The country's population has more than doubled since 1980 with a growth rate of 0.702%. The population at the 2002 census was 9,561,and the population at the 2012 census was 10,837 (2012 Population & Housing Census Preliminary Analytical Report). The population of Tuvalu is primarily of Polynesian ethnicity with approximately 4% of the population being Micronesian. The net migration rate is estimated at −7.02 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Tuvalu, the world's second-smallest country and, according to the United Nations, one of the least developed, fulfils the classic image of a South Sea paradise. Visitors come to the islands to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and palm-fringed beaches. Pandanus, papaya, banana, breadfruit and coconut palms are typical. Traditional buildings with thatched roofs can be seen virtually everywhere on the islands.
The Western Pacific nation of Tuvalu, formerly known as the Ellice Islands, is situated 4,000 kilometers (2,500 mi) northeast of Australia. It is one half of the way from Hawaii to Australia. Tuvalu consists of three reef islands and six atolls. The islands of Tuvalu have poor soil and a total land area of only about 26 km², less than 10 sq mi (30 km2).