Tonga - area analysis

Like most Small Islands Developing States (SIDS), the Kingdom of Tonga face particular challenges associated with its isolated geographical location in the South Pacific, small size population, resources, and vulnerability to natural disasters. Its geographical isolation results in high communication and transportation costs, limited employment, poor services and problems of transparent and accountable governance. These factors, among others, create problems related to the economic and livelihood of the population.

The Kingdom consists of  Tongatapu, the main island where 75% of the population live and four other island groups Vava’u, Ha’apai, Eua and Ongo Niua. Rates of multi-dimensional poverty, using the consensual approach are much higher in the islands than on Tongapatu as can be seen in the table below. 

Poverty rates in Tongatapu and the islands

Source: 'Assessing progress towards the eradication of poverty in the Kingdom of Tonga', Statistics Department Tonga, 2018
This consensual approach has also been used to produce small area estimates of poverty, enabling a tight focus on neighbourhoods vulnerable to poverty, including on the different islands of the Kingdom. For details of this work see: 'Small-Area Multidimensional Poverty Estimates for Tonga 2016: Drawn from a Hierarchical Bayesian Estimator', Héctor Catalán, Viliami Fifita and Winston Faingaanuku, Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy, July 2019 (open access). These small area estimates were used to help target resources after Tropical Cyclone Gita devastated much of the island in February 2018.
More details of the variations in poverty at by district will be posted shortly

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