Tuvalu is located in the South Pacific and is a group of islands that form the fourth smallest county in the world. In 1974, ethnic differences within the British colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands caused the Polynesians of the Ellice Islands to vote for separation from the Micronesians of the Gilbert Islands. The following year, the Ellice Islands became the separate British colony of Tuvalu. Independence was granted in 1978. In 2000, Tuvalu negotiated a contract leasing its Internet domain name ".tv" for $50 million in royalties over the next dozen years.
There are regularly scheduled flights from Fiji to Funafuti.
There is one main road in Funafuti in addition to the runway, which is used for recreational purposes when landings are not scheduled.
English is the language of government and of most business on Funafuti, but Tuvaluan predominates on the outer islands.
There is a handicraft center and a philatelic bureau on Funafuti.
The state-owned Vaiaku Lagi Hotel on Funafuti is the country's only hotel. It also has significant nightlife.
Funafuti hosts a University of the South Pacific extension center. Motufoua, the country's only high school, is a coeducational boarding school on Vaitupu island. The Tuvalu Marine School, on an outer islet of Funafuti, trains Tuvaluan mariners for service on foreign ships.
The non-native work force is mostly comprised of contract employees from Britain and other foreign countries.
A siren signals when to leave the runway for an approaching plane.
Violent crime is rare, and usually involves alcohol and family disputes.