Niue - NU - NIU - Australia and Oceania

Last updated: April 17, 2024
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Niue Factbook Data

Dependency status

self-governing in free association with New Zealand since 1974; Niue is fully responsible for internal affairs; New Zealand retains responsibility for external affairs and defense; however, these responsibilities confer no rights of control and are only exercised at the request of the Government of Niue

Diplomatic representation from the US

embassy: none (self-governing territory in free association with New Zealand)

note: on 25 September 2023, the US officially established diplomatic relations with Niue

Geographic coordinates

19 02 S, 169 52 W

Sex ratio


Natural hazards

tropical cyclones

Area - comparative

1.5 times the size of Washington, DC


Voyagers from Samoa first settled on Niue around A.D. 900 and a second main group of settlers came from Tonga around 1500. With only one reliable source of fresh water, conflict was high on the island. There was continued contact with both Samoa and Tonga, and customs from those islands heavily influenced Niuean culture, including the formation of an island-wide kingship system in the early 1700s. These kings, or patu-iki, were elected by Niueans. In 1774, British explorer James COOK abandoned attempts to land on the island after several unsuccessful tries, and he named it Savage Island because of the warlike appearance of the Niueans. Missionaries arrived in 1830 but were also largely unsuccessful at staying on the island until 1846, when a Niuean trained as a Samoan missionary returned to the island and provided a space from which the missionaries could work. In addition to converting the population, the missionaries worked to stop the violent conflicts between Niueans and helped establish the first parliament in 1849.

In 1889, King FATAAIKI and other chiefs asked the UK for protectorate status, a request that was repeated in 1895. The UK finally agreed in 1900 and King TOGIA-PULU-TOAKI formally ceded Niue that year. In 1901, Niue was annexed to New Zealand and included as part of the Cook Islands. Niue’s remoteness and cultural and linguistic differences with the Cook Islands led New Zealand to separate Niue into its own administration in 1904. The island became internally self-governing in 1974; it is an independent member of international organizations but is in free association with New Zealand, which is responsible for defense and foreign affairs. In September 2023, the US recognized Niue as a sovereign and independent state.

Environment - current issues

increasing attention to conservationist practices to counter loss of soil fertility from traditional slash and burn agriculture

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Population below poverty line


Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA

highest 10%: NA

Exports - commodities

tanker ships, collector's items, commemorative coins, fruits, nuts, juice, electrical resistors (2021)

Administrative divisions

none; there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 14 villages at the second order

Agricultural products

coconuts, taro, fruit, sweet potatoes, tropical fruit, yams, vegetables, lemons, limes, bananas

Military and security forces

no regular indigenous military forces; Police Force


revenues: $15.07 million (FY04/05)

expenditures: $16.33 million (FY04/05)


name: Alofi

geographic coordinates: 19 01 S, 169 55 W

time difference: UTC-11 (6 hours behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Imports - commodities

floating platforms, tugboats, refined petroleum, cargo ships, cars, plasticware (2021)


tropical; modified by southeast trade winds


64 km


history: several previous (New Zealand colonial statutes); latest 19 October 1974 (Niue Constitution Act 1974)

amendments: proposed by the Assembly; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly membership in each of three readings and approval by at least two-thirds majority votes in a referendum; passage of amendments to a number of sections, including Niue’s self-governing status, British nationality and New Zealand citizenship, external affairs and defense, economic and administrative assistance by New Zealand, and amendment procedures, requires at least two-thirds majority vote by the Assembly and at least two thirds of votes in a referendum; amended 1992, 2007; note - in early 2021, the constitution review committee of the Assembly requested suggestions from the public about changes to the constitution

Exchange rates

New Zealand dollars (NZD) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
1.416 (2017 est.)
1.4279 (2016 est.)
1.4279 (2015)
1.4279 (2014 est.)
1.2039 (2013 est.)

Executive branch

chief of state: King CHARLES III (since 8 September 2022); represented by Governor-General of New Zealand Cindy KIRO (since 21 October 2021); the UK and New Zealand are represented by New Zealand High Commissioner Mark GIBBS (since 5 March 2024)

head of government: Premier Dalton TAGELAGI (since 10 June 2020)

cabinet: Cabinet chosen by the premier

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; premier indirectly elected by the Legislative Assembly for a 3-year term; election last held on 8 May 2023 (next to be held in 2026)

election results: Dalton TAGELAGI reelected premier; Legislative Assembly vote - Dalton TAGELAGI (independent) 16, O'Love JACOBSEN (independent) 4

Fiscal year

1 April - 31 March

Flag description

yellow with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant; the flag of the UK bears five yellow five-pointed stars - a large star on a blue disk in the center and a smaller star on each arm of the bold red cross; the larger star stands for Niue, the smaller stars recall the Southern Cross constellation on the New Zealand flag and symbolize links with that country; yellow represents the bright sunshine of Niue and the warmth and friendship between Niue and New Zealand


19 October 1974 (Niue became a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand)


handicrafts, food processing

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Court of Appeal (consists of the chief justice and up to 3 judges); note - the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London) is the final appeal court beyond the Niue Court of Appeal

judge selection and term of office: Niue chief justice appointed by the governor general on the advice of the Cabinet and tendered by the premier; other judges appointed by the governor general on the advice of the Cabinet and tendered by the chief justice and the minister of justice; judges serve until age 68

subordinate courts: High Court

note: Niue is a participant in the Pacific Judicial Development Program, which is designed to build governance and the rule of law in 15 Pacific island countries

Land boundaries

total: 0 km

Land use

agricultural land: 19.1% (2018 est.)

arable land: 3.8% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 11.5% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 3.8% (2018 est.)

forest: 71.2% (2018 est.)

other: 9.7% (2018 est.)

Legal system

English common law

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

International organization participation


National holiday

Waitangi Day (Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty over New Zealand), 6 February (1840)


noun: Niuean(s)

adjective: Niuean

Natural resources

arable land, fish

Geography - note

one of world's largest coral islands; the only major break in the surrounding coral reef occurs in the central western part of the coast

Economic overview

upper-middle-income self-governing New Zealand territorial economy; environmentally fragile; massive emigration; post-pandemic tourism rebound; postage stamps, small-scale agricultural processing, and subsistence farming; most recent Asian Development Bank member

Political parties and leaders


Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Alofi


18 years of age; universal

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: in 2020, the Manatua One Polynesia Fiber Cable provided Niue with high speed Internet access for the first time replacing a 4 megabit satellite link with gigabit fiber connectivity; the government set out a strategy to upgrade to a new infrastructure that would be robust enough to operate reliably in a challenging climate: 40 40°C heat, 40% humidity, salty air, frequent power outages during storms, and no air conditioning (2022)

domestic: single-line (fixed line) telephone system connects all villages on island; fixed teledensity at nearly 52 per 100 (2021)

international: country code - 683; landing point for the Manatua submarine cable linking Niue to several South Pacific Ocean Islands; expansion of satellite services (2019)


steep limestone cliffs along coast, central plateau

Government type

parliamentary democracy

Military - note

defense is the responsibility of New Zealand

Country name

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Niue

former: Savage Island

etymology: the origin of the name is obscure; in Niuean, the word supposedly translates as "behold the coconut"

note: pronunciation falls between nyu-way and new-way, but not like new-wee


Oceania, island in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Tonga

Map references


Irrigated land

0 sq km (2022)

Diplomatic representation in the US

none (self-governing territory in free association with New Zealand)

Internet country code



urban population: 48.2% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 1.43% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Broadcast media

1 government-owned TV station with many of the programs supplied by Television New Zealand; 1 government-owned radio station broadcasting in AM and FM (2019)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 97% of population

unimproved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 3% of population (2020 est.)

National anthem

name: "Ko e Iki he Lagi" (The Lord in Heaven)

lyrics/music: unknown/unknown, prepared by Sioeli FUSIKATA

note: adopted 1974

Major urban areas - population

1,000 ALOFI (capital) (2018)

Physicians density


National symbol(s)

yellow, five-pointed star; national color: yellow

Population distribution

population distributed around the peripheral coastal areas of the island

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 95.5% of population

unimproved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 4.5% of population (2020 est.)

Ethnic groups

Niuean 65.4%, part-Niuean 14%, non-Niuean 20.6% (2017 est.)

note: data represent the resident population


Ekalesia Niue (Congregational Christian Church of Niue - a Protestant church founded by missionaries from the London Missionary Society) 61.7%, Church of Jesus Christ 8.7%, Roman Catholic 8.4%, Jehovah's Witness 2.7%, Seventh Day Adventist 1.4%, other 8.2%, none 8.9% (2017 est.)


Niuean (official) 46% (a Polynesian language closely related to Tongan and Samoan), Niuean and English 32%, English (official) 11%, Niuean and others 5%, other 6% (2011 est.)

Disputes - international

none identified


highest point: unnamed elevation 1.4 km east of Hikutavake 80 m

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

Age structure

0-14 years: NA

15-64 years: NA

65 years and over: NA

Contraceptive prevalence rate


Current health expenditure

7.8% of GDP (2020)


total population: NA

male: NA

female: NA

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 70.4

youth dependency ratio: 44.9

elderly dependency ratio: 25.4

potential support ratio: 3.9 (2021)

Total renewable water resources

0 cubic meters (2017 est.)

Imports - partners

New Zealand 41%, United Kingdom 40%, Japan 15%, Israel 3%, Fiji 1% (2021)

Exports - partners

Indonesia 57%, Thailand 7%, South Korea 5%, Czechia 4%, Poland 4% (2021)

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 6.74 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)


production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 100% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Natural gas

production: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

consumption: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

proven reserves: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)


total petroleum production: 0 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 100 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 0 barrels (2021 est.)

Net migration rate

(2021 est.)

Debt - external

$418,000 (2002 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports

54 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate

(2021 est.) NA


2,000 (July 2022 est.)

note: because of the island's limited economic and educational opportunities, Niueans have emigrated for decades - primarily to New Zealand, but also to Australia and other Pacific island states; Niue's population peaked in 1966 at 5,194, but by 2005 had fallen to 1,508; since then it has rebounded slightly; as of 2013, 23,883 people of Niuean ancestry lived in New Zealand - with more than 20% Niue-born; this means that there are about 15 times as many persons of Niuean ancestry living in New Zealand as in Niue, possibly the most eccentric population distribution in the world

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-12.6% (of GDP) (FY04/05)

Internet users

total: 1,512 (2021 est.)

percent of population: 79.6% (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

8,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 8,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)


total: 260 sq km

land: 260 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$18.7 million (2021 est.)
$19.9 million (2020 est.)
$20.9 million (2019 est.)


total: 234 km

paved: 210 km

unpaved: 24 km (2017)


1 (2024)

Infant mortality rate

total: NA

male: NA

female: NA

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$11,100 (2021 est.)
$11,800 (2020 est.)
$12,400 (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2009 dollars

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

50% (2016)

Energy consumption per capita

0 Btu/person (2019 est.)

Death rate

(2021 est.) NA

Birth rate



installed generating capacity: 3,000 kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 2.6 million kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2020 est.)

imports: 0 kWh (2020 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 400,000 kWh (2019 est.)

Merchant marine

total: 70 (2023)

by type: bulk carrier 5, container ship 2, general cargo 29, oil tanker 4, other 30

Children under the age of 5 years underweight



$43.8 million (2021 est.)


$5.68 million (2021 est.)

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 1,000 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 52 (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2017 est.)

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 8.5 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 4.28 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 1.89 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 2.33 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: NA

male: NA

female: NA

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 23.5% (2003)

industry: 26.9% (2003)

services: 49.5% (2003)

Education expenditures


Population growth rate

-0.03% (2021 est.)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Assembly or Fono Ekepule (20 seats; 14 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 6 directly elected from the National Register or "common roll" by majority vote; members serve 3-year terms)

last held on 29 April 2023 (next to be held in 2026)

election results:
percent of vote - NA; seats - independent 20; composition as of July 2022 - men 17, women 3, percentage women 15%