Tokelau is an island country in the southern Pacific Ocean that consists of three tropical coral atolls (from the northwest, Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo, as well as Swains Island which is governed as part of American Samoa) with a combined land area of 10 km2 (4 sq mi) and a population of approximately 1,500. Its capital rotates yearly between the three atolls. Tokelau lies north of the Samoan Islands, Swains Island being the nearest, east of Tuvalu, south of the Phoenix Islands, southwest of the more distant Line Islands, and northwest of the Cook Islands. Until 1976, the official name was Tokelau Islands.
Tokelau is a leader in renewable energy, being the first 100% solar powered nation in the world. Tokelau is a free and democratic nation with elections every three years. All run as independents; there are no political parties in Tokelau.
The most spoken language in Tokelau is Tokelauan, at 93.5%. A dependent territory of New Zealand, it is sometimes referred to by its older ...
colonial name, the Union Islands. In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly designated Tokelau a non-self-governing territory. However, Tokelau is officially referred to as a nation by both the New Zealand government and the Tokelauan government.
The basis of Tokelau's legislative, administrative and judicial systems is the Tokelau Islands Act 1948 and its amendments. In 1992, the head of government was established, who is elected every 3 years. Before this, the Administrator of Tokelau was the highest official in the government; in November 1974 the administration of Tokelau was transferred from the Maori and Island Affairs Department to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and from then until September 1980, when the Tokelau administration regulations were amended, the New Zealand Secretary of Foreign Affairs was the administrator of Tokelau; and regulations then came into force whereby the Minister of Foreign Affairs was empowered to appoint a suitable person to be the Administrator.
At 25.4% as of 2015, Tokelau is relatively high in immigrant percentage; a percentage more than two times higher than France's immigrant percentage, and even higher than Canada (18.76%), making it nearly on par with countries such as Israel (at 26.5%) and Montserrat (at 25.9%). Tokelau had a small increase in Census population from 2011 to 2016: about 6 percent. The largest settlement in Tokelau is Fale. Tokelau has the smallest economy in the world and has a life expectancy of 69, comparable with other Oceanian island nations.