The Kingdom of Tonga consists of 172 volcanic and coral islands, of which 36 are inhabited, with a total land area of 750 square kilometers. Most of the land is fertile and subject to intensive cultivation; the islands are vulnerable to cyclones. Almost one fourth of the inhabitants live in the capital, Nuku’alofa. The population, which is almost entirely of Polynesian origin, has declined in recent years to 95,000, despite a high birth rate, because of large-scale emigration. Among other Pacific island countries, only Western Samoa has experienced a comparable degree of emigration. At present, at least 30,000 Tongans live abroad, mainly in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, and send substantial remittances to relatives at home. The family-oriented and closely knit traditional nature of Tongan society, with its inherent sharing of income, alleviates poverty and social problems associated with the lack of employment opportunities. Life expectancy is 64 years and health and education indicators are in line with or above the regional average. Annual per capita GDP is about SDR 650.