Demographics of Tonga

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This article is about the demographic features of the population of Tonga, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

File:Tonga demography.png
Demographics of Tonga, Data of FAO, year 2005; Number of inhabitants in thousands

Almost two-thirds of the population of the Kingdom of Tonga live on its main island, Tongatapu. Although an increasing number of Tongans have moved into the only urban and commercial center, Nukuʻalofa, where European and indigenous cultural and living patterns have blended, village life and kinship ties continue to be important throughout the country. Everyday life is heavily influenced by Polynesian traditions and especially by the Christian faith; for example, all commerce and entertainment activities cease from midnight Saturday until midnight Sunday, and the constitution declares the Sabbath to be sacred, forever. Other important Christian denominations include Methodists (Free Wesleyan) and Roman Catholics.

Tongans, a Polynesian group with a very small mixture of Melanesian, represent more than 98% of the inhabitants. The rest are European (the majority are British), mixed European, and other Pacific Islanders. There also are several hundred Chinese.

Primary education between ages 6 and 14 is compulsory and free in state schools. Mission schools provide about 83% of the primary and 90% of the secondary level education. Higher education includes teacher training, nursing and medical training, a small private university, a women's business college, and a number of private agricultural schools. Most higher education is pursued overseas.


The population of Tonga is 106,146 (July 2011 est.). 37.2% are under 15, 56.7% 15 to 64, and 6.1% over 64. The birth rate is 24.7/1000, the death rate is 4.88/1000, and the net migration rate is -17.9/1,000. At birth, the sex ratio in Tonga is 1.03 males/female; the ratio in the total population is 1.01 males/female. The 2006 Tongan census gave a fertility rate of 4.2 children/woman,[1] although the 2011 World Factbook estimate is 3.55 children/woman.

Most of the Tongan population is Polynesian, with about 300 Europeans.

Christianity is the predominant religion in Tonga,[2] with 37.3% of the population belonging to the Free Wesleyan Church, 16.8% Mormon, 15.6% Free Church of Tonga, and 11.3% Roman Catholic. Other Christian denominations make up 14%. Other religions make up 4% of the population, while 1% claim no affiliation.[2]


The infant mortality rate in Tonga is 13.21 deaths/1,000 live births. Life expectancy at birth is 75.38 years: 73.98 for males and 76.83 for females.



Languages of Tonga
Official languages Tongan
Significant unofficial languages Niuafo'ou
Common keyboard layouts

The indigenous languages of the Kingdom of Tonga are the two Austronesian languages of Tongan and Niuafo'ou. Along with Tongan, English is also an official language.

98.5% of the Tongan population can read and write either English or Tongan, as of 1996.


  1. [1]
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Tonga, US Department of State, September 2011

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the CIA World Factbook.