Tuvalu has been an independent state, with Britain’s reigning monarch as its head, since 1st October 1978.

The islanders are Polynesian, almost all inhabitants are Tuvaluans. They speak a Polynesian tongue, closely related to Samoan.

Most inhabitants leave to find work overseas. Although many make an income from the sale of copra, subsistence farming and fishing are fundamental to their way of life.

The Philatelic Bureau is the second largest employer outside the civil service.