (2004 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: NA%

industry: NA%

services: NA%

Agriculture - products

coconuts, breadfruit, yams, taro, bananas; pigs, goats; fish


copra, handicrafts, fishing, lumber

Industrial production growth rate


Labor force 225/233

3,104 (2003)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 80%

industry: 4%

services: 16% (2001 est.)

Unemployment rate 135/207

12.2% (2008 est.)

Population below poverty line


Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%


revenues: $29,730

expenditures: $31,330 (2004)

Taxes and other revenues


Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)


Public debt 176/176

5.6% of GDP (2004 est.)

note: offical data; data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 132/226

2.8% (2005)

Exports 223/224

$47,450 (2004)

Exports - commodities

copra, chemicals, construction materials

Imports 218/223

$61.17 million (2004)

Imports - commodities

chemicals, machinery, consumer goods

Debt - external 202/206

$3.67 million (2004)

Exchange rates

Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (XPF) per US dollar -

89.85 (2013 est.)

90.56 (2012 est.)

85.74 (2011 est.)


Telephone system

international: country code - 681

Broadcast media

the publicly owned French Overseas Network (RFO), which broadcasts to France's overseas departments and territories, is carried on the RFO Wallis and Fortuna TV and radio stations (2008)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 1, FM 0, shortwave 0 (2000)

Television broadcast stations

2 (2000)

Internet country code


Internet hosts 157/232

2,760 (2012)

Internet users 211/217

total: 1,300

percent of population: 8.5% (2009)


Airports 208/236

2 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Leava, Mata-Utu

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international