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Country information - Tonga
Country name - conventional long form : Kingdom of Tonga
Country name - conventional short form : Tonga
Country name - local long form : Pule'anga Tonga
Country name - local short form : Tonga
Country name - former : Friendly Islands
Government type : constitutional monarchy
Capital - name : Nuku'alofa
Capital - time difference : UTC+13 (18 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
National holiday : Emancipation Day, 4 June (1970)
Population : 119,009 (July 2008 est.)
Nationality - noun : Tongan(s)
Nationality - adjective : Tongan
Languages : Tongan, English
Currency (code) : pa'anga (TOP)
Currency code : TOP

Tonga is located Oceania, archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand. The climate is tropical; modified by trade winds; warm season (December to May), cool season (May to December). The terrain is most islands have limestone base formed from uplifted coral formation; others have limestone overlying volcanic base.


This entry usually highlights major historic events and current issues and may include a statement about one or two key future trends.
Background : Tonga - unique among Pacific nations - never completely lost its indigenous governance. The archipelagos of "The Friendly Islands" were united into a Polynesian kingdom in 1845. Tonga became a constitutional monarchy in 1875 and a British protectorate in 1900; it withdrew from the protectorate and joined the Commonwealth of Nations in 1970. Tonga remains the only monarchy in the Pacific.

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