Island group (pop., 2003: 10,071), forming the northeastern part of the French overseas collectivity of Wallis and Futuna, west-central Pacific Ocean. It comprises the main island of Uvea (Wallis) and a number of islets, all enclosed in one coral reef, with a total land area of 23 sq mi (60 sq km). Visited in 1767 by the British navigator Capt. Samuel Wallis, the islands were occupied by the French in 1842. They became a French protectorate in 1887 and part of the overseas territory in 1961. The status of Wallis and Futuna was changed to that of an overseas collectivity in 2007.