Vanuatu Population: 288,037


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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. Politics and society continue to be divided along linguistic lines, although those divisions are lessening over time. Coalition governments tend to be weak, and since 2008, prime ministers have been ousted through no-confidence motions or temporary procedural issues 10 times. Prime Minister Charlot SALAWI has survived four no-confidence motions since taking office in 2016.

    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
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: 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

Size comparison: slightly larger than Connecticut
Land Boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 2,528 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
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
Natural resources: manganese, hardwood forests, fish
Land use: agricultural land: 15.3% (2011 est.) arable land: 1.6% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 10.3% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 3.4% (2011 est.) forest: 36.1% (2011 est.)
other: 48.6% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 0 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: tropical cyclones (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 (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
Current Environment Issues: population growth; water pollution, most of the population does not have access to a reliable supply of potable water; inadequate sanitation; deforestation
International Environment 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
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Nationality: noun: Ni-Vanuatu (singular and plural)
adjective: Ni-Vanuatu
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: 288,037 (July 2018 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 34.89% (male 51,313 /female 49,190)
15-24 years: 20.03% (male 28,631 /female 29,053)
25-54 years: 35.39% (male 49,803 /female 52,140)
55-64 years: 5.57% (male 7,973 /female 8,072)
65 years and over: 4.12% (male 5,968 /female 5,894) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 68.7 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 61.6 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 7.1 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 14.1 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 22.3 years
male: 21.9 years
female: 22.7 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.81% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 23.5 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 4 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 25.3% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 2.55% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 53,000 PORT-VILA (capital) (2018)
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: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.01 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 78 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 13.9 deaths/1,000 live births male: 14.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 12.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 74 years male: 72.4 years
female: 75.7 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.97 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 49% (2013)
Physicians density: 0.17 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
Hospital bed density: 1.7 beds/1,000 population (2008)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 98.9% of population
rural: 92.9% of population
total: 94.5% of population

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 (2015 est.)
rural: 55.4% of population (2015 est.)
total: 57.9% of population (2015 est.)

urban: 34.9% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 44.6% of population (2015 est.)
total: 42.1% 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: 25.2% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 10.7% (2013)
Education expenditures: 4.7% of GDP (2017)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 85.2%
male: 86.6%
female: 83.8% (2015 est.) Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 10.6% male: 10.2% female: 11.2% (2009 est.)
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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
etymology: derived from the words "vanua" (home or land) and "tu" (stand) that occur in several of the Austonesian languages spoken on the islands and which provide a meaning of "the land remains" but which also convey a sense of "independence" or "our land"
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: history: draft completed August 1979, finalized by constitution conference 19 September 1979, ratified by French and British Governments 23 October 1979, effective 30 July 1980 at independence amendments: proposed by the prime minister or by the Parliament membership; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote by Parliament in special session with at least three-fourths of the membership; passage of amendments affecting the national and official languages, or the electoral and parliamentary system also requires approval in a referendum; amended several times, last in 2013
Legal system: mixed legal system of English common law, French law, and customary law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Tallis Obed MOSES (since 6 July 2017)

head of government: Prime Minister Charlot SALWAI (since 11 February 2016)

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 June 2017 (next to be held in 2022); 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 11 February 2016 (next to be held following general elections in 2020)

election results: Baldwin LONSDALE (independent) died suddenly on 17 June 2017; Parliament elected Tallis Obed MOSES on 6 July 2017 with a 39 to 17 vote in the fourth round; Charlot SALWAI elected prime minister on 11 February 2016 with 46 votes
Legislative branch: description: description: unicameral Parliament (52 seats; members directly elected in 8 single-seat and 9multi-seat constituencies by single non-transferable vote to serve 4-year terms (some candidates in multi-seat constituencies can be elected with as little as 4 percent of the vote)

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, VNDP 1, VRP 1, independent 4; composition - men 52, women 0; percent of women 0%; note - political party associations are fluid note: the National Council of Chiefs advises on matters of culture and language
Judicial branch: highest courts: Court of Appeal (consists of 2 or more judges of the Supreme Court designated by the chief justice); Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and 6 puisne judges - 3 local and 3 expatriate) 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 appointed by the president on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission, a 4-member advisory body; judges serve until the 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]
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
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
Diplomatic representation in the US: none; the Vanuatu Permanent Mission to the UN serves as the Embassy; it is headed by Odo TEVI (since 2014); address: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400B, New York, NY 10017;
telephone: [1](212)661-4303;
FAX: [1](212)422-2437
Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Vanuatu; the US Ambassador to Papua New Guinea is accredited to Vanuatu
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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 more than 330,000 visitors in 2017, are other mainstays of the economy. Tourism has struggled after Efate, the most populous and most popular island for tourists, was damaged by Tropical Cyclone Pam in 2015. Ongoing infrastructure difficulties at Port Vila’s Bauerfield Airport have caused air travel disruptions, further hampering tourism numbers. Australia and New Zealand are the main source of tourists and foreign aid. A small light industry sector caters to the local market. Tax revenues come mainly from import duties. Mineral deposits are negligible; the country has no known petroleum deposits. 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. Since 2002, the government has 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.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $772 million (2017 est.) $740.9 million (2016 est.) $716.1 million (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $870 million (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4.2% (2017 est.) 3.5% (2016 est.) 0.2% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $2,700 (2017 est.) $2,700 (2016 est.) $2,700 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 59.9% (2017 est.) government consumption: 17.4% (2017 est.) investment in fixed capital: 28.7% (2017 est.) investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.) exports of goods and services: 42.5% (2017 est.) imports of goods and services: -48.5% (2017 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 27.3% (2017 est.) industry: 11.8% (2017 est.) services: 60.8% (2017 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: 4.5% (2017 est.)
Labor force: 115,900 (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 65%
industry: 5%
services: 30% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate: 1.7% (1999 est.)
Population below poverty line: n/a
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: n/a
highest 10%: n/a
Budget: revenues: 236.7 million (2017 est.)
expenditures: 244.1 million (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 27.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -0.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 48.4% of GDP (2017 est.) 46.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.1% (2017 est.) 0.8% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: -$13 million (2017 est.) -$37 million (2016 est.)
Exports: $44.7 million (2017 est.) $53.5 million (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities: copra, beef (veal), cocoa, timber, kava, coffee, coconut oil, shell, cowhides, coconut meal, fish
Exports - partners: Philippines 23.9%, Australia 16.5%, US 10.4%, Japan 8.8%, Venezuela 8%, France 4.8%, Fiji 4.5%, Hong Kong 4.4% (2017)
Imports: $273.7 million (2017 est.) $308.5 million (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, fuels
Imports - partners: Russia 35.2%, Australia 19.8%, NZ 9.8%, China 6.3%, Fiji 5.5% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $395.1 million (31 December 2017 est.) $267.4 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external: $200.5 million (31 December 2017 est.) $182.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $590.9 million (31 December 2017 est.) $535.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $22.3 million (31 December 2017 est.) $22.4 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: n/a
Exchange rates: vatu (VUV) per US dollar - 109.7 (2017 est.) 112.28 (2016 est.) 108.48 (2015 est.) 108.99 (2014 est.) 97.07 (2013 est.)
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Electricity - production: 63 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 58.59 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 37,000 kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 71% 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: 29% 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: 1,100 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 1,073 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: 164,800 Mt (2017 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 228,016
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 81 (2017 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: telecom services have progressed significantly in recent years; mobile phones are now the primary means of communication and more than 92% of the population is covered by a mobile network; 2016 saw the launch of LTE services and the introduction of rural satellite broadband services; mobile phone use in some rural areas is constrained by electricity shortages; investment in fixed broadband saw recent growth with fiber-optic cables; mobile broadband infrastructure also expanded with a reduction in prices; general broadband penetration is at 45% (2018)

domestic: fixed-line 1 per 100 and mobile-cellular 81 per 100 (2018)

international: country code - 678; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean); 1CN1 submarine cable which resulted in reduction of broadband pricing
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
Internet country code: .vu
Internet users: total: 66,613
percent of population: 24% (July 2016 est.)
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Airports: 31 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 28
914 to 1,523 m: 7 (2013)
under 914 m: 21 (2013)
Roadways: total 1,070 km
(2000) paved: 256 km (2000)
unpaved: 814 km (2000)
Merchant marine: total 405

by type: bulk carrier 27, container ship 1, general cargo 35, other 342 (2018)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Forari Bay, Luganville (Santo, Espiritu Santo), Port-Vila
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Military branches: no regular military forces; Vanuatu Police Force (VPF), Vanuatu Mobile Force (VMF; includes Police Maritime Wing (PMW)) (2013)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: Matthew and Hunter Islands east of New Caledonia claimed by Vanuatu and France
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