Tokelau is a territory of New Zealand that is located in the Pacific Ocean. This territory was once known as the Union Islands and Tokelau Islands before adopting its current name in 1976. This region is made up of three coral atolls known as Fakaofo, Atafu, and Nukunonu. Swains Island is also part of Tokelau but because of a territorial dispute, the island is currently part of American Samoa and is administered by the United States.
According to the government of New Zealand and Tokelau, Tokelau is a nation. However, the United Nations included this area on the list of non-self-governing territories.
There are about four square miles of land area that make up this territory, so it should come as no surprise that it has an equally small population. According to the last census conducted in October of 2016, Tokelau has a population of about 1,499 people. The population density is nearly 298 people per square mile. The population of Tokelau is the fourth smallest of all states and dependencies in the world. Tokelau also has the smallest economy in the world. Despite this, however, it is the first nation in the world to be 100% powered by solar energy.
Atafu is the smallest island in size with an area of about one square mile, but is the most populous with over 500 residents. In terms of area, Nukunonu is the largest, taking up over 2 square miles.
The people of Tokelau are known as Tokelauans. There are no minority groups recorded in the census, and the major ethnic group is Polynesian. About 94% of the residents speak Tokelauan, although some residents speak English.
According to the census, roughly 45% of the people that live in Tokelau weren’t born there. Most came from New Zealand and Samoa. Most of the inhabitants belong to the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa or are Roman Catholic.
Even though Tokelau has a very small population and has faced challenges including overcrowding and the depletion of tuna, Tokelauans have a life expectancy of 69 years, which is on par with other islands in Oceania.
On Atafu and Fakaofo, female residents outnumber males. However, Nukunonu is made up of 57% male residents and 43% female.