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World > Oceania > Tonga > People (Notes)

Tonga - People (Notes)


PEOPLE
Tongans, a Polynesian group with a very small mixture of Melanesian, represent more than 98% of the inhabitants. The rest are European, mixed European, and other Pacific Islanders. There also are about 500 Chinese.

More than two-thirds of the population of the Kingdom of Tonga live on its main island, Tongatapu. An increasing number of Tongans have moved into Nuku'alofa, Tonga's capital and only urban and commercial center, where increasingly Western and indigenous Polynesian cultural and living patterns have blended. For instance, the extended family lifestyle is declining, with young couples choosing to live on their own. Nonetheless, village life and kinship ties continue to be important throughout the country. The Christian faith that has dominated Tongan life for almost two centuries is still influential. All commerce and entertainment activities cease on Sunday from midnight, and the constitution declares the Sabbath to be sacred, forever. However, within the past five years, an unsuccessful attempt was made in parliament to amend the Sunday law.

Primary education between ages 6 and 14 is compulsory and free in state schools. The state owns and operates 99% of the primary schools and 44% of secondary schools. 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.


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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