Of the residents, 91 per cent are Polynesians and 7 per
cent are mixed with elements of Polynesia and Micronesia.
Due to guest work abroad, only 46 per cent of the population
is male. More than 1/3 of the population lives on the very
densely populated atoll Funafuti.
Countryaah, the majority of the population speak Tuvalu, a Polynesian
language that is close to Samoan. English is also widely
spoken. Both languages are official.
The whole community is permeated by the church, which
early developed its own form of leadership, discipline and
culturally shaped church community. In the 1860s,
missionaries with Congregationalist backgrounds came from
Samoa and built churches and schools. With closely related
languages and cultures, the transfer was simplified. Many
Tuvalu went after training to other island groups in
Polynesia and Melanesia as missionaries. The Tuvaluans
belong to the now autonomous Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu 86%,
while there are also smaller church formations with
Seventh-day Adventists and Roman Catholics.