Solomon Islands Population: 660,121


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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 and the Guadalcanal Campaign (August 1942-February 1943) proved a turning point in the Pacific War, since after the operation the Japanese lost their strategic initiative and remained on the defensive until thier final defeat in 1945. Self-government for the Solomon Islands came 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), which ended in June 2017, was generally effective in restoring law and order and rebuilding government institutions.

    Strategic location on sea routes between the South Pacific Ocean, the Solomon Sea, and the Coral Sea
Location: Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Papua New Guinea
Geographic coordinates: 8 00 S, 159 00 E
Area: total: 28,896 sq km
land: 27,986 sq km
water: 910 sq km

Size comparison: slightly smaller than Maryland
Land Boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 5,313 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
Climate: tropical monsoon; few temperature and weather extremes
Terrain: mostly rugged mountains with some low coral atolls
Natural resources: fish, forests, gold, bauxite, phosphates, lead, zinc, nickel
Land use: agricultural land: 3.9% (2011 est.) arable land: 0.7% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 2.9% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 0.3% (2011 est.) forest: 78.9% (2011 est.)
other: 17.2% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 0 sq km n/a (2012)
Natural hazards: tropical cyclones, but rarely destructive; geologically active region with frequent earthquakes, tremors, and volcanic activity; tsunamis volcanism: Tinakula (851 m) has frequent eruption activity, while an eruption of Savo (485 m) could affect the capital Honiara on nearby Guadalcanal
Current Environment Issues: deforestation; soil erosion; many of the surrounding coral reefs are dead or dying; effects of climate change and rising sea levels
International Environment Agreements: 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
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Nationality: noun: Solomon Islander(s)
adjective: Solomon Islander
Ethnic groups: Melanesian 95.3%, Polynesian 3.1%, Micronesian 1.2%, other 0.3% (2009 est.)
Languages: Melanesian pidgin (in much of the country is lingua franca), English (official but spoken by only 1%-2% of the population), 120 indigenous languages
Religions: 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.)
Population: 660,121 (July 2018 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 34.05% (male 115,734 /female 109,009)
15-24 years: 19.95% (male 67,794 /female 63,925)
25-54 years: 36.89% (male 123,930 /female 119,577)
55-64 years: 4.77% (male 16,112 /female 15,389)
65 years and over: 4.34% (male 13,515 /female 15,136) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 75.4 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 69.4 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 6 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 16.6 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 22.8 years
male: 22.6 years
female: 23.1 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.9% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 24.5 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 3.8 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 23.7% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 3.91% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 82,000 HONIARA (capital) (2018)
Sex ratio: 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: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2018 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth: 22.6 years (2015 est.) note: median age at first birth among women 25-29
Maternal mortality rate: 114 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 14.3 deaths/1,000 live births male: 16.3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 12.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 75.8 years male: 73.1 years
female: 78.6 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 3.09 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 29.3% (2015)
Physicians density: 0.2 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
Hospital bed density: 1.4 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 93.2% of population
rural: 77.2% of population
total: 80.8% of population

urban: 6.8% of population
rural: 22.8% of population
total: 19.2% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 81.4% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 15% of population (2015 est.)
total: 29.8% of population (2015 est.)

urban: 18.6% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 85% of population (2015 est.)
total: 70.2% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: n/a
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: n/a
HIV/AIDS - deaths: n/a
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 22.5% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 16.2% (2015)
Education expenditures: 9.9% of GDP (2010)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2009 est.)
total population: 84.1%
male: 88.9%
female: 79.2% (2009 est.) Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 1.3% male: 1% female: 1.6% (2013)
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Country name: 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
Government type: parliamentary democracy (National Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
Capital: name: Honiara
geographic coordinates: 9 26 S, 159 57 E
time difference: UTC+11 (16 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 9 provinces and 1 city*; Central, Choiseul, Guadalcanal, Honiara*, Isabel, Makira and Ulawa, Malaita, Rennell and Bellona, Temotu, Western
Independence: 7 July 1978 (from the UK)
National holiday: Independence Day, 7 July (1978)
Constitution: history: adopted 31 May 1978, effective 7 July 1978; note - in late 2017, provincial leaders agreed to adopt a new federal constitution, with passage expected in 2018, but has been postponed indefinitely amendments: proposed by the National Parliament; passage of constitutional sections including those on fundamental rights and freedoms, the legal system, Parliament, alteration of the constitution and the ombudsman requires three-fourths majority vote by Parliament and assent to by the governor-general; passage of other amendments requires two-thirds majority vote and assent to by the governor-general; amended several times, last in 2014 (2018)
Legal system: mixed legal system of English common law and customary law
Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General David VUNAGI (since 8 July 2019)

head of government: Prime Minister Rick HOU (since 16 November 2017)

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) defeated in no-confidence vote on 6 November 2017; Rick HOU elected prime minister on 15 November 2017
Legislative branch: 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 3 April 2019)

election results: percent of vote by party - UDP 10.7%, DAP 7.8%, PAP 4.4%, other 20.8%, independent 56.3%; seats by party - DAP 7, UDP 5, PAP 3, KPSI 1, SIPFP 1, SIPRA 1, independent 32; composition - men 49, women 1, percent of women 2%
Judicial branch: highest courts: Court of Appeal (consists of the court president and ex officio members including 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 and includes 5 members, mostly judicial officials and legal professionals; all judges serve until retirement at age 60

subordinate courts: Magistrates' Courts; Customary Land Appeal Court; local courts
Political parties and leaders: Democratic Alliance Party or DAP [Steve ABANA] Kadere Party of Solomon Islands or KPSI [Peter BOYERS] People's Alliance Party or PAP [Nathaniel WAENA] Solomon Islands People First Party or SIPFP [Dr. Jimmie RODGERS] Solomon Islands Party for Rural Advancement or SIPRA [Manasseh MAELANGA] United Democratic Party or UDP [Sir Thomas Ko CHAN] note: in general, Solomon Islands politics is characterized by fluid coalitions
International organization participation: 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
National symbol(s):
national colors: blue, yellow, green, white
National anthem: name: God Save Our Solomon Islands
lyrics/music: Panapasa BALEKANA and Matila BALEKANA/Panapasa BALEKANA

note: adopted 1978
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Robert SISILO (since 21 July 2017)
chancery: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400L, New York, NY 10017
telephone: [1] (212) 599-6192, 6193
FAX: [1] (212) 661-8925
Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in the Solomon Islands; the US Ambassador to Papua New Guinea is accredited to the Solomon Islands
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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 closure of key businesses, and an empty government treasury culminated in economic collapse. RAMSI's efforts, which concluded in Jun 2017, to restore law and order and economic stability have led to modest growth as the economy rebuilds.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $1.33 billion (2017 est.) $1.285 billion (2016 est.) $1.242 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $1.298 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.5% (2017 est.) 3.5% (2016 est.) 2.5% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $2,200 (2017 est.) $2,100 (2016 est.) $2,100 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving: 13.1% of GDP (2017 est.) 15.2% of GDP (2016 est.) 14.5% of GDP (2015 est.) GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: n/a government consumption: n/a investment in fixed capital: n/a investment in inventories: n/a exports of goods and services: 25.8% (2011 est.) imports of goods and services: -49.6% (2011 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 34.3% (2017 est.) industry: 7.6% (2017 est.) services: 58.1% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products: cocoa, coconuts, palm kernels, rice, fruit; cattle, pigs; fish; timber
Industries: fish (tuna), mining, timber
Industrial production growth rate: 3.6% (2017 est.)
Labor force: 202,500 (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 75%
industry: 5%
services: 20% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate: n/a
Population below poverty line: n/a
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: n/a
highest 10%: n/a
Budget: revenues: 532.5 million (2017 est.)
expenditures: 570.5 million (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 41% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -2.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 9.4% of GDP (2017 est.) 7.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0.5% (2017 est.) 0.5% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: -$54 million (2017 est.) -$49 million (2016 est.)
Exports: $468.6 million (2017 est.) $419.9 million (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities: timber, fish, copra, palm oil, cocoa, coconut oil
Exports - partners: China 64.5%, Italy 6.2%, Switzerland 4.6%, Philippines 4.4% (2017)
Imports: $462.1 million (2017 est.) $419.3 million (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: food, plant and equipment, manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals
Imports - partners: China 21.9%, Australia 19.6%, Singapore 10.7%, Vietnam 7.5%, NZ 6.2%, Papua New Guinea 5%, South Korea 4.7% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $0 (31 December 2017 est.) $421 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external: $757 million (31 December 2017 est.) $643 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $594.8 million (31 December 2017 est.) $571.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $59.2 million (31 December 2017 est.) $50.1 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange rates: Solomon Islands dollars (SBD) per US dollar - 7.9 (2017 est.) 7.94 (2016 est.) 7.94 (2015 est.) 7.9147 (2014 est.) 7.3754 (2013 est.)
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Electricity - production: 103 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 95.79 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 38,000 kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 92% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 8% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 1,600 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 1,577 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 233,500 Mt (2017 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 465,331
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 72 (2017 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: Internet penetration has reached 20%; 3G mobile networks expanding and even 4G LTE services launched in the capital; otherwise 2G and satellite services for communication and Internet access; increase in broadband subscriptions (2018)

domestic: fixed-line is 1 per 100 persons and mobile-cellular telephone density is about 72 per 100 persons; domestic cable system to extend to key major islands (2018)

international: country code - 677; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean); in 2018 the Coral Sea Cable System connects to PNG and Australian landing station
Broadcast media: Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) does not broadcast television; multi-channel pay-TV is available; SIBC operates 2 national radio stations and 2 provincial stations; there are 2 local commercial radio stations; Radio Australia is available via satellite feed (since 2009) (2019)
Internet country code: .sb
Internet users: total: 69,859
percent of population: 11% (July 2016 est.)
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Airports: 36 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 35
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 10 (2013)
under 914 m: 24 (2013)
Heliports: 3 (2013)
Roadways: total 1,390 km
(2011) paved: 34 km (2011)
unpaved: 1,356 km (2011)

note: includes 920 km of private plantation roads
Merchant marine: total 23

by type: general cargo 6, other 17 (2018)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Honiara, Malloco Bay, Viru Harbor, Tulaghi
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Military branches: no regular military forces; Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (2013)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: 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
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