Vanuatu

WorldABC.xyz: facts on every entity in the world

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

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

Area 164/257

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

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

mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point: Tabwemasana 1,877 m

Natural resources

manganese, hardwood forests, fish

Land use

agricultural land: 15.3%

arable land 1.6%; permanent crops 10.3%; permanent pasture 3.4%

forest: 36.1%

other: 48.6% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

NA

Natural hazards

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

Environment - current issues

most 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 and there are several underwater volcanoes as well

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Ni-Vanuatu (singular and plural)

adjective: Ni-Vanuatu

Ethnic groups

Ni-Vanuatu 97.6%, part Ni-Vanuatu 1.1%, other 1.3% (2009 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 183/238

272,264 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 36.71% (male 51,014/female 48,940)

15-24 years: 19.94% (male 26,970/female 27,314)

25-54 years: 34.45% (male 45,935/female 47,864)

55-64 years: 5.13% (male 7,034/female 6,932)

65 years and over: 3.77% (male 5,236/female 5,025) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 68.7%

youth dependency ratio: 61.6%

elderly dependency ratio: 7.1%

potential support ratio: 14.1% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 21.4 years

male: 21 years

female: 21.7 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 52/233

1.95% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 51/224

25.04 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 207/225

4.09 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 155/222

-1.47 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 26.1% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 3.42% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

PORT-VILA (capital) 53,000 (2014)

Sex ratio

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: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 1.04 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 68/184

78 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 101/224

total: 15.7 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 16.77 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 14.58 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 133/224

total population: 73.06 years

male: 71.47 years

female: 74.72 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 49/224

3.25 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

38.4% (2007)

Health expenditures 171/191

3.9% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

0.12 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Hospital bed density

1.8 beds/1,000 population (2008)

Drinking water source

improved:

urban: 98.9% of population

rural: 92.9% of population

total: 94.5% of population

unimproved:

urban: 1.1% of population

rural: 7.1% of population

total: 5.5% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

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 (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths

NA

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 39/191

32.9% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight 62/138

11.7% (2007)

Education expenditures 79/173

5% of GDP (2009)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 10.6%

male: 10.2%

female: 11.2% (2009 est.)

Government

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 the UK)

National holiday

Independence Day, 30 July (1980)

Constitution

effective 30 July 1980; amended several times, last in 2013 (2015)

Legal system

mixed legal system of English common law, French law, and customary law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: both parents must be citizens of Vanuatu; in the case of only one parent, it must be the father who is a citizen

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Baldwin LONSDALE (since 22 September 2014)

head of government: Prime Minister Sato KILMAN (since 11 June 2015)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister, responsible to parliament

elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by an electoral college consisting of Parliament and presidents of the 6 provinces; Vanuatu president serves a 5-year term; election last held on 17 September 2014 (next to be held in 2019); 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 23 March 2013 (next to be held following general elections in 2016)

election results: Baldwin LONSDALE (independent) elected president; Parliament vote - 46 out of 52 on the eighth ballot; Sato KILMAN (PPP) elected prime minister following a no confidence vote against the government of Joe NATUMAN on 11 June 2015

Legislative branch

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 22 January 2016 (next to be held in 2020)

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

Judicial branch

.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

Political parties and leaders

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 National Development Party or VNDP [Robert Bohn SIKOL]

Vanuatu Republican Party or VRP [Marcellino PIPITE]

Political pressure groups and leaders

NA

International organization participation

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

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 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

note: one of several flags where a prominent component of the design reflects the shape of the country; other such flags are those of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, and Eritrea

National symbol(s)

boar's tusk with crossed fern fronds; national colors: red, black, green, yellow

National anthem

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

Economy - overview

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.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 209/230

$675.9 million (2015 est.)

$689.7 million (2014 est.)

$674 million (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$771 million (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 207/225

-2% (2015 est.)

2.3% (2014 est.)

2% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 195/230

$2,600 (2015 est.)

$2,600 (2014 est.)

$2,600 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 69.8%

government consumption: 18.8%

investment in fixed capital: 25.2%

investment in inventories: 0.1%

exports of goods and services: 45.8%

imports of goods and services: -59.7%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 30.2%

industry: 8.7%

services: 61.1% (2015 est.)

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 189/202

-5% (2015 est.)

Labor force 181/233

115,900 (2007 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 65%

industry: 5%

services: 30% (2000 est.)

Unemployment rate 8/207

1.7% (1999 est.)

Population below poverty line

NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Budget

revenues: $141 million

expenditures: $182.7 million (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 171/219

18.3% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 176/220

-5.4% of GDP (2015 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 136/226

3% (2015 est.)

0.8% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 5/156

20% (31 December 2010)

6% (31 December 2009)

Commercial bank prime lending rate 152/184

4.6% (31 December 2015 est.)

4.8% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 178/192

$267.5 million (31 December 2015 est.)

$270.3 million (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 180/193

$544.9 million (31 December 2014 est.)

$552.6 million (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 169/191

$483.2 million (31 December 2015 est.)

$501.4 million (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$NA

Current account balance 68/197

-$104 million (2015 est.)

$4 million (2014 est.)

Exports 205/224

$38.3 million (2015 est.)

$49.1 million (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

copra, beef, cocoa, timber, kava, coffee

Exports - partners

Thailand 36.8%, Japan 25.2%, South Korea 11.1% (2014)

Imports 197/223

$314.1 million (2015 est.)

$275.5 million (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, fuels

Imports - partners

China 32%, Singapore 16.5%, Australia 12%, Fiji 6.8%, Japan 6.8%, NZ 5.1% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 160/170

$213.4 million (31 December 2015 est.)

$184 million (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 184/206

$369.2 million (31 December 2012 est.)

$307.7 million (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 113/120

$749.1 million (31 December 2015 est.)

$694.1 million (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 101/105

$26.3 million (31 December 2015 est.)

$26.3 million (31 December 2014 est.)

Exchange rates

vatu (VUV) per US dollar -

107.8 (2015 est.)

97.07 (2014 est.)

97.07 (2013 est.)

92.64 (2012 est.)

89.47 (2011 est.)

Energy

Electricity - production 206/220

53 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 206/219

49.29 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 177/218

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports 182/219

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 198/214

28,000 kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 80/214

89.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 153/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 192/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 33/212

10.7% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 175/214

0 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 169/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 107/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 175/215

0 bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 118/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 201/212

1,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 209/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 196/213

1,015 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 111/216

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 179/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 155/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 109/214

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 178/212

0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 198/212

166,100 Mt (2012 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 207/219

total subscriptions: 5,700

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 183/217

total: 156,100

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 58 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

international: country code - 678; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Broadcast media

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)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 2, FM 4, shortwave 1 (2001)

Television broadcast stations

1 (2004)

Internet country code

.vu

Internet hosts 143/232

5,655 (2012)

Internet users 194/217

total: 30,800

percent of population: 11.5% (2014 est.)

Transportation

Airports 114/236

31 (2013)

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 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 28

914 to 1,523 m: 7

under 914 m: 21 (2013)

Roadways 185/223

total: 1,070 km

paved: 256 km

unpaved: 814 km (2000)

Merchant marine 58/156

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)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Forari Bay, Luganville (Santo, Espiritu Santo), Port-Vila

Military and Security

Military branches

no regular military forces; Vanuatu Police Force (VPF), Vanuatu Mobile Force (VMF; includes Police Maritime Wing (PMW)) (2013)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

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