This small group of three atolls in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand, was originally settled by Polynesian emigrants from surrounding island groups. 

In 1889 the Tokelau Islands were made a British protectorate, and then transferred to New Zealand administration in 1925. A large number of Tokelauan people live in New Zealand in an effort to support their families. 

Tokelau's small size (three villages), isolation, and lack of resources greatly restrain economic development and confine agriculture to the subsistence level. The people continually rely heavily on aid from New Zealand. 

Quick Facts and Figures

  • Official Name: Tokelau (a New Zealand dependent territory, claimed 1926)
  • Capital City: none 
  • Languages: Tokelauan, English 
  • Official Currency: New Zealand Dollar 
  • Religions: Congregational, Catholic, others 
  • Population: 1,392 (July 2006 est.) 
  • Land Area: 10 sq km (3.8 sq miles) 
  • Latitude/Longitude: 9º 00' S, 172º 00' W 


  • Oceania Map here! 
  • Tokelau Map CIA version here!

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on April 18, 2016.