Vanuatu Population: 277,554

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 History
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
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: 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 extremes:
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: 0 sq km (2012)
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
Current Environment Issues: most of the population does not have access to a reliable supply of potable water; 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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 People
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: 277,554 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 36.11% (male 51,160/female 49,073)
15-24 years: 20% (male 27,559/female 27,939)
25-54 years: 34.74% (male 47,189/female 49,244)
55-64 years: 5.27% (male 7,327/female 7,297)
65 years and over: 3.88% (male 5,470/female 5,296) (2016 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: 21.7 years
male: 21.3 years
female: 22.1 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.9% (2016 est.)
Birth rate: 24.5 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate: 4.1 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 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 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.04 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 78 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 15.1 deaths/1,000 live births male: 16.1 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 14 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 73.4 years male: 71.8 years
female: 75.1 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate: 3.16 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 38.4% (2007)
Health expenditures: 5% of GDP (2014)
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: 32.9% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 10.7% (2013)
Education expenditures: 4.9% of GDP (2014)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
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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 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
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 the meaning of "independence" or the sense of "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: effective 30 July 1980; amended several times, last in 2013 (2016)
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 Baldwin LONSDALE (since 22 September 2014)

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 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 11 February 2016 (next to be held following general elections in 2020)

election results: Baldwin LONSDALE (independent) elected president; Parliament vote - 46 out of 52 on the eighth ballot; Charlot SALWAI elected prime minister on 11 February 2016 with 46 votes
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 the chief justice and 6 justices - 3 local and 4 expatriate); note - appeals beyond 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
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: 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
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 Economy
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. 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): GDP (purchasing power parity): $723 million (2016 est.) $695.2 million (2015 est.) $700.8 million (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $773 million (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4% (2016 est.) -0.8% (2015 est.) 2.3% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $2,600 (2016 est.) $2,600 (2015 est.) $2,700 (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 67%
government consumption: 17.6%
investment in fixed capital: 28.6%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 37.3%
imports of goods and services: -50.5% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 67%
government consumption: 17.6%
investment in fixed capital: 28.6%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 37.3%
imports of goods and services: -50.5% (2016 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% (2016 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: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budget: revenues: $175.9 million
expenditures: $201.3 million (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 22.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.7% (2016 est.) 2.4% (2015 est.)
Current account balance: -$129 million (2016 est.) -$82 million (2015 est.)
Exports: $58.4 million (2016 est.) $45.6 million (2015 est.)
Exports - commodities: copra, beef, cocoa, timber, kava, coffee
Exports - partners: Japan 35.1%, Turkey 10.5%, Thailand 8.7%, China 8.2%, Venezuela 5.9%, UK 5.6% (2015)
Imports: $366.8 million (2016 est.) $323.2 million (2015 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, fuels
Imports - partners: China 16.7%, Australia 14.6%, Japan 13.9%, Singapore 10%, Fiji 9.3%, NZ 8.3%, New Caledonia 5.2% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $251.9 million (31 December 2016 est.) $269.2 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external: $208.1 million (31 December 2016 est.) $190.9 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $618.1 million (31 December 2016 est.) $563.1 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $22.7 million (31 December 2016 est.) $22.7 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA
Exchange rates: vatu (VUV) per US dollar - 110.3 (2016 est.) 108.99 (2015 est.) 108.99 (2014 est.) 97.07 (2013 est.) 92.64 (2012 est.)
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 Energy
Electricity - production: 60 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 55.8 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 30,000 kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 89.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 10.7% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 1,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 1,008 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 200,000 Mt (2013 est.)
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 Communications
Cellular Phones in use: total: 175,000 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 64 (July 2015 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)
Internet country code: .vu
Internet users: total: 61,000 percent of population: 22.4% (July 2015 est.)
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 Transportation
Airports: 31 (2013)
Airports (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 (unpaved runways): total 28

914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 21 (2013)
Roadways: total 1,070 km
paved: 256 km
unpaved: 814 km (2000)
Merchant marine: 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
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 Military
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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