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Tuvalu (i/tuːˈvɑːluː/ too-VAH-loo or /ˈtuːvəluː/ TOO-və-loo), formerly known together the Ellice Islands,<2> is a Polynesian island country located in the Pacific Ocean, midway between Hawaii and Australia. That comprises 3 reef islands and six true atolls spread out out in between the latitude that 5° to 10° south and longitude of 176° to 180°, west of the International day Line.

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<3> Tuvalu"s Exclusive economic Zone (EEZ) covers an oceanic area of around 900,000 km2.<4> its nearest neighbors are Kiribati, Nauru, Samoa and also Fiji. Its populace of 10,837<1> makes it the third-least heavily populated sovereign state in the world, with just the Vatican City and also Nauru having actually fewer inhabitants. In regards to physical floor size, at simply 26 square kilometer (10 sq mi) Tuvalu is the fourth smallest country in the world, bigger only than the Vatican City at 0.44 km2 (0.17 sq mi), Monaco at 1.98 km2 (0.76 sq mi), and also Nauru at 21 km2 (8.1 sq mi).The very first inhabitants the Tuvalu were Polynesians. In 1568 Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña cruised through the islands and is construed to have actually sighted Nui throughout his expedition in find of Terra Australis. In 1819 the island the Funafuti was called Ellice"s Island; the surname Ellice was used to all nine archipelago after the work of English hydrographer Alexander George Findlay (1812–1876).<5> The islands came under Britain"s ball of affect in the so late 19th century, as soon as each of the Ellice islands was declared a brothers protectorate by Captain Gibson R.N., of HMS Curacoa, between 9 and also 16 October 1892.<6> The Ellice Islands to be administered together British protectorate through a resident Commissioner from 1892 to 1916 as part of the British western Pacific regions (BWPT), and later as component of the Gilbert and also Ellice Islands nest from 1916 to 1974.A referendum was organized in December 1974 to determine whether the Gilbert Islands and Ellice Islands have to each have their own administration.<7> as a repercussion of the referendum, the Gilbert and Ellice Islands nest ceased to exist ~ above 1 January 1976 and also the separate British swarms of Kiribati and also Tuvalu came into existence.

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<8><9> Tuvalu became fully independent in ~ the commonwealth on 1 October 1978. On 17 September 2000 Tuvalu became the 189th member that the unified Nations.Cite error: There are tag on this page, but the recommendations will not display without a reflist design template (see the help page).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuvalu