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  Vanuatu  
Flag of Vanuatu
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This page was last updated on 15 November, 2007


Map of Vanuatu



Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Vanuatu Top of Page
Background:

Multiple waves of colonizers, each speaking a distinct language, migrated to the New Hebrides in the millennia preceding European exploration in the 18th century. This settlement pattern accounts for the complex linguistic diversity found on the archipelago to this day. The British and French, who settled the New Hebrides in the 19th century, agreed in 1906 to an Anglo-French Condominium, which administered the islands until independence in 1980, when the new name of Vanuatu was adopted.

 

   Geography    Vanuatu Top of Page
Location:

Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to Australia
Geographic coordinates:

16 00 S, 167 00 E
Map references:

Oceania
Area:

total: 12,200 sq km
land: 12,200 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes more than 80 islands, about 65 of which are inhabited
Area - comparative:

slightly larger than Connecticut
Land boundaries:

0 km
Coastline:

2,528 km
Maritime claims:

measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate:

tropical; moderated by southeast trade winds from May to October; moderate rainfall from November to April; may be affected by cyclones from December to April
Terrain:

mostly mountainous islands of volcanic origin; narrow coastal plains
Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Tabwemasana 1,877 m
Natural resources:

manganese, hardwood forests, fish
Land use:

arable land: 1.64%
permanent crops: 6.97%
other: 91.39% (2005)
Irrigated land:

NA
Natural hazards:

tropical cyclones or typhoons (January to April); volcanic eruption on Aoba (Ambae) island began 27 November 2005, volcanism also causes minor earthquakes; tsunamis
Environment - current issues:

a majority of the population does not have access to a reliable supply of potable water; deforestation
Environment - international agreements:

party to: Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 94
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:

a Y-shaped chain of four main islands and 80 smaller islands; several of the islands have active volcanoes
   People    Vanuatu Top of Page
Population:

211,971 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:

0-14 years: 31.9% (male 34,590/female 33,124)
15-64 years: 64.3% (male 69,496/female 66,745)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 4,178/female 3,838) (2007 est.)
Median age:

total: 23.4 years
male: 23.4 years
female: 23.4 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:

1.46% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:

22.35 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:

7.75 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.044 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.041 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.089 male(s)/female
total population: 1.044 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:

total: 52.45 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 54.96 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 49.81 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 63.22 years
male: 61.67 years
female: 64.84 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:

2.63 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:

NA
Nationality:

noun: Ni-Vanuatu (singular and plural)
adjective: Ni-Vanuatu
Ethnic groups:

Ni-Vanuatu 98.5%, other 1.5% (1999 Census)
Religions:

Presbyterian 31.4%, Anglican 13.4%, Roman Catholic 13.1%, Seventh-Day Adventist 10.8%, other Christian 13.8%, indigenous beliefs 5.6% (including Jon Frum cargo cult), other 9.6%, none 1%, unspecified 1.3% (1999 Census)
Languages:

local languages (more than 100) 72.6%, pidgin (known as Bislama or Bichelama) 23.1%, English 1.9%, French 1.4%, other 0.3%, unspecified 0.7% (1999 Census)
Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 74%
male: NA
female: NA (1999 census)
   Government    Vanuatu Top of Page
Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Vanuatu
conventional short form: Vanuatu
local long form: Ripablik blong Vanuatu
local short form: Vanuatu
former: New Hebrides
Government type:

parliamentary republic
Capital:

name: Port-Vila (on Efate)
geographic coordinates: 17 44 S, 168 19 E
time difference: UTC+11 (16 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:

6 provinces; Malampa, Penama, Sanma, Shefa, Tafea, Torba
Independence:

30 July 1980 (from France and UK)
National holiday:

Independence Day, 30 July (1980)
Constitution:

30 July 1980
Legal system:

unified system being created from former dual French and British systems
Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:

chief of state: President Kalkot Matas KELEKELE (since 16 August 2004)
head of government: Prime Minister Ham LINI (since 11 December 2004); Deputy Prime Minister Sato KILMAN (since 11 December 2004)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister, responsible to Parliament
elections: president elected for a five-year term by an electoral college consisting of Parliament and the presidents of the regional councils; election for president last held 16 August 2004 (next to be held in 2009); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition is usually elected prime minister by Parliament from among its members; election for prime minister last held 29 July 2004 (next to be held following general elections in 2008)
election results: Kalkot Matas KELEKELE elected president, with 49 votes out of 56, after several ballots on 16 August 2004
Legislative branch:

unicameral Parliament (52 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 6 July 2004 (next to be held 2008)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NUP 10, UMP 8, VP 8, VRP 4, MPP 3, VGP 3, other and independent 16; note - political party associations are fluid
note: the National Council of Chiefs advises on matters of culture and language
Judicial branch:

Supreme Court (chief justice is appointed by the president after consultation with the prime minister and the leader of the opposition, three other justices are appointed by the president on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission)
Political parties and leaders:

Jon Frum Movement [Song KEASPAI]; Melanesian Progressive Party or MPP [Barak SOPE]; National United Party or NUP [Hem LINI]; Union of Moderate Parties or UMP [Serge VOHOR]; Vanua'aku Pati (Our Land Party) or VP [Edward NATAPEI]; Vanuatu Greens Party or VGP [Moana CARCASSES]; Vanuatu Republican Party or VRP [Maxime Carlot KORMAN]
Political pressure groups and leaders:

NA
International organization participation:

ACCT, ACP, AsDB, C, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IOC, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNOCI, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US:

Vanuatu does not have an embassy in the US; it does, however, have a Permanent Mission to the UN
Diplomatic representation from the US:

the US does not have an embassy in Vanuatu; the ambassador to Papua New Guinea is accredited to Vanuatu
Flag description:

two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a black isosceles triangle (based on the hoist side) all separated by a black-edged yellow stripe in the shape of a horizontal Y (the two points of the Y face the hoist side and enclose the triangle); centered in the triangle is a boar's tusk encircling two crossed namele leaves, all in yellow
   Economy    Vanuatu Top of Page
Economy - overview:

This South Pacific island economy is based primarily on small-scale agriculture, which provides a living for 65% of the population. Fishing, offshore financial services, and tourism, with more than 60,000 visitors in 2005, are other mainstays of the economy. Mineral deposits are negligible; the country has no known petroleum deposits. A small light industry sector caters to the local market. Tax revenues come mainly from import duties. Economic development is hindered by dependence on relatively few commodity exports, vulnerability to natural disasters, and long distances from main markets and between constituent islands. GDP growth rose less than 3% on average in the 1990s. In response to foreign concerns, the government has promised to tighten regulation of its offshore financial center. In mid-2002 the government stepped up efforts to boost tourism through improved air connections, resort development, and cruise ship facilities. Agriculture, especially livestock farming, is a second target for growth. Australia and New Zealand are the main suppliers of tourists and foreign aid.
GDP (purchasing power parity):

$739 million (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):

$341 million (2005)
GDP - real growth rate:

6.8% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):

$2,900 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 26%
industry: 12%
services: 62% (2000 est.)
Labor force:

76,410 (1999)
Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 65%
industry: 5%
services: 30% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate:

1.7% (1999)
Population below poverty line:

NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):

-1.6% (2005 est.)
Budget:

revenues: $78.7 million
expenditures: $72.23 million (2005)
Agriculture - products:

copra, coconuts, cocoa, coffee, taro, yams, fruits, vegetables; beef; fish
Industries:

food and fish freezing, wood processing, meat canning
Industrial production growth rate:

1% (1997 est.)
Electricity - production:

41 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption:

38.13 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2005 est.)
Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2005)
Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption:

620 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports:

NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:

NA bbl/day
Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl
Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2005 est.)
Current account balance:

-$28.35 million (2003)
Exports:

$34.11 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:

copra, beef, cocoa, timber, kava, coffee
Exports - partners:

Thailand 59.7%, India 16.7%, Japan 11.4% (2006)
Imports:

$117.1 million c.i.f. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, fuels
Imports - partners:

Australia 20.6%, Japan 19.7%, Singapore 12.1%, NZ 8.8%, Fiji 7.7%, China 7.4%, New Caledonia 4.3% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient:

$39.48 million (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$40.54 million (2003)
Debt - external:

$81.2 million (2004)
Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA
Currency (code):

vatu (VUV)
Exchange rates:

vatu per US dollar - 111.93 (2006), NA (2005), 111.79 (2004), 122.19 (2003), 139.2 (2002)
Fiscal year:

calendar year
   Communications    Vanuatu Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:

7,000 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:

12,700 (2005)
Telephone system:

general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: country code - 678; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:

AM 2, FM 4, shortwave 1 (2001)
Television broadcast stations:

1 (2004)
Internet country code:

.vu
Internet hosts:

1,010 (2007)
Internet users:

7,500 (2004)
   Transportation    Vanuatu Top of Page
Airports:

31 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:

total: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 28
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 22 (2007)
Roadways:

total: 1,070 km
paved: 256 km
unpaved: 814 km (1999)
Merchant marine:

total: 51 ships (1000 GRT or over) 1,346,001 GRT/1,901,055 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 30, cargo 8, container 1, liquefied gas 2, petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 3, roll on/roll off 1, vehicle carrier 5
foreign-owned: 51 (Australia 2, Belgium 4, Canada 5, Estonia 1, Japan 28, Poland 7, Russia 1, Switzerland 2, US 1) (2007)
Ports and terminals:

Forari, Port-Vila, Santo (Espiritu Santo)
   Military    Vanuatu Top of Page
Military branches:

no regular military forces; Vanuatu Police Force (VPF), Vanuatu Mobile Force (VMF; includes Police Maritime Wing (PMW)) (2007)
Manpower available for military service:

males age 18-49: 50,221 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:

males age 18-49: 33,837 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:

NA
   Transnational Issues    Vanuatu Top of Page
Disputes - international:

Matthew and Hunter Islands east of New Caledonia claimed by Vanuatu and France

This page was last updated on 15 November, 2007


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