Tuvalu Economy - 2022


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Economic overview

Tuvalu consists of a densely populated, scattered group of nine coral atolls with poor soil. Only eight of the atolls are inhabited. It is one of the smallest countries in the world, with its highest point at 4.6 meters above sea level. The country is isolated, almost entirely dependent on imports, particularly of food and fuel, and vulnerable to climate change and rising sea levels, which pose significant challenges to development.


The public sector dominates economic activity. Tuvalu has few natural resources, except for its fisheries. Earnings from fish exports and fishing licenses for Tuvalu’s territorial waters are a significant source of government revenue. In 2013, revenue from fishing licenses doubled and totaled more than 45% of GDP.


Official aid from foreign development partners has also increased. Tuvalu has substantial assets abroad. The Tuvalu Trust Fund, an international trust fund established in 1987 by development partners, has grown to $104 million (A$141 million) in 2014 and is an important cushion for meeting shortfalls in the government's budget. While remittances are another substantial source of income, the value of remittances has declined since the 2008-09 global financial crisis, but has stabilized at nearly $4 million per year. The financial impact of climate change and the cost of climate related adaptation projects is one of many concerns for the nation.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$50 million (2020 est.)

$50 million (2019 est.)

$50 million (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Real GDP growth rate

3.2% (2017 est.)

3% (2016 est.)

9.1% (2015 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$4,400 (2020 est.)

$4,300 (2019 est.)

$3,900 (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$40 million (2017 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

4.1% (2017 est.)

3.5% (2016 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 24.5% (2012 est.)

industry: 5.6% (2012 est.)

services: 70% (2012 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

government consumption: 87% (2016 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 24.3% (2016 est.)

exports of goods and services: 43.7% (2016 est.)

imports of goods and services: -66.1% (2016 est.)

Agricultural products

coconuts, vegetables, tropical fruit, bananas, roots/tubers nes, pork, poultry, eggs, pig fat, pig offals



Industrial production growth rate

-26.1% (2012 est.)

Labor force

3,615 (2004 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

note: most people make a living through exploitation of the sea, reefs, and atolls - and through overseas remittances (mostly from workers in the phosphate industry and sailors)

Unemployment rate


Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 20.6%

male: 9.8%

female: 45.9% (2016)

Population below poverty line

26.3% (2010 est.)

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

39.1 (2010 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA

highest 10%: NA


revenues: 42.68 million (2013 est.)

expenditures: 32.46 million (2012 est.)

note: revenue data include Official Development Assistance from Australia

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

25.6% (of GDP) (2013 est.)

Public debt

37% of GDP (2017 est.)

47.2% of GDP (2016 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

106.7% (of GDP) (2013 est.)

note: revenue data include Official Development Assistance from Australia

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

$2 million (2017 est.)

$8 million (2016 est.)


$10 million (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$10 million (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

Exports - partners

Thailand 50%, Indonesia 40% (2019)

Exports - commodities

fish, ships, coins, metal-clad products, electrical power accessories (2019)


$70 million (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$60 million (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

Imports - partners

China 32%, Japan 29%, Fiji 23%, New Zealand 6% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, fishing ships, tug boats, other ships, iron structures (2019)

Debt - external


Exchange rates

Tuvaluan dollars or Australian dollars (AUD) per US dollar -

1.311 (2017 est.)

1.3442 (2016 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Tuvalu on this page is re-published from the 2022 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Tuvalu 2022 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Tuvalu 2022 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 01 Dec 23, Copyright © 23 ITA all rights reserved.