The Futuna island group was discovered by the Dutch in 1616 and Wallis by the British in 1767, but it was the French who declared a protectorate over the islands in 1842, and took official control of them between 1886 and 1888. Notably, Wallis and Futuna was the only French colony to side with the Vichy regime during World War II, a phase that ended in May of 1942 with the arrival of 2,000 American troops. In 1959, the inhabitants of the islands voted to become a French overseas territory and officially assumed this status in July 1961.



Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand

Geographic coordinates

13 18 S, 176 12 W

Map references



total: 142 sq km
land: 142 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Ile Uvea (Wallis Island), Ile Futuna (Futuna Island), Ile Alofi, and 20 islets

Area - comparative

1.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries

0 km


129 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


tropical; hot, rainy season (November to April); cool, dry season (May to October); rains 250-300 cm per year (80% humidity); average temperature 26.6 degrees Celsius


volcanic origin; low hills


mean elevation: NA
elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Singavi (on Futuna) 765 m

Natural resources


Land use

agricultural land: 42.8%
arable land 7.1%; permanent crops 35.7%; permanent pasture 0%
forest: 41.9%
other: 15.3% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

0 sq km (2012)

Natural hazards


Environment - current issues

deforestation (only small portions of the original forests remain) largely as a result of the continued use of wood as the main fuel source; as a consequence of cutting down the forests, the mountainous terrain of Futuna is particularly prone to erosion; there are no permanent settlements on Alofi because of the lack of natural freshwater resources

Geography - note

both island groups have fringing reefs

People and Society

Ethnic groups



15,664 (July 2016 est.)


noun: Wallisian(s), Futunan(s), or Wallis and Futuna Islanders
adjective: Wallisian, Futunan, or Wallis and Futuna Islander


Wallisian (indigenous Polynesian language) 58.9%, Futunian 30.1%, French (official) 10.8%, other 0.2% (2003 census)


Roman Catholic 99%, other 1%

Age structure

0-14 years: 22.25% (male 1,819/female 1,667)
15-24 years: 16.9% (male 1,395/female 1,252)
25-54 years: 41.52% (male 3,266/female 3,237)
55-64 years: 9.7% (male 746/female 773)
65 years and over: 9.63% (male 721/female 788) (2016 est.)

Birth rate

13.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Median age

total: 31.6 years
male: 30.6 years
female: 32.8 years (2016 est.)

Population growth rate

0.33% (2016 est.)

Death rate

5.2 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Net migration rate

-4.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population
note: there has been steady emigration from Wallis and Futuna to New Caledonia (2016 est.)


urban population: 0% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 0% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Major urban areas - population

MATA-UTU (capital) 1,000 (2014)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.11 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 4.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 79.7 years
male: 76.7 years
female: 82.8 years (2016 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.74 children born/woman (2016 est.)

Sanitation facility access

rural: 96% of population
total: 96% of population
rural: 4% of population
total: 4% of population (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS


HIV/AIDS - deaths



Country name

conventional long form: Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands
conventional short form: Wallis and Futuna
local long form: Territoire des Iles Wallis et Futuna
local short form: Wallis et Futuna
etymology: Wallis Island is named after British Captain Samuel WALLIS who discovered it in 1767; Futuna is derived from the native word "futu," which is the name of the fish-poison tree found on the island

Dependency status

overseas territory of France

Government type

parliamentary democracy (Territorial Assembly); overseas collectivity of France


name: Mata-Utu (on Ile Uvea)
geographic coordinates: 13 57 S, 171 56 W
time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

3 administrative precincts (circonscriptions, singular - circonscription) Alo, Sigave, Uvea


none (overseas territory of France)

National holiday

Bastille Day, 14 July (1789)


4 October 1958 (French Constitution)

Legal system

French civil law


see France


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Francois HOLLANDE (since 15 May 2012); represented by High Administrator Marcel RENOUF (since 26 January 2015)
head of government: President of the Territorial Assembly Mikaele KULIMOETOKE (since 26 November 2014)
cabinet: Council of the Territory appointed by the high administrator on the advice of the Territorial Assembly
elections/appointments: French president elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); high administrator appointed by the French president on the advice of the French Ministry of the Interior; the presidents of the Territorial Government and the Territorial Assembly elected by assembly members
note: there are 3 traditional kings with limited powers

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Territorial Assembly or Assemblee Territoriale (20 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation to serve 5-year terms)
note: Wallis and Futuna elects 1 senator to the French Senate and 1 deputy to the French National Assembly; French Senate - elections last held on 28 September 2014 (next to be held by September 2017); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats - UMP 1; French National Assembly - by-election last held on 24 March 2013 (next to be held by 2017); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats - independent (backed by UMP) 1
elections: last held on 22 March 2012 (next to be held in March 2017)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PS 4, UMP 4, centrist, 3, other 9

Judicial branch

highest resident court(s): Court of Assizes or Cour d'Assizes (consists of 1 judge; court hears primarily serious criminal cases); note - appeals beyond the Court of Assizes are heard before the Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel, located in Noumea, New Caledonia
judge selection and term of office: NA
subordinate courts: courts of first instance; labor court; note - justice generally administered under French law by the high administrator, but the 3 traditional kings administer customary law, and there is a magistrate in Mata-Utu

Political parties and leaders

Lua Kae Tahi (Giscardians)
Mouvement des Radicaux de Gauche or MRG
Rally for the Republic or RPR (UMP) [Clovis LOGOLOGOFOLAU]
Socialist Party or PS
Taumu'a Lelei [Soane Muni UHILA]
Union Populaire Locale or UPL [Falakiko GATA]
Union Pour la Democratie Francaise or UDF

Political pressure groups and leaders


International organization participation

PIF (observer), SPC, UPU

Diplomatic representation in the US

none (overseas territory of France)

Diplomatic representation from the US

none (overseas territory of France)

Flag description

unofficial, local flag has a red field with four white isosceles triangles in the middle, representing the three native kings of the islands and the French administrator; the apexes of the triangles are oriented inward and at right angles to each other; the flag of France, outlined in white on two sides, is in the upper hoist quadrant
note: the design is derived from an original red banner with a white cross pattee that was introduced in the 19th century by French missionaries; the flag of France is used for official occasions

National symbol(s)

red saltire (Saint Andrew's Cross) on a white square on a red field; national colors: red, white

National anthem

note: as a territory of France, "La Marseillaise" is official (see France)


Economy - overview

The economy is limited to traditional subsistence agriculture, with 80% of labor force earnings coming from agriculture (coconuts and vegetables), livestock (mostly pigs), and fishing. However, roughly 70% of the labor force is employed in the public sect

Revenues come from French Government subsidies, licensing of fishing rights to Japan and South Korea, import taxes, and remittances from expatriate workers in New Caledonia. France directly finances the public sector and healthcare and education services.

A key concern for Wallis and Futuna is an aging population with consequent economic development issues. Very few people aged 18-30 live on the islands due to the limited formal employment opportunities. Improving job creation is a current priority for the

Population below poverty line


GDP (purchasing power parity)

$60 million (2004 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate)


GDP - real growth rate


GDP - per capita (PPP)

$3,800 (2004 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%

Agriculture - products

coconuts, breadfruit, yams, taro, bananas; pigs, goats; fish


copra, handicrafts, fishing, lumber

Industrial production growth rate


Labor force

3,104 (2003)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 80%
industry: 4%
services: 16% (2001 est.)

Unemployment rate

12.2% (2008 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%


revenues: $29,730
expenditures: $31,330 (2004)

Taxes and other revenues


Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)


Public debt

5.6% of GDP (2004 est.)
note: offical data; data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

2.8% (2005)


$47,450 (2004 est.)

Exports - commodities

copra, chemicals, construction materials


$61.17 million (2004)

Imports - commodities

chemicals, machinery, consumer goods

Debt - external

$3.67 million (2004)

Exchange rates

Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (XPF) per US dollar -
89.85 (2013 est.)
90.56 (2012 est.)
85.74 (2011 est.)



Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 3,132
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 20 (July 2014 est.)

Telephone system

international: country code - 681

Broadcast media

the publicly owned French Overseas Network (RFO), which broadcasts to France's overseas departments and territories, is carried on the RFO Wallis and Fortuna TV and radio stations (2008)

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 3,450
percent of population: 22.1% (July 2015 est.)



2 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Leava, Mata-Utu


Military - note

defense is the responsibility of France

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international