Demographics of Tonga

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File:Tonga demography.png
Demographics of Tonga, Data of FAO, year 2005 ; Number of inhabitants in thousands.

Almost two-thirds of the population of the Kingdom of Tonga live on its main island, Tongatapu. Although an increasing number of Tongans have moved into the only urban and commercial center, Nuku'alofa, where European and indigenous cultural and living patterns have blended, village life and kinship ties continue to be important throughout the country. Everyday life is heavily influenced by Polynesian traditions and especially by the Christian faith; for example, all commerce and entertainment activities cease from midnight Saturday until midnight Sunday, and the constitution declares the Sabbath to be sacred, forever. Tonga is said to have the highest proportion of Mormons of any state or country outside of Utah.

Tongans, a Polynesian group with a very small mixture of Melanesian, represent more than 98% of the inhabitants. The rest are European, mixed European, and other Pacific Islanders. There also are several hundred Chinese.

Primary education between ages 6 and 14 is compulsory and free in state schools. Mission schools provide about 83% of the primary and 90% of the secondary level education. Higher education includes teacher training, nursing and medical training, a small private university, a women's business college, and a number of private agricultural schools. Most higher education is pursued overseas.


112,422 (July 2005 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 36.2% (male 20,738/female 19,907)
15-64 years: 59.7% (male 33,226/female 33,853)
65 years and over: 4.2% (male 2,031/female 2,667) (2005 est.)

Population growth rate

1.98% (2005 est.)

Birth rate

25.18 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)

Death rate

5.35 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)

Sex ratio

At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female

Total population

0.99 male(s)/female (2005 est.)

Infant mortality rate

14.45 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

Total population: 69.53 years
Male: 67.05 years
Female: 72.14 years (2005 est.)

Total fertility rate

3 children born/woman (2005 est.)


Noun: Tongan(s)
Adjective: Tongan

Ethnic groups

Polynesian, Europeans about 300


Christian (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claims 48,767 adherents as of 2002 [1]; Free Wesleyan Church claims over 30,000 adherents)


Tongan, English


Definition: Can read and write Tongan and/or English
Total population: 98.5%
Male: 98.4%
Female: 98.7% (1996 est.)

es:Demografía de Tonga