Your guide to being an expatriate in Tonga

Caffeinate Your Tonga Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

Tonga, officially known as the Kingdom of Tonga, is a beautiful sovereign state and constitutional monarchy located in the Polynesian region of the Pacific Ocean. The archipelago is made up of 176 islands, of which 36 are inhabited, scattered over 700,000 square kilometers of sparkling aquamarine waters. Tonga's proximity to major international commercial centers makes it an optimal transit hub for travelers moving between Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and the United States.


Expat destinations in Tonga

Demographics of Tonga:

Ethnic groups

Tongans make up 97% of the total population, while the remaining percentage is made up of Europeans, Asians, and Pacific Islanders.


Tongan and English are recognized as official languages, spoken by 90% and 5% of the population, respectively.

Religion Overview

An overwhelming 97% of Tonga's population is Christian, making it one of the most religious nations globally. Tongan Christians follow the Methodist Church, Congregational Church, Free Wesleyan Church, Roman Catholicism, Bokaviani Church, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Assembly of God, and Latter-day Saint Church.

Major Religions


Tonga has a tropical climate with a rainy season from December to April and a drier season from May to November. The country is moderately prone to natural disasters, such as tropical cyclones, flash floods, and tsunamis.

Economy Overview

Tonga's economy is primarily driven by subsistence agriculture and fisheries, with export earnings coming from primary industries such as squid, tuna, and duty-free imports of consumer products.

Key Industries

  • Fishing
  • Agriculture
  • Tourism

Major Companies

  • Asia Pacific Fishery Limited
  • Tonga Fisheries Department
  • Tonga Development Bank

Culture and Language Overview

Tonga's rich cultural heritage is evident in traditional chants, dances, and artisancrafts. The country celebrates numerous festivals, such as the Heiva I Tahiti, Tupa'i, and Maketi Foua Tonga.

Cultural Highlights

  • Heiva I Tahiti: Held annually in Nuku'alofa, this festival centers on traditional music, dance, sports, and art competitions.
  • Tupa'i: A national holiday held in December to celebrate the coronation of the King Tupou VI.
  • Maketi Foua Tonga: A cultural market held in Nuku'alofa to showcase Tongan arts and crafts in October.
  • Tupunga Cowboys: A unique sport that combines horse riding and Polynesian dance, typically held in July.

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Made up of scattered volcanic islands, Tonga prominently features mountain ranges, coral reefs, caves, and waterfalls, punctuated by mystic blowholes and ancient temples.

Notable Landmarks

  • Anahulu Stalactite Cave: Located in Vava'u, this cave system features spectacular stalactite and stalagmite formations.
  • Mapu 'a Vaea Blowhole: Also known as the Sphinx, this ancient rock formation in 'Eua exhibits powerful sea-spray during oceanic tides.
  • Langi: Identified as Tonga's only UNESCO World Heritage Site, Langi is a cluster of five megalithic tombs lying east of Nuku'alofa.
  • Swallows Cave: Positioned on the western coast of Ha'apai, this cave features giant swallows and mesmerizing coral ferns.
  • Tungi Peninsula: Located in Vava'u, this remote peninsula stretches over four kilometers, featuring pristine beaches, snorkeling spots, and a historic whaling station.
  • Tongatapu: The largest island and capital city of Tonga, hosting a blend of traditional and modern lifestyles.
  • Vava'u: Positioned northwest of Tongatapu, Vava'u offers a mesmerizing array of orange-hued sunsets, floral sceneries, and underwater marine life.

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Proclamation Day (January 4)
  • Birthday of Late King Tupou VI (May 2)
  • Coronation Day of King Tupou VI (July 18)
  • Constitution Day (September 4)
  • Tupa'i (December 18)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)
  • Boxing Day (December 26)

Political Stability

Tonga has a stable constitutional monarchy system. It ranked 113rd in the 2021 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) compared to other Pacific nations, including Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.

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