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Nationality: Noun and adjective--Tongan(s).
Population (2002 est.): 106,137.
Annual growth rate (2002 est.): 1.85%.
Ethnic groups: Tongan 98%, other Polynesian, European.
Religions: Wesleyan Methodist, Anglican, Roman Catholic, Seventh-day Adventist, Mormon.
Languages: Tongan, English.
Education: Literacy (2001 est.)--98.5%.
Health: Infant mortality rate (2002 est.)--13.72/1,000. Life expectancy at birth--68.56 yrs.: female--71.11 years; male--66.13 years.
Work force (1997 est.) 33,908: Agriculture--65%.
Unemployment (1996 est.): 13.3%.
People of Tonga
Almost two-thirds of the population of the Kingdom of Tonga live on its main island, Tongatapu. Although an increasing number of Tongans have moved into the only urban and commercial center, Nuku'alofa, where European and indigenous cultural and living patterns have blended, village life and kinship ties continue to be important throughout the country. Everyday life is heavily influenced by Polynesian traditions and especially by the Christian faith; for example, all commerce and entertainment activities cease from midnight Saturday until midnight Sunday, and the constitution declares the Sabbath to be sacred, forever.
Tongans, a Polynesian group with a very small mixture of Melanesian, represent more than 98% of the inhabitants. The rest are European, mixed European, and other Pacific Islanders. There also are several hundred Chinese.
Primary education between ages 6 and 14 is compulsory and free in state schools. Mission schools provide about 83% of the primary and 90% of the secondary level education. Higher education includes teacher training, nursing and medical training, a small private university, a women's business college, and a number of private agricultural schools. Most higher education is pursued overseas.