World Country Tuvalu

About the world country Tuvalu, its location, size, population, and who is in power.



Location: South Pacific, midway between Hawaii and Australia. Size: 9 sq. mi. (23 sq. km.). Population: 7,500.

Who Really Rules: Formerly known as the Ellice Islands, Tuvalu consists of five atolls granted independence by the United Kingdom in 1978 and four disputed atolls ceded by the U.S. in 1980. Governed by a national assembly of only eight members, it still retains close ties to Britain. Its only exports, reports the Wall Street Journal, are coconuts, postage stamps, and sea slugs, Shortly after independence, Prime Minister Toalipi Lauti turned over the national treasury of $500,000 to a California real estate investor, who promised a 15% annual yield. In 1980 the government announced that it was recalling the funds to form a joint venture bank with Barclay's, but the investment paid off. Less fortunate, however, were the private Tuvaluans who invested thousands of dollars in worthless Texas real estate, sold by the same investor.

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