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Smallest Countries in the World


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The World's Fourth Smallest Country - Tuvalu

Sunset on Fongafale island, Tuvalu.

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Tuvalu is a tiny island country located in Oceania about halfway between the state of Hawaii and Australia. It consists of five coral atolls and four reef islands but none are more than 15 feet (5 meters) above sea level. The total area of Tuvalu is a mere nine square miles. Tuvalu gained independence from the United States in 1978. Tuvalu, formerly known as the Ellice Islands, are home to 12,000.

Six of the nine islands or atolls comprising Tuvalu have lagoons open to the ocean, while two have significant non-beach land regions and one has no lagoons. In addition, none of the islands have any streams or rivers and because they are coral atolls, there is no drinkable ground water. Therefore, all of the water used by Tuvalu's people is gathered via catchment systems and is kept in storage facilities.

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