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Wallis and Futuna :: Australia-Oceania



The Futuna island group was discovered by the Dutch in 1616 and Wallis by the British in 1767, but it was the French who declared a protectorate over the islands in 1842, and took official control of them between 1886 and 1888. Notably, Wallis and Futuna was the only French colony to side with the Vichy regime during World War II, a phase that ended in May of 1942 with the arrival of 2,000 American troops. In 1959, the inhabitants of the islands voted to become a French overseas territory and officially assumed that status in 1961. In 2003, Wallis and Futuna's designation changed to that of an overseas collectivity.



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

Map references:



total: 142 sq km
land: 142 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Ile Uvea (Wallis Island), Ile Futuna (Futuna Island), Ile Alofi, and 20 islets
country comparison to the world: 220

Area - comparative:

1.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:

0 km


129 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


tropical; hot, rainy season (November to April); cool, dry season (May to October); rains 250-300 cm per year (80% humidity); average temperature 26.6 degrees Celsius


volcanic origin; low hills


lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Singavi (on Futuna) 522 m

Natural resources:


Land use:

agricultural land: 42.8% (2011 est.)
arable land: 7.1% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 35.7% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 0% (2011 est.)
forest: 41.9% (2011 est.)
other: 15.3% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land:

0 sq km (2012)

Natural hazards:

cyclones; tsunamis

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 freshwater resources; lack of soil fertility on the islands of Uvea and Futuna negatively impacts agricultural producitivity

Geography - note:

both island groups have fringing reefs; Wallis contains several prominent crater lakes

People and Society


15,854 (July 2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 220


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

Ethnic groups:



Wallisian (indigenous Polynesian language) 58.9%, Futunian 30.1%, French (official) 10.8%, other 0.2% (2003 census)


Roman Catholic 99%, other 1%

Age structure:

0-14 years: 20.58% (male 1,702/female 1,561)
15-24 years: 14.72% (male 1,238/female 1,095)
25-54 years: 43.55% (male 3,529/female 3,376)
55-64 years: 9.92% (male 742/female 830)
65 years and over: 11.23% (male 856/female 925) (2020 est.)

Median age:

total: 34 years
male: 33.1 years
female: 35.1 years (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 93

Population growth rate:

0.28% (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 173

Birth rate:

12.7 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 150

Death rate:

5.7 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 178

Net migration rate:

-4.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
note: there has been steady emigration from Wallis and Futuna to New Caledonia
country comparison to the world: 191


urban population: 0% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 0% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population:

1,000 MATA-UTU (capital) (2018)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.93 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 4.2 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 188

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 80.2 years
male: 77.2 years
female: 83.4 years (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48

Total fertility rate:

1.71 children born/woman (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 171

Drinking water source:

improved: rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved: rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2017)

Sanitation facility access:

improved: rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved: rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: high (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
vectorborne diseases: malaria

Education expenditures:



Country name:

conventional long form: Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands
conventional short form: Wallis and Futuna
local long form: Territoire des Iles Wallis et Futuna
local short form: Wallis et Futuna
former: Hoorn Islands is the former name of the Futuna Islands
etymology: Wallis Island is named after British Captain Samuel WALLIS, who discovered it in 1767; Futuna is derived from the native word "futu," which is the name of the fish-poison tree found on the island

Dependency status:

overseas collectivity of France

Government type:

parliamentary democracy (Territorial Assembly); overseas collectivity of France


name: Mata-Utu (on Ile Uvea)
geographic coordinates: 13 57 S, 171 56 W
time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

3 administrative precincts (circonscriptions, singular - circonscription) Alo, Sigave, Uvea


none (overseas collectivity of France)

National holiday:

Bastille Day, 14 July (1789)


history: 4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
amendments: French constitution amendment procedures apply

Legal system:

French civil law


see France


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Emmanuel MACRON (since 14 May 2017); represented by Administrator Superior Herve JONATHAN (since 25 November 2020)
head of government: President of the Territorial Assembly David VERGE (since 4 April 2017)
cabinet: Council of the Territory appointed by the administrator superior on the advice of the Territorial Assembly
elections/appointments: French president elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); administrator superior appointed by the French president on the advice of the French Ministry of the Interior; the presidents of the Territorial Government and the Territorial Assembly elected by assembly members
note: there are 3 traditional kings with limited powers

Legislative branch:

description: unicameral Territorial Assembly or Assemblee Territoriale (20 seats - Wallis 13, Futuna 7; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by party-list proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms) ++ Wallis and Futuna indirectly elects 1 senator to the French Senate by an electoral college by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 6-year term, and directly elects 1 deputy to the French National Assembly by absolute majority vote for a 5-year term
elections: Territorial Assembly - last held on 26 March 2017 (next to be held in March 2022) ++ French Senate - last held on 28 September 2014 (next to be held by September 2020) ++ French National Assembly - last held on 11 June 2017 (next to be held in June 2022)
election results: Territorial Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - 2 members are elected from the list Fia gaue fakatahi kihe kaha'u e lelei and 1 each from 18 other lists; composition - men 14, women 6, percent of women 30% ++ French Senate - LR 1 ++ French National Assembly - independent 1

Judicial branch:

highest courts: Court of Assizes or Cour d'Assizes (consists of 1 judge; court hears primarily serious criminal cases); note - appeals beyond the Court of Assizes are heard before the Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel (in Noumea, New Caledonia)
judge selection and term of office: NA
subordinate courts: courts of first instance; labor court; note - justice generally administered under French law by the high administrator, but the 3 traditional kings administer customary law, and there is a magistrate in Mata-Utu

Political parties and leaders:

Left Radical Party or PRG [Guillaume LACROIX] (formerly Radical Socialist Party or PRS and the Left Radical Movement or MRG) ++ Lua Kae Tahi (Giscardians) (leader NA) ++ Rally for Wallis and Futuna-The Republicans (Rassemblement pour Wallis and Futuna) or RPWF-LR [Clovis LOGOLOGOFOLAU] ++ Socialist Party or PS ++ Taumu'a Lelei [Soane Muni UHILA] ++ Union Pour la Democratie Francaise or UDF

International organization participation:

PIF (observer), SPC, UPU

Diplomatic representation in the US:

none (overseas collectivity of France)

Diplomatic representation from the US:

none (overseas collectivity of France)

Flag description:

unofficial, local flag has a red field with four white isosceles triangles in the middle, representing the three native kings of the islands and the French administrator; the apexes of the triangles are oriented inward and at right angles to each other; the flag of France, outlined in white on two sides, is in the upper hoist quadrant
note: the design is derived from an original red banner with a white cross pattee that was introduced in the 19th century by French missionaries; the flag of France is used for official occasions

National symbol(s):

red saltire (Saint Andrew's Cross) on a white square on a red field; national colors: red, white

National anthem:

note: as a territory of France, "La Marseillaise" is official (see France)


Economic overview:

The economy is limited to traditional subsistence agriculture, with about 80% of labor force earnings coming from agriculture (coconuts and vegetables), livestock (mostly pigs), and fishing. However, roughly 70% of the labor force is employed in the public sector, although only about a third of the population is in salaried employment. ++ 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. France directly finances the public sector and health-care and education services. It also provides funding for key development projects in a range of areas, including infrastructure, economic development, environmental management, and health-care facilities. ++ A key concern for Wallis and Futuna is an aging population with consequent economic development issues. Very few people aged 18-30 live on the islands due to the limited formal employment opportunities. Improving job creation is a current priority for the territorial government.

GDP real growth rate:


Inflation rate (consumer prices):

0.9% (2015)
2.8% (2005)
country comparison to the world: 63

GDP (purchasing power parity) - real:

$60 million (2004 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):

$195 million (2005) (2005)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$3,800 (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:

agriculture: NA
industry: NA
services: NA

GDP - composition, by end use:

household consumption: 26% (2005)
government consumption: 54% (2005)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores:

Agriculture - products:

coconuts, breadfruit, yams, taro, bananas; pigs, goats; fish


copra, handicrafts, fishing, lumber

Industrial production growth rate:


Labor force:

4,482 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 222

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 74%
industry: 3%
services: 23% (2015 est.)

Unemployment rate:

8.8% (2013 est.)
12.2% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134

Population below poverty line:


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA


revenues: 32.54 million NA (2015 est.)
expenditures: 34.18 million NA (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:

16.7% (of GDP) NA (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 175

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

-0.8% (of GDP) NA (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70

Public debt:

5.6% of GDP (2004 est.)
note: offical data; data cover general government debt and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions
country comparison to the world: 204

Fiscal year:

calendar year


$47,450 (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 223

Exports - commodities:

copra, chemicals, construction materials


$61.17 million (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 220

Imports - commodities:

chemicals, machinery, consumer goods

Debt - external:

$3.67 million (2004)
country comparison to the world: 201

Exchange rates:

Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (XPF) per US dollar -
110.2 (2015 est.)
89.8 (2014 est.)
89.85 (2013 est.)
90.56 (2012 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines:

total subscriptions: 4,012
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 25.38 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 207

Telecommunication systems:

general assessment: 2G widespread; bandwidth is limited; mobile subscriber numbers are higher than fixed-line and better suited for islands; good mobile coverage in the capital cities and also reasonable coverage across more remote atolls; recent international interest in infrastructure development; increase in demand for mobile broadband as mobile services serve as primary source for Internet access; Kacific-1 broadband satellite launched in 2019 to improve costs and capability (2020)
domestic: fixed-line teledensity 25 per 100 persons (2019)
international: country code - 681; landing point for the Tui-Samoa submarine cable network connecting Wallis & Futuna, Samoa and Fiji (2020)
note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated

Broadcast media:

the publicly owned French Overseas Network (RFO), which broadcasts to France's overseas departments, collectivities, and territories, is carried on the RFO Wallis and Fortuna TV and radio stations (2019)

Internet country code:


Internet users:

total: 3,450
percent of population: 22.1% (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 220



2 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 207

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 2 (2019)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1

Ports and terminals:

major seaport(s): Leava, Mata-Utu

Military and Security

Military - note:

defense is the responsibility of France

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: