Atoll Communities of Tokelau

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An inquiry to the tz mailing list revealed that the Posix standard has probably always been wrong about Tokelau. Before it jumped across the International Date Line, it was observing UTC-11, but most sources said it was on UTC-10. After the jump in 2011, everyone just added 24 hours, making it UTC+14. However, it has now been confirmed that the correct offset for Tokelau is UTC+13. I have updated this page accordingly.

As for me, I used UTC-11 in the book "Administrative Subdivisions of Countries," and the same value on this website until some time between December 13 and 30, 2004 (according to the Internet Archive), when I changed it to UTC-10 for reasons I don't remember, but probably to match up with Posix. I also don't remember where I got the original UTC-11.

On retrieving source [2], I reviewed the data and found that I had misread a figure for the 2006 population of Nukunonu. I fixed it in the table below.

Tokelau moved across the International Date Line, in tandem with Samoa. What that meant in practice is simply that they skipped a day: 2011-12-30. Its standard time changed from UTC-11 to UTC+13.

Country overview: 

Short nameTOKELAU
ISO codeTK
LanguageTokelauan, English (en)
Time zone+13


The Union Islands, also known as the Tokelau Islands, became a British protectorate in 1911. They were joined with several other island groups to form the colony of Gilbert and Ellice Islands on 1915-11-12. On 1926-02-11, the Tokelau Islands were transferred to New Zealand as a dependency. On 1949-01-01 they became an overseas territory of New Zealand. The name was changed to Tokelau in 1976-12.

Other names of country: 

  1. Dutch: Tokelau eilanden
  2. French: TokÚlaou, Tokelau
  3. German: Tokelau-Inseln fp
  4. Italian: Isole Tokelau
  5. Portuguese: Ilhas Tokelau
  6. Russian: Токелау
  7. Spanish: Tokelau
  8. Turkish: Tokelau

Primary subdivisions: 

Tokelau is divided into three autonomous atoll communities.

3 communities1,4111,466125

Territorial extent: 

Tokelau consists of three atolls: Atafu, Fakaofo, and Nukunonu.

The UN LOCODE page  for Tokelau lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.


  1. [1] 2006 Census of Tokelau: Analytical Report . Statistics New Zealand, 2007 (retrieved 2011-04-23).
  2. [2] 2006 Tokelau Census of Population and Dwellings: Tabular Report . Statistics New Zealand, dated 2006-12-20, retrieved 2012-07-04.
  3. [3] Final count for the 2011 Tokelau Census of Population and Dwellings. Statistics New Zealand, Wellington, 2011-12. Retrieved from 2012-06-27, but not currently available there.
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