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You are in:  Nations > Oceania > Niue
Niue*Niue flag
Basic facts
The country 
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Capital: Alofi
Area: 260 sq km
Population: 2,000 (estimated)


Exports: Canned coconut cream, copra, honey, passion fruit products, pawpaws, root crops, limes, footballs, stamps, handicrafts


Agriculture: Coconuts, passion fruit, honey, limes, taro, yams, cassava (tapioca), sweet potatoes; pigs, poultry, beef cattle

Currency: New Zealand dollar (NZ$) consisting of 100 cents

Natural resources: 


The people

Ethnic: Polynesian (with approximately 200 Europeans, Samoans and Tongans)

Language: Niuean and English. The Niuean language can be traced to Samoan and Tongan roots. Once there were distinct dialects in the north and south, but the differences have largely disappeared. Most adults speak both fluently. Niuean is spoken in the home and at most social events. It is the language of school instruction for five to eight-year-olds and is then mixed with English in decreasing amounts until secondary school when all courses, except Niuean culture, are taught in English. Business and Government affairs are mainly conducted in English.

Religion: Only a few vestiges of pre-Christian beliefs remain, such as those in Hakupu who still respect tapu (taboo). Almost all Niueans belong to one of five denominations. Ekalesia Niue (the Christian Church of Niue), the local offshoot of the London Missionary Society that is most closely related to Congregationalism, counts 75 per cent of the population as members and has considerable political influence. About 10 per cent of the people belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon) and smaller numbers belong to the Seventh-Day Adventist, Roman Catholic and Jehovah's Witness churches. Members of the main denominations mix freely in daily life, but they tend to socialise or work more closely with people of their own faith. Religion influences life greatly in Niue. Most social activities are organised by and around churches and the Sabbath remains important; boating, fishing, swimming, dancing, sports, business and broadcasting are either frowned upon or prohibited on Sunday.


The history

Independence: Since 19 October 1974, Niue has been a self-governing territory in association with New Zealand, which is responsible for Niue's external affairs and defence.

Government: Like New Zealand, Niue recognises the British monarch as head of state. The legislative body, called the Assembly, has 20 members (one from each village and six elected from the general population). The premier is head of Government and is elected from and by the Assembly after each general election.

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