About Niue [ Country ]

Here we've distilled information and facts from various sources about the location, size, population, geography, transport, climate, economy, history, government, law, and so on, of Niue; into a view that makes sense for a traveller to, or within, this country.


Oceania, island in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Tonga


Tropical; modified by southeast trade winds


Steep limestone cliffs along coast, central plateau


lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed elevation near Mutalau settlement 68 m

Geo Notes

One of world's largest coral islands

Approved Official Names

conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Niue
note: pronunciation falls between nyu-way and new-way, but not like new-wee
former: Savage Island

Capital City

name: Alofi
geographic coordinates: 19 01 S, 169 55 W
time difference: UTC-11 (6 hours behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative Divisions

None; note - there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 14 villages at the second order

Natuaral Hazards


Environmental Issues

Increasing attention to conservationist practices to counter loss of soil fertility from traditional slash and burn agriculture

Life Expectancy

total population: NA
male: NA
female: NA

Sex Ratio


Languages Spoken

English (official), Niuean a Polynesian language closely related to Tongan and Samoan; English

Religions Practiced

Ekalesia Niue (Niuean Church - a Protestant church closely related to the London Missionary Society) 61.1%, Latter-Day Saints 8.8%, Roman Catholic 7.2%, Jehovah's Witnesses 2.4%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.4%, other 8.4%, unspecified 8.7%, none 1.9% (2001 census)

Legal System

English common law; note - Niue is self-governing with the power to make its laws

National Holiday

Waitangi Day (Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty over New Zealand), 6 February (1840)

Telephone System

domestic: single-line telephone system connects all villages on island
international: country code - 683 (2001)

Broadcast Media

1 government-owned television station with many of the programs supplied by Television New Zealand; 1 government-owned radio station broadcasting in AM and FM (2009)


Niue's remoteness, as well as cultural and linguistic differences between its Polynesian inhabitants and those of the rest of the Cook Islands, have caused it to be separately administered. The population of the island continues to drop (from a peak of 5,200 in 1966 to an estimated 1,398 in 2009) with substantial emigration to New Zealand 2,400 km to the southwest.

Economy Overview

The economy suffers from the typical Pacific island problems of geographic isolation, few resources, and a small population. Government expenditures regularly exceed revenues, and the shortfall is made up by critically needed grants from New Zealand that are used to pay wages to public employees. Niue has cut government expenditures by reducing the public service by almost half. The agricultural sector consists mainly of subsistence gardening, although some cash crops are grown for export. Industry consists primarily of small factories to process passion fruit, lime oil, honey, and coconut cream. The sale of postage stamps to foreign collectors is an important source of revenue. The island in recent years has suffered a serious loss of population because of emigration to New Zealand. Efforts to increase GDP include the promotion of tourism and financial services, although the International Banking Repeal Act of 2002 resulted in the termination of all offshore banking licenses. Economic aid from New Zealand in FY08/09 was US$5.7 million. Niue suffered a devastating typhoon in January 2004, which decimated nascent economic programs. While in the process of rebuilding, Niue has been dependent on foreign aid.

National Anthem

name: "Ko e Iki he Lagi" (The Lord in Heaven)
lyrics/music: unknown/unknown, prepared by Sioeli FUSIKATA
note: adopted 1974

Niue location map

total: 260 sq km
land: 260 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Niue flag

1,354 (July 2010 est.)


noun: Niuean(s)
adjective: Niuean

Ethnic Groups

Niuen 78.2%, Pacific islander 10.2%, European 4.5%, mixed 3.9%, Asian 0.2%, unspecified 3% (2001 census)



Dependency Of

Self-governing in free association with New Zealand since 1974; Niue fully responsible for internal affairs; New Zealand retains responsibility for external affairs and defense; however, these responsibilities confer no rights of control and are only exercised at the request of the Government of Niue

Independence Date

19 October 1974 (Niue became a self-governing parliamentary government in free association with New Zealand)

Government Type

Self-governing parliamentary democracy

Voting Rights

18 years of age; universal

Internet Users

1,000 (2008)

Internet Hosts

397,270 (2010)

Internet Country Code


Number Airports

1 (2010)

Number Paved Airports

total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2010)


total: 120 km
paved: 120 km (2008)

Ports & Terminals


National Budget

revenues: $15.07 million
expenditures: $16.33 million

Exchange Rates

New Zealand dollars (NZD) per US dollar - 1.6204 (2009), 1.4151 (2008), 1.3811 (2007), 1.5408 (2006), 1.4203 (2005)

Inflation Rate

4% (2005)

Main Industries

Handicrafts, food processing

Agricultural Products

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

Labor Force

663 (2001)

Main Occupations

note: most work on family plantations; paid work exists only in government service, small industry, and the Niue Development Board

Unemployment Rate

12% (2001)

GDP (USD Parity)

$10.01 million (2003 est.)

GDP Per Capita

$5,800 (2003 est.)

Family Income Percent

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

Below Poverty