Solomon Islands

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid



The UK established a protectorate over the Solomon Islands in the 1890s. Self-government came in 1976 and independence in 1978. Ethnic violence, government malfeasance, endemic crime, and other issues undermined stability.  From 2003 to 2017, the Australian-led multi-national Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands was generally effective in restoring law and order and rebuilding government institutions.



total: 28,896 sq km
land: 27,986 sq km
water: 910 sq km


tropical monsoon; few temperature and weather extremes

Natural resources

fish, forests, gold, bauxite, phosphates, lead, zinc, nickel

People and Society


714,766 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

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%, unspecified 0.1% (2009 est.)

Population growth rate

1.69% (2023 est.)


Government type

parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm


name: Honiara

Executive branch

chief of state: King CHARLES III (since 8 September 2022); represented by Governor General David VUNAGI (since 8 July 2019)
head of government: Prime Minister Manasseh SOGAVARE (since 24 April 2019)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Parliament (50 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms)


Economic overview

lower middle-income Pacific island economy; natural resource rich; primarily subsistence agriculture and fishing; land rights conflicts; fairly low public debt; underdeveloped financial sector; large, state-owned enterprise presence

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$1.703 billion (2021 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$2,400 (2021 est.)

Agricultural products

oil palm fruit, sweet potatoes, coconuts, taro, yams, fruit, pulses, vegetables, cocoa, cassava


fish (tuna), mining, timber


$413.657 million (2021 est.)

Exports - partners

China 65%, Italy 9%, India 6% (2019)

Exports - commodities

lumber, fish, aluminum, palm oil, cocoa beans (2019)


$619.46 million (2021 est.)

Imports - partners

China 24%, Australia 13%, South Korea 12%, Singapore 12%, Malaysia 10% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, fish, insulated wiring, broadcasting equipment, excavation machinery (2019)

Exchange rates

Solomon Islands dollars (SBD) per US dollar -
8.03 (2021 est.)

Page last updated: Wednesday, February 22, 2023