Jurisdiction Project

Wallis and Futuna

Wallis and Futuna, officially the Territory of Wallis and Futuna Islands (French: Wallis-et-Futuna or Territoire des îles Wallis-et-Futuna, Fakauvea and Fakafutuna: Uvea mo Futuna), is a Polynesian French island territory (but not part of, or even contiguous with, French Polynesia)

It is made up of three main volcanic tropical islands and a number of tiny islets. The territory is split into two island groups lying about 260 km apart

The island is located in the South Pacific between Fiji and Samoa.

Latitude and Longitude:
13°18′S, 176°12′W

Time Zone:
GMT +12

Total Land Area:


The islands have a hot, rainy season from November to April and a cool, dry season from May to October. The rains accumulate 2,500 to 3,000 millimeters (98–118 in) each year. The average humidity is 80% and the temperature 26.6 °C (79.9°F).

Natural Resources:
Both Wallis and Futuna have a subsistence-based economy. The land produces taro, yams, sweet potatoes, cassava, and breadfruit. There are no sales of local foods, except to foreigners. The nuns teach cooking and how to use new foods.


Total GDP:
2004 60,000,000.00 USD

Per Capita GDP:
2004 3,800.00 USD

% of GDP per Sector:
  Primary Secondary Tertiary
2005 16% 4% 80%

% of Population Employed by Sector
  Primary Secondary Tertiary
2007 4% 16% 80%

External Aid/Remittances:
Remittances are paid from expatriate workers in New Caledonia. Some assistance from France is also received by the territory.

On Wallis working for the government and teaching are the main sources of employment. Overseas remittances from family members in New Caledonia contribute to the basic economy. Young men serving in the French military also send or bring goods home. Futunan families farm the hillsides inland and also maintain a small garden in which they grow the kava plant and bananas for daily use.

Labour Force:
2005 13,158

Year: Unemployment Rate (% of pop.)
2003 15.2%

Industries include copra, handicrafts, fishing, and lumber. Agricultural products include breadfruit, yams, taro, bananas, pigs, and goats. In 1995, about $370,000 worth of commodities (copra, breadfruit, yams, taro roots, handicrafts) were exported, and about $13.5 million worth of commodities (foodstuffs, manufactured goods, transportation equipment, fuel, clothing) were imported, primarily from France, Australia, and New Zealand. The economy is limited to traditional subsistence agriculture, with about 80% labor force earnings from agriculture (coconuts and vegetables), livestock (mostly pigs), and fishing. About 4% of the population is employed in government. Revenues come from French Government subsidies, licensing of fishing rights to Japan and South Korea, import taxes.

Niche Industry:
Bananas are significant for the nutrition of Pacific Islanders as green cooking bananas, semi ripe cooking bananas, ripe cooking bananas, desert bananas and mixed with other foods. Bananas are grown for household consumption and on small commercial farms for the local markets. There is also deep cultural significance associated with bananas for traditional rituals in many countries. Bananas are used for medicine, fiber, leaves for cooking, and livestock feed.

Tourism is considered essential to the economy but is dependent on irregular air links. There are two small hotels and three or four restaurants on Wallis. There are no hotels on Futuna.


Imports and Exports:

In 1995, about $370,000 worth of commodities (copra, breadfruit, yams, taro roots, handicrafts) were exported, and about $13.5 million worth of commodities (foodstuffs, manufactured goods, transportation equipment, fuel, clothing) were imported, primarily from France, Australia, and New Zealand.

Tot. Value of Imports 13,500,000.00 USD (1999)
From Eu:
Import Partners (EU:) France
Partners Outside EU: Australia and New Zealand
Import Partners: France, Australia, and New Zealand
Tot. Value of Exports 370000 USD (1999)
To Eu: Italy 40%,
Export Partners: Italy 40%, Croatia 15%, US 14%, Denmark 13%
Partners Outside EU:: Croatia 15%, US 14%, Denmark 13%
Export Partners:
Main Imports: foodstuffs, manufactured goods, transportation equipment, fuel, clothing
Main Exports: copra, breadfruit, yams, taro roots, handicrafts copra, chemicals, construction materials



Number of Airports: 2
There are two airports, one on Wallis with a paved runway of 2,100 meters (6,890 ft), and one on Futuna with a 1,000-meter (3,300 ft) unpaved strip. New Caledonia-based Aircalin operates the only commercial flights that go to Wallis, where it has an office in Mata-Utu.

Number of Main Ports: 2
The territory has two main ports and harbors, Mata-Utu and Leava (on the island of Futuna), that support its merchant marine fleet consisting of three ships (two passenger ships and a petroleum tanker), totaling 92,060 GRT or 45,881 DWT. There are no commercial boat operators.



The island of Wallis has about 100 kilometers (62 mi) of highway, 16 paved, while the island of Futuna has only 20 kilometers (12.5 mi), none of it paved.


Other Forms of Transportation:

Economic Zones:

Energy Policy:

Year Total Energy Production (Mwh) Thermic (Mwh) Geothermic (Mwh) Other (Mwh) Total Energy Consumption (Mwh) Domestic (Mwh) Commercial (Mwh) Public Service (Mwh) Industry (Mwh) Public Lighting (Mwh)


Official Currency:
CFP Franc

Banking and Insurance:
Number of Banks and Credit Unions: 1
Number of Agricultural Credit Unions:
Number of Insurance Companies:

 In 1991, BNP Nouvelle-Calédonie, a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, established a subsidiary, Banque de Wallis-et-Futuna, in the territory. Two years earlier Banque Indosuez had closed its branch at Mata-Utu, leaving the territory without any bank. Following this, the Bank of Wallis-and-Futuna (BWF) with its head office in Wallis was created in 1991. The National Bank of Paris in New Caledonia holds 51% of its capital and is responsible for its management. The BWF employs eight people full-time.

Financial Services:


Public Ownership:

Land Use:
Two types of land are distinguished; bush land and house land. Families "possess" some lands that link them to a pule and ultimately to the traditional chief. There is also land for use by members of the village. Family land rights are passed to both sons and daughters, but males bear the major responsibility for keeping the land productive. All family members are expected to work on the family land. Arable land makes up 7.14%. Permanent crops use up 35.71% with the remaining land reserved for other uses. (57.15%)

Only five percent of the islands' land area is arable land; permanent crops cover another 20%. Deforestation (only small portions of the original forests remain), largely as a result of the continued use of wood as the main fuel source, is a serious problem; as a consequence of cutting down the forests, the mountainous terrain of Futuna is particularly prone to erosion.

Marine Activity:

Agreement Between the Government of United States of America and the Government of the French Republic On Matters Relating to Fishing in the Economic Zones of the French Overseas Territories New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna Islands. The agreement authorizes U.S. flag vessels to fish in the economic zones of New caledonia and the Wallis and Futuna Islands.

Marine Life:
The surrounding seas are inhabited by a variety of marine life including rays and dolphins.

Critical Issues:
The vast majority of those in the India fishing industry are small-scale and artisanal fishermen - living simply, fishing modest quantities and trading on a small-scale. However, the growing mechanised and trawl sector is fast making life unliveable for these communities, as more and more trawlers destroy ocean habitats in search of fewer fish.


The capital is Matāʻutuon on the island of Wallis which is the most populated island.

Political System:
As a territory of France, it is governed under the French constitution of September 28, 1958, uses the French legal system, and suffrage is universal for those over 18 years of age. The French president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; the high administrator is 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 are elected by the members of the assembly. The head of state is the President of France as represented by a High Administrator. There is also a President of the Territorial Assembly. The Council of the Territory consists of three kings (kings of the three traditional chiefdoms, who are "de jure" members) and three members appointed by the high administrator on the advice of the Territorial Assembly. The legislative branch consists of the unicameral Territorial Assembly or Assemblée territoriale of 20 seats; the members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms. Wallis and Futuna elects one senator to the French Senate and one deputy to the French National Assembly.

Political Parties:
Lua Kae Tahi (Giscardians); Mouvement des Radicaux de Gauche or MRG; Rally for the Republic or RPR; Taumu'a Lelei; Union Populaire Locale or UPL; Union Pour la Democratie Francaise or UDF

Important Legislation:

Principal Taxes:

Associated Power:




The territory's economy is limited to traditional subsistence agriculture, with about 80% of the labor force earning its livelihood from agriculture (coconuts and vegetables), livestock (mostly pigs), and fishing. About 4% of the population is employed in government. 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, French Polynesia and France.

Island Area (km sq.) Population % of Total Population
Wallis and Futuna 264 15,480 84%

Men and women on Wallis work together on family land. Men cultivate steep lands on Futuna, while the women remain in the village, making tapa and other handicrafts, and caring for children. Most government jobs are held by men, but women predominate in the education sector. Women produce most of the handicrafts sold in New Caledonia. Men are more prominent than women in political affairs.

Year Resident Population

Age of Population: 0-14 15-24 25-49 50-64 65 and up


There has been steady emigration from Wallis and Futuna to New Caledonia. (-7.61 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998)

Crude Birth Rate:
1998 2.3%

Life Expedctancy:
total population: 73.82 years male: 73.24 years female: 74.4 years (1998 est.)

Crude Death Rate:
1998 0.478%

French, Wallisian and Futunian, and Polynesian

Class Division:
Traditional hierarchies exist alongside stratification by income. Classes are perhaps more pronounced on Futuna. In Wallis, the traditional hierarchy persists, with the Lavelua at the apex and the general populace referred to as commoners. A distinction exists between families with and without cash income. Remittances from family members overseas also distinguish families. The Catholic Church is the largest landowner. Families that have produced a priest or nun have a high status.

French, ʻUvean, and Futunan

The majority of the people are Roman Catholic.

 Half the total population (both men and women) age 15 and over can read and write.

Education System:
Education for children up to 14 years is mandatory. However, the rate of schooling at the end of the secondary level drops to 40%. In 1995, some 2142 pupils were provided education at the secondary level.

Total Pre-schools:()
Total Primary Schools  
First Level:
Second Level:
Third Level:
Total Secondary Schools:
Total Professional Schools
Universities: 1


Number of Schools per Island:
Wallis and Futuna


Students Enrolled:


Public Education is in French. However, in order to take account local culture, the secondary education includes a one hour course per week in Wallisian language or language futunien.

Medical Services:
Medical care is limited. There are public hospitals in Mata Utu on Wallis and in Sigave on Futuna. Most doctors and hospitals will expect payment in cash, regardless of whether you have travel health insurance. Serious medical problems will require air evacuation to a country with state-of-the-art medical facilities.


 Although the Dutch and the British were the European discoverers of the islands in the 17th and 18th centuries, it was the French who were the first Europeans to settle in the territory, with the arrival of French missionaries in 1837, who converted the population to Catholicism. Wallis is named after the Cornish explorer Samuel Wallis. On April 5, 1842, they asked for the protection of France after the rebellion of a part of the local population. On April 5, 1887, the queen of Uvea (on the island of Wallis) signed a treaty officially establishing a French protectorate. The kings of Sigave and Alo on the islands of Futuna and Alofi also signed a treaty establishing a French protectorate on February 16, 1888. The islands were put under the authority of the French colony of New Caledonia. In 1917, the three traditional chiefdoms were annexed to France and turned into the Colony of Wallis and Futuna, still under the authority of the Colony of New Caledonia. In 1959, the inhabitants of the islands voted to become a French overseas territory, effective in 1961, thus ending their subordination to New Caledonia. In 2005 the 50th king, Tomasi Kulimoetoke II, faced being deposed after giving sanctuary to his grandson who was convicted of manslaughter. The king claimed his grandson should be judged by tribal law rather than by the French penal system. There were riots in the streets involving the king's supporters, which were victorious over attempts to replace the king. Two years later, Tomasi Kulimoetoke died on 7 May 2007. Currently, the state is in a six-month period of mourning. During this period, mentioning a successor is forbidden


Recent Significant Events:
During 1991 and 1992, the French Territory of Wallis and Futuna celebrated two significant events in its history. April 1991 marked the one hundred fiftieth anniversary of the death of the Blessed Pierre Chanel, whose martyrdom paved the way for the conversion of the people of Wallis and Futuna to Catholicism; July 1991 saw the celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the - granting to the islands of the status of French Overseas Territory (Territoire d'Outre-Mer, TOM). However, for Wallis and Futuna, the most notable events of this period were the March 1992 Territorial Assembly elections. The seven thousand voters had to choose among thirty-two electoral tickets, and the results put an end to twenty-eight years of rule by the various right-wing parties in the Territorial Assembly.

Music, Dance, Handicraft and Patrimony:
The culture of those islands is typically Polynesian. Most notably, the Music of Wallis and Futuna has a rich tradition. The Kailao, often thought of as a Tongan war dance was imported to Tonga from 'Uvea.














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