Vanuatu

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

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

Area

total: 12,189 sq km

land: 12,189 sq km

water: 0 sq km

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

Natural resources

manganese, hardwood forests, fish

People and Society

Population

308,043 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

Melanesian 99.2%, non-Melanesian 0.8% (2016 est.)

Languages

local languages (more than 100) 63.2%, Bislama (official; creole) 33.7%, English (official) 2%, French (official) 0.6%, other 0.5% (2009 est.)

Religions

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.)

Population growth rate

1.63% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

parliamentary republic

Capital

name: Port-Vila (on Efate)

Executive branch

chief of state: President Tallis Obed MOSES (since 6 July 2017)

head of government: Prime Minister Bob LOUGHMAN (since 20 April 2020)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Parliament (52 seats; members directly elected in 8 single-seat and 9 multi-seat constituencies by single non-transferable vote to serve 4-year terms (candidates in multi-seat constituencies can be elected with only 4% of the vote)

Economy

Economic overview

Pacific island agriculture- and tourism-based economy; environmentally vulnerable to cyclones; poor property rights administration; corruption-prone; subsidizing loss-prone state enterprises in agriculture, banking, and airports

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$850 million (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$2,800 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

coconuts, roots/tubers nes, bananas, vegetables, pork, fruit, milk, beef, groundnuts, cocoa

Industries

food and fish freezing, wood processing, meat canning

Exports

$380 million (2019 est.)

Exports - partners

Japan 33%, Thailand 13%, Mauritania 13%, South Korea 11%, China 9%, Fiji 7% (2019)

Exports - commodities

fish and fish products, tug boats, perfume plants, mollusks, cocoa beans (2019)

Imports

$460 million (2019 est.)

Imports - partners

China 29%, Australia 18%, New Zealand 11%, Fiji 11%, Taiwan 5%, Thailand 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, fishing ships, delivery trucks, poultry meats, broadcasting equipment (2019)


Page last updated: Monday, May 16, 2022