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Australia-Oceania :: Vanuatu
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Vanuatu
  • Introduction :: VANUATU

  • 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

  • Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to Australia
    16 00 S, 167 00 E
    Oceania
    total: 12,189 sq km
    land: 12,189 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    note: includes more than 80 islands, about 65 of which are inhabited
    slightly larger than Connecticut
    0 km
    2,528 km
    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
    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
    mostly mountainous islands of volcanic origin; narrow coastal plains
    lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Tabwemasana 1,877 m
    manganese, hardwood forests, fish
    agricultural land: 15.3%
    arable land 1.6%; permanent crops 10.3%; permanent pasture 3.4%
    forest: 36.1%
    other: 48.6% (2011 est.)
    NA
    tropical cyclones or typhoons (January to April); volcanic eruption on Aoba (Ambae) island began on 27 November 2005, volcanism also causes minor earthquakes; tsunamis
    volcanism: significant volcanic activity with multiple eruptions in recent years; Yasur (elev. 361 m), one of the world's most active volcanoes, has experienced continuous activity in recent centuries; other historically active volcanoes include, Aoba, Ambrym, Epi, Gaua, Kuwae, Lopevi, Suretamatai, and Traitor's Head
    most of the population does not have access to a reliable supply of potable water; deforestation
    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
    a Y-shaped chain of four main islands and 80 smaller islands; several of the islands have active volcanoes and there are several underwater volcanoes as well
  • People and Society :: VANUATU

  • noun: Ni-Vanuatu (singular and plural)
    adjective: Ni-Vanuatu
    Ni-Vanuatu 97.6%, part Ni-Vanuatu 1.1%, other 1.3% (2009 est.)
    local languages (more than 100) 63.2%, Bislama (official; creole) 33.7%, English (official) 2%, French (official) 0.6%, other 0.5% (2009 est.)
    Protestant 70% (includes Presbyterian 27.9%, Anglican 15.1%, Seventh Day Adventist 12.5%, Assemblies of God 4.7%, Church of Christ 4.5%, Neil Thomas Ministry 3.1%, and Apostolic 2.2%), Roman Catholic 12.4%, customary beliefs 3.7% (including Jon Frum cargo cult), other 12.6%, none 1.1%, unspecified 0.2% (2009 est.)
    266,937 (July 2014 est.)
    0-14 years: 37.3% (male 50,810/female 48,753)
    15-24 years: 19.8% (male 26,341/female 26,620)
    25-54 years: 34.2% (male 44,732/female 46,545)
    55-64 years: 5% (male 6,751/female 6,599)
    65 years and over: 3.7% (male 5,020/female 4,766) (2014 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 67.9%
    youth dependency ratio: 61.3%
    elderly dependency ratio: 6.6%
    potential support ratio: 15.1% (2014 est.)
    total: 21.1 years
    male: 20.7 years
    female: 21.4 years (2014 est.)
    2.01% (2014 est.)
    25.69 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    4.14 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    -1.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    urban population: 25.8% of total population (2014)
    rate of urbanization: 3.42% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    PORT-VILA (capital) 53,000 (2014)
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 1.07 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
    86 deaths/100,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total: 16.41 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 17.53 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 15.23 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
    total population: 72.72 years
    male: 71.16 years
    female: 74.36 years (2014 est.)
    3.36 children born/woman (2014 est.)
    38.4% (2007)
    3.9% of GDP (2013)
    0.12 physicians/1,000 population (2008)
    1.8 beds/1,000 population (2008)
    improved:
    urban: 97.8% of population
    rural: 88.3% of population
    total: 90.7% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 2.2% of population
    rural: 11.7% of population
    total: 9.3% of population (2012 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 65.1% of population
    rural: 55.4% of population
    total: 57.9% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 34.9% of population
    rural: 44.6% of population
    total: 42.1% of population (2012 est.)
    NA
    NA
    NA
    32.9% (2014)
    11.7% (2007)
    5% of GDP (2009)
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 85.2%
    male: 86.6%
    female: 83.8% (2015 est.)
  • Government :: VANUATU

  • conventional long form: Republic of Vanuatu
    conventional short form: Vanuatu
    local long form: Ripablik blong Vanuatu
    local short form: Vanuatu
    former: New Hebrides
    parliamentary republic
    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)
    6 provinces; Malampa, Penama, Sanma, Shefa, Tafea, Torba
    30 July 1980 (from France and the UK)
    Independence Day, 30 July (1980)
    effective 30 July 1980; amended 1981, 1983, 1988 (2006)
    mixed legal system of English common law, French law, and customary law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Baldwin LONSDALE (since 22 September 2014)
    head of government: Prime Minister Joe NATUMAN (since 15 May 2014)
    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 on 2 September 2009 (next to be held in 2014); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually elected prime minister by parliament from among its members; election for prime minister last held on 22 September 2014 (next to be held following general elections in 2016)
    election results: Baldwin LONSDALE elected president, with 46 votes out of 50, on the eighth ballot on 22 September 2014; Joe NATUMAN elected prime minister following a no confidence vote against the government of Moana CARCASSES Kalosil on 15 May 2014
    description: unicameral Parliament (52 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms)
    note: the National Council of Chiefs advises on matters of culture and language
    elections: last held on 30 October 2012 (next to be held in 2016)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - VP 8, PPP 6, UMP 5, GJP 4, NUP 4, IG 3, GC 3, NAG 3, RMC 3, MPP 2, NIPDP 2, PSP 1, VLDP 1, VNP 1, VPDP 1, VRP 1, and independent 4; note - political party associations are fluid
    highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of a chief justice and 3 judges); note - appeals from the Supreme Court are considered by the Court of Appeal, constituted by 2 or more judges of the Supreme Court sitting together
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice appointed by the president after consultation with the prime minister and the leader of the opposition; other judges are appointed by the president on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission, a 4-member advisory body; judges appointed until age of retirement
    subordinate courts: magistrates' courts; island courts
    Greens Confederation or GC [Moana CARCASSES Kalosil]
    Iauko Group or IG [Tony NARI]
    Land and Justice Party (Graon mo Jastis Pati) or GJP [Ralph REGENVANU]
    Melanesian Progressive Party or MPP [Barak SOPE]
    Nagriamel movement or NAG [Frankie STEVENS]
    Natatok Indigenous People's Democratic Party or (NATATOK) or NIPDP [Alfred Roland CARLOT]
    National United Party or NUP [Ham LINI]
    People's Progressive Party or PPP [Sato KILMAN]
    People's Service Party or PSP [Don KEN]
    Reunification of Movement for Change or RMC [Charlot SALWAI]
    Union of Moderate Parties or UMP [Serge VOHOR]
    Vanua'aku Pati (Our Land Party) or VP [Edward NATAPEI]
    Vanuatu Democratic Party [Maxime Carlot KORMAN]
    Vanuatu Liberal Democratic Party or VLDP [Tapangararua WILLIE]
    Vanuatu National Party or VNP [Issac HAMARILIU]
    Vanuatu Progressive Development Party or VPDP [Robert Bohn SIKOL]
    Vanuatu Republican Party or VRP [Marcellino PIPITE]
    NA
    ACP, ADB, AOSIS, C, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, IOC, IOM, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    Vanuatu does not have an embassy in the US; it does, however, have a Permanent Mission to the UN
    the US does not have an embassy in Vanuatu; the US ambassador to Papua New Guinea is accredited to Vanuatu
    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 fern fronds, all in yellow; red represents the blood of boars and men, as well as unity, green the richness of the islands, and black the ni-Vanuatu people; the yellow Y-shape - which reflects the pattern of the islands in the Pacific Ocean - symbolizes the light of the Gospel spreading through the islands; the boar's tusk is a symbol of prosperity frequently worn as a pendant on the islands; the fern fronds represent peace
    boar's tusk with crossed fern fronds; national colors: red, black, green, yellow
    name: "Yumi, Yumi, Yumi" (We, We, We)
    lyrics/music: Francois Vincent AYSSAV
    note: adopted 1980; the anthem is written in Bislama, a Creole language that mixes Pidgin English and French
  • Economy :: VANUATU

  • This South Pacific island economy is based primarily on small-scale agriculture, which provides a living for about two-thirds of the population. Fishing, offshore financial services, and tourism, with nearly 197,000 visitors in 2008, 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. 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.
    $687 million (2014 est.)
    $663.8 million (2013 est.)
    $649.5 million (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    $816 million (2014 est.)
    3.5% (2014 est.)
    2.2% (2013 est.)
    1.8% (2012 est.)
    $2,500 (2014 est.)
    $2,500 (2013 est.)
    $2,600 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2013 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 196
    household consumption: 61.1%
    government consumption: 17.1%
    investment in fixed capital: 28.1%
    investment in inventories: 0%
    exports of goods and services: 44.8%
    imports of goods and services: -51%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 25.1%
    industry: 10.8%
    services: 64.1% (2014 est.)
    copra, coconuts, cocoa, coffee, taro, yams, fruits, vegetables; beef; fish
    food and fish freezing, wood processing, meat canning
    3.1% (2014 est.)
    115,900 (2007 est.)
    agriculture: 65%
    industry: 5%
    services: 30% (2000 est.)
    1.7% (1999)
    NA%
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    revenues: $159.9 million
    expenditures: $175.2 million (2014 est.)
    19.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
    -1.9% of GDP (2014 est.)
    calendar year
    1.7% (2014 est.)
    1.4% (2013 est.)
    20% (31 December 2010)
    6% (31 December 2009)
    5.5% (31 December 2014 est.)
    5% (31 December 2013 est.)
    $283.7 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $272.1 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    $544.9 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $552.6 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    $537.7 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $535.3 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    $NA
    $-66.1 million (2014 est.)
    $-54.2 million (2013 est.)
    $44 million (2014 est.)
    $38.3 million (2013 est.)
    copra, beef, cocoa, timber, kava, coffee
    Thailand 68.2%, Japan 15.7% (2013)
    $290 million (2014 est.)
    $268.5 million (2013 est.)
    machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, fuels
    China 43.5%, Japan 17.1%, Singapore 7.9%, Australia 7.4%, Fiji 4.2% (2013)
    $207 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $195 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    $307.7 million (31 December 2011 est.)
    $369.2 million (31 December 2012 est.)
    $694.1 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $630.1 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    $26.3 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $25.3 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    vatu (VUV) per US dollar -
    98.19 (2014 est.)
    94.48 (2013 est.)
    92.64 (2012 est.)
    89.47 (2011 est.)
    96.91 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: VANUATU

  • 55 million kWh (2011 est.)
    51.15 million kWh (2011 est.)
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    28,000 kW (2011 est.)
    89.3% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    10.7% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    0 bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    1,140 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    837.7 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    166,100 Mt (2012 est.)
  • Communications :: VANUATU

  • 5,800 (2012)
    137,000 (2012)
    international: country code - 678; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
    1 state-owned TV station; multi-channel pay TV is available; state-owned Radio Vanuatu operates 2 radio stations; 2 privately owned radio broadcasters; programming from multiple international broadcasters is available (2008)
    AM 2, FM 4, shortwave 1 (2001)
    1 (2004)
    .vu
    5,655 (2012)
    17,000 (2009)
  • Transportation :: VANUATU

  • 31 (2013)
    total: 3
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 28
    914 to 1,523 m: 7
    under 914 m:
    21 (2013)
    total: 1,070 km
    paved: 256 km
    unpaved: 814 km (2000)
    total: 77
    by type: bulk carrier 38, cargo 8, chemical tanker 2, container 1, liquefied gas 2, passenger 1, refrigerated cargo 24, vehicle carrier 1
    foreign-owned: 72 (Belgium 1, Canada 5, China 1, Greece 3, Japan 39, Norway 1, Poland 9, Russia 7, Singapore 2, Taiwan 1, UAE 1, US 2) (2010)
    major seaport(s): Forari Bay, Luganville (Santo, Espiritu Santo), Port-Vila
  • Military :: VANUATU

  • no regular military forces; Vanuatu Police Force (VPF), Vanuatu Mobile Force (VMF; includes Police Maritime Wing (PMW)) (2013)
    males age 16-49: 62,216 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 43,331
    females age 16-49: 44,927 (2010 est.)
    male: 2,323
    female: 2,230 (2010 est.)
  • Transnational Issues :: VANUATU

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