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Tonga Geography Profile 2018

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LocationOceania, archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand
Geographic coordinates20 00 S, 175 00 W
Map referencesOceania
Areatotal: 747 sq km
land: 717 sq km
water: 30 sq km
Area - comparativefour times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries0 km
Coastline419 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climatetropical; modified by trade winds; warm season (December to May), cool season (May to December)
Terrainmostly flat islands with limestone bedrock formed from uplifted coral formation; others have limestone overlying volcanic rock
Elevation extremesmean elevation: NA
elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Kao Volcano on Kao Island 1,046 m
Natural resourcesfish, arable land
Land useagricultural land: 43.1%
arable land 22.2%; permanent crops 15.3%; permanent pasture 5.6%
forest: 12.5%
other: 44.4% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land0 sq km (2012)
Population distributionover two-thirds of the population lives on the island of Tongatapu; only 45 of the nation's 171 islands are occupied
Natural hazardscyclones (October to April); earthquakes and volcanic activity on Fonuafo'ou
volcanism: moderate volcanic activity; Fonualei (180 m) has shown frequent activity in recent years, while Niuafo'ou (260 m), which last erupted in 1985, has forced evacuations; other historically active volcanoes include Late and Tofua
Environment - current issuesdeforestation results as more and more land is being cleared for agriculture and settlement; some damage to coral reefs from starfish and indiscriminate coral and shell collectors; overhunting threatens native sea turtle populations
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notearchipelago of 171 islands (45 inhabited)

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on January 20, 2018