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Australia-Oceania :: Solomon Islands
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Solomon Islands
  • Introduction :: SOLOMON ISLANDS

  • The UK established a protectorate over the Solomon Islands in the 1890s. Some of the bitterest fighting of World War II occurred on this archipelago. Self-government was achieved in 1976 and independence two years later. Ethnic violence, government malfeasance, endemic crime, and a narrow economic base have undermined stability and civil society. In June 2003, then Prime Minister Sir Allan KEMAKEZA sought the assistance of Australia in reestablishing law and order; the following month, an Australian-led multinational force arrived to restore peace and disarm ethnic militias. The Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) has generally been effective in restoring law and order and rebuilding government institutions.
  • Geography :: SOLOMON ISLANDS

  • Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Papua New Guinea
    8 00 S, 159 00 E
    Oceania
    total: 28,896 sq km
    land: 27,986 sq km
    water: 910 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 144
    slightly smaller than Maryland
    0 km
    5,313 km
    measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    continental shelf: 200 nm
    tropical monsoon; few temperature and weather extremes
    mostly rugged mountains with some low coral atolls
    mean elevation: NA
    elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Mount Popomanaseu 2,310 m
    fish, forests, gold, bauxite, phosphates, lead, zinc, nickel
    agricultural land: 3.9%
    arable land 0.7%; permanent crops 2.9%; permanent pasture 0.3%
    forest: 78.9%
    other: 17.2% (2011 est.)
    0 sq km NA (2012)
    44.7 cu km (2011)
    typhoons, but rarely destructive; geologically active region with frequent earthquakes, tremors, and volcanic activity; tsunamis
    volcanism: Tinakula (elev. 851 m) has frequent eruption activity, while an eruption of Savo (elev. 485 m) could affect the capital Honiara on nearby Guadalcanal
    deforestation; soil erosion; many of the surrounding coral reefs are dead or dying
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    strategic location on sea routes between the South Pacific Ocean, the Solomon Sea, and the Coral Sea; on 2 April 2007 an undersea earthquake measuring 8.1 on the Richter scale occurred 345 km WNW of the capital Honiara; the resulting tsunami devastated coastal areas of Western and Choiseul provinces with dozens of deaths and thousands dislocated; the provincial capital of Gizo was especially hard hit
  • People and Society :: SOLOMON ISLANDS

  • noun: Solomon Islander(s)
    adjective: Solomon Islander
    Melanesian 95.3%, Polynesian 3.1%, Micronesian 1.2%, other 0.3% (2009 est.)
    Melanesian pidgin (in much of the country is lingua franca), English (official but spoken by only 1%-2% of the population), 120 indigenous languages
    Protestant 73.4% (Church of Melanesia 31.9%, South Sea Evangelical 17.1%, Seventh Day Adventist 11.7%, United Church 10.1%, Christian Fellowship Church 2.5%), Roman Catholic 19.6%, other Christian 2.9%, other 4%, none 0.03%, unspecified 0.1% (2009 est.)
    622,469 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    0-14 years: 35.68% (male 114,349/female 107,750)
    15-24 years: 20.01% (male 64,036/female 60,512)
    25-54 years: 35.73% (male 113,306/female 109,133)
    55-64 years: 4.45% (male 13,863/female 13,820)
    65 years and over: 4.13% (male 12,315/female 13,385) (2015 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 75.1%
    youth dependency ratio: 69.1%
    elderly dependency ratio: 5.9%
    potential support ratio: 16.8% (2015 est.)
    total: 21.9 years
    male: 21.7 years
    female: 22.1 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    2.02% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    25.77 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    3.85 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 210
    -1.75 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    urban population: 22.3% of total population (2015)
    rate of urbanization: 4.25% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    HONIARA (capital) 73,000 (2014)
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
    21.6
    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2006/07 est.)
    114 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    total: 15.65 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 17.84 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 13.35 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    total population: 75.12 years
    male: 72.49 years
    female: 77.88 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    3.28 children born/woman (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    34.6% (2006/07)
    5.1% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    0.22 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
    1.3 beds/1,000 population (2012)
    improved:
    urban: 93.2% of population
    rural: 77.2% of population
    total: 80.8% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 6.8% of population
    rural: 22.8% of population
    total: 19.2% of population (2015 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 81.4% of population
    rural: 15% of population
    total: 29.8% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 18.6% of population
    rural: 85% of population
    total: 70.2% of population (2015 est.)
    NA
    NA
    NA
    25% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    11.5% (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    9.9% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 84.1%
    male: 88.9%
    female: 79.2% (2009 est.)
    total: 9 years
    male: 10 years
    female: 9 years (2007)
  • Government :: SOLOMON ISLANDS

  • conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Solomon Islands
    local long form: none
    local short form: Solomon Islands
    former: British Solomon Islands
    etymology: Spanish explorer Alvaro de MENDANA named the isles in 1568 after the wealthy biblical King SOLOMON in the mistaken belief that the islands contained great riches
    parliamentary democracy (National Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
    name: Honiara
    geographic coordinates: 9 26 S, 159 57 E
    time difference: UTC+11 (16 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    9 provinces and 1 city*; Central, Choiseul, Guadalcanal, Honiara*, Isabel, Makira and Ulawa, Malaita, Rennell and Bellona, Temotu, Western
    7 July 1978 (from the UK)
    Independence Day, 7 July (1978)
    adopted 31 May 1978, effective 7 July 1978; new constitution drafted in 2014 (2016)
    mixed legal system of English common law and customary law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of the Solomon Islands
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years
    21 years of age; universal
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Frank KABUI (since 7 July 2009)
    head of government: Prime Minister Manasseh SOGAVARE (since 9 December 2014)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
    elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the advice of the National Parliament for up to 5 years (eligible for a second term); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually elected prime minister by the National Parliament; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister from among members of the National Parliament
    election results: Manasseh SOGAVARE (independent) elected prime minister; National Parliament vote - 31 to 19
    description: unicameral National Parliament (50 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms)
    elections: last held on 19 November 2014 (next to be held in 2018)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - independents 32, DAP 7, UDP 5, PAP 3, KPSI 1, SIPFP 1, SIPRA 1
    highest court(s): Court of Appeal (consists of the court president, and ex officio members to include the High Court chief justice and its puisne judges); High Court (consists of the chief justice and puisne judges as prescribed by the National Parliament)
    judge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal and High Court president, chief justices, and puisne judges appointed by the governor-general upon recommendation of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, chaired by the chief justice to include 5 members, mostly judicial officials and legal professionals; all judges appointed until retirement at age 60
    subordinate courts: Magistrates' Courts; local courts; Customary Land Appeal Court
    Democratic Alliance Party or DAP [Steve ABANA]
    Kadere Party of Solomon Islands or KPSI [Alfred LEGUA]
    People's Alliance Party or PAP [Nathaniel WAENA]
    Solomon Islands People First Party or SIPFP [Jimmie RODGERS]
    Solomon Islands Party for Rural Advancement or SIPRA [Manasseh MAELANGA]
    United Democratic Party [Thomas Ko CHAN]
    note: in general, Solomon Islands politics is characterized by fluid coalitions
    Isatabu Freedom Movement or IFM
    Malaita Eagle Force or MEF
    note: these rival armed ethnic factions crippled the Solomon Islands in a wave of violence from 1999 to 2003
    ACP, ADB, AOSIS, C, EITI (candidate country), ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IOC, ITU, MIGA, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador Collin David BECK (since 31 March 2004)
    chancery: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400L, New York, NY 10017
    telephone: [1] (212) 599-6192, 6193
    FAX: [1] (212) 661-8925
    the US does not have an embassy in the Solomon Islands; the US ambassador to Papua New Guinea is accredited to the Solomon Islands
    divided diagonally by a thin yellow stripe from the lower hoist-side corner; the upper triangle (hoist side) is blue with five white five-pointed stars arranged in an X pattern; the lower triangle is green; blue represents the ocean; green the land; and yellow sunshine; the five stars stand for the five main island groups of the Solomon Islands
    national colors: blue, yellow, green, white
    name: "God Save Our Solomon Islands"
    lyrics/music: Panapasa BALEKANA and Matila BALEKANA/Panapasa BALEKANA
    note: adopted 1978
  • Economy :: SOLOMON ISLANDS

  • The bulk of the population depends on agriculture, fishing, and forestry for at least part of its livelihood. Most manufactured goods and petroleum products must be imported. The islands are rich in undeveloped mineral resources such as lead, zinc, nickel, and gold. Prior to the arrival of The Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI), severe ethnic violence, the closing of key businesses, and an empty government treasury culminated in economic collapse. RAMSI's efforts to restore law and order and economic stability have led to modest growth as the economy rebuilds.
    $1.141 billion (2015 est.)
    $1.105 billion (2014 est.)
    $1.088 billion (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 203
    $1.205 billion (2015 est.)
    3.3% (2015 est.)
    1.5% (2014 est.)
    3% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    $2,000 (2015 est.)
    $1,900 (2014 est.)
    $1,900 (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 204
    6.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
    6.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
    10.8% of GDP (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    agriculture: 51.2%
    industry: 10.2%
    services: 38.7% (2015 est.)
    cocoa, coconuts, palm kernels, rice, fruit; cattle, pigs; fish; timber
    fish (tuna), mining, timber
    4.3% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    202,500 (2007 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    agriculture: 75%
    industry: 5%
    services: 20% (2000 est.)
    NA%
    NA%
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    revenues: $415.5 million
    expenditures: $440.7 million (2015 est.)
    34.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    -2.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    calendar year
    2.1% (2015 est.) 5.2% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    10.9% (31 December 2015 est.)
    10.91% (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    $348.4 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    $360.5 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    $452.1 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $467.9 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 184
    $48.89 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    $45.12 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    -$135 million (2015 est.)
    -$57 million (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    $493.1 million (2012 est.)
    $448.1 million (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    timber, fish, copra, palm oil, cocoa
    China 62.9%, Italy 5.8%, Australia 5.4% (2014)
    $446 million (2012 est.)
    $464.5 million (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 194
    food, plant and equipment, manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals
    Australia 26%, Singapore 16.4%, China 10.3%, Malaysia 5.8%, NZ 5.1%, Indonesia 4.2%, Fiji 4.2%, Papua New Guinea 4.1% (2014)
    $491.5 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    $228.1 million (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    $850.1 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    $799 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    $47.3 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    $47.3 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    Solomon Islands dollars (SBD) per US dollar -
    7.942 (2015 est.)
    7.3754 (2014 est.)
    7.3754 (2013 est.)
    7.36 (2012 est.)
    7.6413 (2011 est.)
  • Energy :: SOLOMON ISLANDS

  • 85 million kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    79.05 million kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    36,000 kW (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 113
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    0 bbl (1 January 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    1,500 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 194
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    1,491 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    266,000 Mt (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 193
  • Communications :: SOLOMON ISLANDS

  • total subscriptions: 7,500
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 201
    total: 376,700
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 62 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    domestic: mobile-cellular telephone density is about 50 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 677; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2011)
    Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) is the sole TV broadcaster with 1 station; multi-channel pay-TV is available; SIBC operates 2 national radio stations and 2 provincial stations; 2 local commercial radio stations; Radio Australia is available via satellite feed (2009)
    AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 1 (2004)
    .sb
    4,370 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    total: 46,400
    percent of population: 7.6% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 187
  • Transportation :: SOLOMON ISLANDS

  • 36 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    total: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 35
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 10
    under 914 m: 24 (2013)
    3 (2013)
    total: 1,390 km
    paved: 34 km
    unpaved: 1,356 km
    note: includes 920 km of private plantation roads (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    major seaport(s): Honiara, Malloco Bay, Viru Harbor, Tulaghi
  • Military and Security :: SOLOMON ISLANDS

  • no regular military forces; Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (2013)
  • Transnational Issues :: SOLOMON ISLANDS

  • since 2003, the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, consisting of police, military, and civilian advisors drawn from 15 countries, has assisted in reestablishing and maintaining civil and political order while reinforcing regional stability and security
    current situation: the Solomon Islands is a source and destination country for local adults and children and Southeast Asian men and women subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution; women from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines are recruited for legitimate work and upon arrival are forced into prostitution; men from Indonesia and Malaysia recruited to work in the Solomon Islands’ mining and logging industries may be subjected to forced labor; local children are forced into prostitution near foreign logging camps, on fishing vessels, at hotels, and entertainment venues; some local children are also sold by their parents for marriage to foreign workers or put up for “informal adoption” to pay off debts and then find themselves forced into domestic servitude or forced prostitution
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – the Solomon Islands does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, the Solomon Islands was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; the government gazetted implementing regulations for the 2012 immigration act prohibiting transnational trafficking, but the penalties are not sufficiently stringent because they allow the option of paying a fine; a new draft law to address these weaknesses awaits parliamentary review; no new trafficking investigations were conducted, even after labor inspections at logging and fishing companies, no existing cases led to prosecutions or convictions, and no funding was allocated for national anti-trafficking efforts; authorities did not identify or protect any victims and lack any procedures or shelters to do so; civil society and religious organizations provide most of the limited services available; a lack of understanding of the crime of trafficking remains a serious challenge (2015)
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