Kingdom of Tonga

Fakatu'i ’o Tonga

Note: On March 18, 2012, King George Tupou V died at the age of 63. During his six-year reign he oversaw democratic reforms in Tonga. Pressured by his people to allow for fair democratic elections, he ceded much of his power as head of government to the prime minister and Parliament. However, he still possessed the authority of head of state. In addition to his efforts to bring democracy to the small Pacific Island nation, he was known for his elaborate lifestyle.

Political Status: Constitutional monarchy; independent within the Commonwealth since June 4, 1970. Area: 289 sq. mi. (748 sq. km.).

Population: 106,295 (2012E—UN); 106,146 (2012E—U.S. Census).

Major Urban Center (2005E): NUKU'ALOFA (39,300).

Official Languages: Tongan, English.

Monetary Unit: Pa'anga (official rate October 3, 2011: 1.73 ...

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