Wallis and Futuna

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Although discovered by the Dutch and the British in the 17th and 18th centuries, it was the French who declared a protectorate over the islands in 1842. In 1959, the inhabitants of the islands voted to become a French overseas territory.


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


total: 274 sq km
note: includes Ile Uvea (Wallis Island), Ile Futuna (Futuna Island), Ile Alofi, and 20 islets
water: 0 sq km
land: 274 sq km


tropical; hot, rainy season (November to April); cool, dry season (May to October); rains 2,500-3,000 mm per year (80% humidity); average temperature 26.6 degrees C


volcanic origin; low hills

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Singavi 765 m

Land use:

arable land: 5%
permanent crops: 25%
other: 70% (2001)

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 fresh water resources

Geography - note:

both island groups have fringing reefs


15,880 (July 2004 est.)


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

Ethnic groups:



Roman Catholic 99%, other 1%


French, Wallisian (indigenous Polynesian language)

Dependency status:

overseas territory of France


Mata-Utu (on Ile Uvea)

Administrative divisions:

none (overseas territory of France); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are three kingdoms at the second order named Alo, Sigave, Wallis

National holiday:

Bastille Day, 14 July (1789)


28 September 1958 (French Constitution)

Legal system:

French legal system

Economy - overview:

The economy is limited to traditional subsistence agriculture, with about 80% labor force earnings from agriculture (coconuts and vegetables), livestock (mostly pigs), and fishing. About 4% of the population is employed in government. 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.

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture, livestock, and fishing 80%, government 4% (2001 est.)

Agriculture - products:

breadfruit, yams, taro, bananas; pigs, goats


copra, handicrafts, fishing, lumber

Exports - commodities:

copra, chemicals, construction materials

Exports - partners:

Italy 40%, Croatia 15%, US 14%, Denmark 13%

Imports - commodities:

chemicals, machinery, passenger ships, consumer goods

Imports - partners:

France 97%, Australia 2%, New Zealand 1%


Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique franc (XPF)

Telephones - main lines in use:

1,900 (2002)

Telephones - mobile cellular:

0 (1994)

Telephone system:

general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: country code - 681


total: 120 km (Ile Uvea 100 km, Ile Futuna 20 km)
paved: 16 km (all on Ile Uvea)
unpaved: 104 km (Ile Uvea 84 km, Ile Futuna 20 km)

Ports and harbors:

Leava, Mata-Utu

Merchant marine:

total: 6 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 134,037 GRT/14,271 DWT
by type: passenger 6
foreign-owned: France 3, Greece 1, Monaco 1, United States 1 (2003 est.)


2 (2003 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2003 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2003 est.)