Tonga. Just a few days into the new year, King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV appointedhis youngest son, 40-year-old prince ‘Ulukalala Lavaka Ata, as new prime minister. Crown Prince Tupouto, who left the government in May 1999 to engage in business and which some believed would get the post, had earlier objected that the prime minister should hold office for life. However, Tupouto said that Lavaka was the only one who could speak fully openly to the king.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Offers three letter and two letter abbreviations for the country of Tonga. Also covers country profile such as geography, society and economy.
|Gross domestic product (GDP)||$ 591,000,000|
|GDP growth rate||2.50%|
|GDP per capita||5,900 USD|
|GDP by sector|
|Proportion of the population below the national poverty line||24%|
|Distribution of household income|
|Top 10%||k. A.|
|Lower 10%||k. A.|
|Industrial production growth rate||6.00%|
|National debt||48.00% of GDP|
|Foreign exchange reserves||$ 131,900,000|
|Number of visitors||50,000|
In November, an Australian biotech company received exclusive right to research on Tongan’s genetic heritage. By taking DNA and blood samples from the country’s 100,000 residents, the company hopes to be able to find the causes of a variety of diseases, such as breast cancer. The population of remote islands is ideal for gene researchers because it is easy to trace the genetic heritage back several generations.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the population of Tonga in 2000 was 97,862, ranking number 197 in the world. The population growth rate was 0.410% yearly, and the population density was 136.0736 people per km2.