Tonga Religion and Languages

By | March 5, 2021

According to franciscogardening, Tonga is a country located in Polynesia and is made up of over 170 islands. It is home to the beautiful beaches of Vavaʻu and the stunning Haʻapai archipelago. The official language of Tonga is Tongan but English is also widely spoken. Tonga has a population of over 108,000 people with around 40 ethnic groups that make up its diverse population. The capital city is Nukuʻalofa while the largest city is also Nukuʻalofa. The country has an economy based on agriculture, fishing and tourism. Tonga has a rich cultural heritage with many festivals celebrated throughout the year like Heilala Festival which celebrates culture, music and art or Emancipation Day which marks the end of serfdom in Tonga.


According to Countryaah, the population is for the most part of Polynesian descent; 2/3 live on the main island of Tongatapu. The capital Nuku’alofa (36,000 residents, 2012) is the only city of importance.


Nearly all are tonga speakers. Official languages ​​are English and Tonga, both of which are used in all social functions.

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Tonga is completely dominated by the Christian churches. Alongside Samoa, Tonga is probably the country in Oceania that has retained most of its traditional cultural features. Methodist mission came to Tonga in 1822 and established one of the most missionary churches in Polynesia. This Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga is today the largest in the country with 44% of the population. There are also a number of smaller, Protestant churches. The Roman Catholic Church makes up about 16% of the population. The Tongan National Council of Churches plays an important role in the joint work.

Tonga Population by Religion

Tonga Small island state in the South Pacific Ocean, in Polynesia, consisting of about 150 islands of different sizes.

Physical characteristics

The islands are between 173 ° and 177 ° long. O and between 17 ° and 23 ° lat. S, approximately 160 km SW of the Samoa Islands. There are two almost parallel series of islands oriented from N-NE to S-SW. The eastern group, including the major islands, is of madreporic formation; the western one, on the other hand, is volcanic in nature and can be considered the continuation of the volcanic axis of New Zealand and the Kermadecs. While the madreporic islands are flat and not very high, the volcanic ones are mountainous and exceed 1000 m asl on the island Kao. The Falcon islet belongs to the western group(or Fonuafoo), formed following submarine eruptions in 1885, then demolished by marine erosion and re-emerged in 1955. The climate is tropical humid, with average monthly temperatures between 20 ° C (August) and 26 ° C (February) and annual average of 22 ° C; rainfall (2000 mm per year) is predominantly summer (February-March).


The Tongans, of Polynesian ethnic lineage, make up almost the totality of the population (98.2%); the minorities of Fijians and Europeans are small. The rate of population growth (rate of 1.4% in 2009) is progressively decreasing, after having remained high throughout the 20th century. The strong demographic pressure on an area with scarce resources is at the origin of the considerable migratory flows towards Australia and New Zealand. Tongatapu and the Vava’u are the most densely populated islands and the population is concentrated in the villages located along the coasts and only to a modest extent resides in the few urban centers, the largest of which is the capital, (34,311 residents In 2006). Tongatapu Island.

The dominant religion is the Christian one (43% Protestants; 16% Catholics).

Economic conditions

Agriculture represents the fundamental economic activity of the country: it forms 25% of the GDP, employs 31.8% of the active population and ensures two thirds of exports. Main productions for export are coconuts, citrus fruits, bananas and vanilla. Subsistence crops are sweet potato, cassava and peanut. Fish stocks are profitable, especially for the income from the transfer of fishing rights in territorial waters. The industry is still marginal: alongside traditional businesses (food, coconut fiber processing), small mechanical and furniture factories have sprung up in recent years. The prospects for economic growth they are entrusted primarily to tourism, of which a strong expansion is expected; an increasing share of the country’s resources is devoted to the construction of hotels and transport infrastructures. Fundamental items for Tonga’s economy are still international aid and emigrant remittances.

Internal communications are difficult, penalized by territorial dispersion. There are no railways and the road network (680 km) is limited to the island of Tongatapu.