Located in the Pacific Ocean, the Polynesian nation of Tuvalu is comprised of three islands and six atolls, roughly midway between Hawaii and Australia. With a population of only 10,837, it has the third-smallest population of any sovereign state in the world, with only the Vatican City and Nauru having less inhabitants. It is also the fourth-smallest country in the world. The islands were inhabited by Polynesians long before the arrival of the first European in 1568. In 1819, the islands were named the Ellice Islands by the British; and in 1892, they were declared a British protectorate. They were administered as part of the British Western Pacific Territories until 1916, when they were merged with the Gilbert Islands (now Kiribati) to form the colony ...

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