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Vanuatu

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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.



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

Map references:
Oceania

Area:
total: 12,189 sq km
country comparison to the world: 163
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:
Current Weather
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 extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Tabwemasana 1,877 m

Natural resources:
manganese, hardwood forests, fish

Land use:
arable land: 1.64%
permanent crops: 6.97%
other: 91.39% (2005)

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

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



Population:
221,552 (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 184

Age structure:
0-14 years: 30.1% (male 34,103/female 32,683)
15-64 years: 65.7% (male 74,135/female 71,462)
65 years and over: 4.1% (male 4,687/female 4,482) (2010 est.)

Median age:
total: 24.6 years
male: 24.5 years
female: 24.6 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:
1.359% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92

Birth rate:
21.08 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88

Death rate:
7.49 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119

Net migration rate:
NA

Urbanization:
urban population: 25% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 4.1% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.05 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 48.17 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 54
male: 50.65 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 45.56 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 64.33 years
country comparison to the world: 169
male: 62.7 years
female: 66.04 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:
2.43 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA

Nationality:
noun: Ni-Vanuatu (singular and plural)
adjective: Ni-Vanuatu

Ethnic groups:
Ni-Vanuatu 98.5%, other 1.5% (1999 Census)

Religions:
Presbyterian 31.4%, Anglican 13.4%, Roman Catholic 13.1%, Seventh-Day Adventist 10.8%, other Christian 13.8%, indigenous beliefs 5.6% (including Jon Frum cargo cult), other 9.6%, none 1%, unspecified 1.3% (1999 Census)

Languages:
local languages (more than 100) 72.6%, pidgin (known as Bislama or Bichelama) 23.1%, English 1.9%, French 1.4%, other 0.3%, unspecified 0.7% (1999 Census)

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 74%
male: NA
female: NA (1999 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 10 years
male: 11 years
female: 10 years (2004)

Education expenditures:
9.5% of GDP (2003)
country comparison to the world: 6



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:
30 July 1980

Legal system:
unified system being created from former dual French and British systems; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Iolu Johnson ABBIL (since 3 September 2009)
head of government: Prime Minister Edward NATAPEI (since 22 September 2008); Deputy Prime Minister Sato KILMAN (since 19 November 2009)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister, responsible to parliament
(For more information visit the World Leaders website )
elections: president elected for a five-year term by an electoral college consisting of parliament and the presidents of the regional councils; election for president last held on 2 September 2009 (next to be held in 2014); 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 22 September 2008 (next to be held following general elections in 2012)
election results: Iolu Johnson ABBIL elected president, with 41 votes out of 58, on the third ballot on 2 September 2009

Legislative branch:
unicameral Parliament (52 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 2 September 2008 (next to be held in 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - VP 11, NUP 8, UMP 7, VRP 7, PPP 4, GC 2, MPP 1, NA 1, NAG 1, PAP 1, Shepherds Alliance 1, VFFP 1, VLP 1, VNP 1, VPRFP 1, and independent 4; note - political party associations are fluid
note: the National Council of Chiefs advises on matters of culture and language

Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (chief justice is appointed by the president after consultation with the prime minister and the leader of the opposition, three other justices are appointed by the president on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission)

Political parties and leaders:
Greens Confederation or GC [Moana CARCASSES]; Jon Frum Movement or JF [Song KEASPAI]; Melanesian Progressive Party or MPP [Barak SOPE]; Nagriamel movement or NAG [Havo MOLI]; Namangi Aute or NA [Paul TELUKLUK]; National United Party or NUP [Ham LINI]; People's Action Party or PAP [Peter VUTA]; People's Progressive Party or PPP [Sato KILMAN]; Shepherds Alliance Party [leader NA]; Union of Moderate Parties or UMP [Serge VOHOR]; Vanua'aku Pati (Our Land Party) or VP [Edward NATAPEI]; Vanuatu Family First Party or VFFP [Eta RORI]; Vanuatu Labor Party or VLP [Joshua KALSAKAU]; Vanuatu National Party or VNP [Issac HAMARILIU]; Vanuatu Republican Farmers Party or VPRFP [Jean RAVOU]; Vanuatu Republican Party or VRP [Maxime Carlot KORMAN]

Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA

International organization participation:
ACCT, ACP, ADB, AOSIS, C, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, IOC, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
Vanuatu does not have an embassy in the US; it does, however, have a Permanent Mission to the UN

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

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, 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



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):
$1.041 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 197
$1.002 billion (2008 est.)
$940.4 million (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$560.5 million (2009 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
3.8% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 44
6.6% (2008 est.)
6.8% (2007 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$4,800 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143
$4,700 (2008 est.)
$4,400 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 26%
industry: 12%
services: 62% (2000 est.)

Labor force:
115,900 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 181

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 65%
industry: 5%
services: 30% (2000 est.)

Unemployment rate:
1.7% (1999)
country comparison to the world: 10

Population below poverty line:
NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Budget:
revenues: $78.7 million
expenditures: $72.23 million (2005 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.9% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 127

Central bank discount rate:
6% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 76
6% (31 December 2007)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
5.29% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 112
8.16% (31 December 2007)

Stock of money:
$101.6 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 154
$107.1 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$430 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 139
$421.8 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of domestic credit:
$274 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 127
$229.5 million (31 December 2007)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA

Agriculture - products:
copra, coconuts, cocoa, coffee, taro, yams, fruits, vegetables; beef; fish

Industries:
food and fish freezing, wood processing, meat canning

Electricity - production:
42 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 200

Electricity - consumption:
39.06 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 201

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123

Oil - consumption:
1,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 192

Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168

Oil - imports:
654 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 194

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 108

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 114

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 165

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 103

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121

Current account balance:
-$60 million (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70

Exports:
$40 million (2006)
country comparison to the world: 200

Exports - commodities:
copra, beef, cocoa, timber, kava, coffee

Exports - partners:
Thailand 53.15%, Japan 12.22%, Poland 11.78% (2009)

Imports:
$156 million (2006)
country comparison to the world: 203

Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, fuels

Imports - partners:
Japan 17.3%, Australia 13.46%, China 12.26%, Singapore 12%, NZ 6.88%, Poland 6.61%, France 5.86%, Fiji 5.52% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$40.54 million (2003)
country comparison to the world: 154

Debt - external:
$81.2 million (2004)
country comparison to the world: 181

Exchange rates:
vatu (VUV) per US dollar - 97.93 (2009), NA (2007), 111.93 (2006), NA (2005), 111.79 (2004), 122.19 (2003)



Telephones - main lines in use:
10,400 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 203

Telephones - mobile cellular:
36,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 199

Telephone system:
general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: country code - 678; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 2, FM 4, shortwave 1 (2001)

Television broadcast stations:
1 (2004)

Internet country code:
.vu

Internet hosts:
1,023 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 160

Internet users:
17,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 193



Airports:
31 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 115

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 (2009)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 28
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 23 (2009)

Roadways:
total: 1,070 km
country comparison to the world: 183
paved: 256 km
unpaved: 814 km (1999)

Merchant marine:
total: 54
country comparison to the world: 68
by type: bulk carrier 32, cargo 8, container 1, liquefied gas 2, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 4, vehicle carrier 5
foreign-owned: 54 (Australia 2, Belgium 4, Canada 5, Estonia 1, Greece 1, Japan 29, Monaco 1, Poland 7, Russia 2, Switzerland 1, US 1) (2008)

Ports and terminals:
Forari, Port-Vila, Santo (Espiritu Santo)



Military branches:
no regular military forces; Vanuatu Police Force (VPF), Vanuatu Mobile Force (VMF; includes Police Maritime Wing (PMW)) (2009)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 61,178 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 42,450
females age 16-49: 43,894 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 2,346
female: 2,249 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
NA



Disputes - international:
Matthew and Hunter Islands east of New Caledonia claimed by Vanuatu and France

 

Information from the CIA's "The World Fact Book" 2010

 

 

 

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