Funafuti is the capital of Tuvalu
Inhabitants: 4,500  
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Flag Tuvalu
Funafuti is the capital of the small island nation of Tuvalu. It has a population of 4,492 (2002 Census), making it the most populated atoll in this small country. It is a narrow sweep of land between 20 and 400 meters wide, encircling a large lagoon 18 km long and 14 km wide, with 275 km² by far the largest lagoon in Tuvalu. The land area of the 33 islets aggregates to 2.4 km², less than one percent of the total area of the atoll. There is an airstrip, hotel (Vaiaku Langi Hotel), and administrative buildings, as well as homes, constructed both in the traditional manner, out of palm fronds, and more recently out of cement blocks. The most prominent building on Funafuti atoll is the Church of Tuvalu. Other sites of interest are the remains of American aircraft that crashed on Funafuti during World War II, when the airstrip was used by the American forces to defend the Gilbert Islands (now Kiribati) and the Marshall Islands. The USA claimed Funafuti from some unknown time in the 1800s until a treaty of friendship was concluded in 1979, coming into effect in 1983.
The largest island is Fongafale. On this island, there are four villages, of which one is Vaiaku, where the Tuvalu's government is located. The capital of Tuvalu is sometimes given as Fongafale or Vaiaku, but the entire atoll of Funafuti is officially the capital.[citation needed]