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Countries > Solomon Islands Solomon Islands Flag

Languages   3 languages are spoken in Solomon Islands. We have 4189 products available for those languages.

Capital: Honiara
Population: 382,000
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Solomon Islands Map


Location: Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Papua New Guinea

Geographic coordinates: 8 00 S, 159 00 E

Map references: Oceania

total: 28,450 sq km
land: 27,540 sq km
water: 910 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Maryland

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 5,313 km

Maritime claims: measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
continental shelf: 200 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical monsoon; few extremes of temperature and weather

Terrain: mostly rugged mountains with some low coral atolls

Elevation extremes:
lowest point : Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Makarakomburu 2,447 m

Natural resources: fish, forests, gold, bauxite, phosphates, lead, zinc, nickel

Land use:
arable land: 1%
permanent crops: 1%
permanent pastures: 1%
forests and woodland: 88%
other : 9% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: typhoons, but they are rarely destructive; geologically active region with frequent earth tremors; volcanic activity

Environment - current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; much of the surrounding coral reefs are dead or dying

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Whaling
signed, but not ratified : Law of the Sea


Population: 494,786 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 43.4% (male 109,339; female 105,170)
15-64 years :53.5% (male 134,125; female 130,804)
65 years and over:3.1% (male 7,467; female 7,881) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.91% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 33.26 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:4.19 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth : 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years : 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.95 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 23.68 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.82 years
male:69.38 years
female: 74.39 years (2002 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.5 children born/woman (2002 est.)

noun: Solomon Islander(s)
adjective: Solomon Islander

Ethnic groups: Melanesian 93%, Polynesian 4%, Micronesian 1.5%, European 0.8%, Chinese 0.3%, other 0.4%

Religions: Anglican 45%, Roman Catholic 18%, United (Methodist/Presbyterian) 12%, Baptist 9%, Seventh-Day Adventist 7%, other Protestant 5%, indigenous beliefs 4%

Languages:Melanesian pidgin in much of the country is lingua franca; English is official but spoken by only 1%-2% of the population
note: 120 indigenous languages

Literacy: NA


Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Solomon Islands
former: British Solomon Islands

Data code: BP

Government type: parliamentary democracy

National capital: Honiara

Administrative divisions:9 provinces and 1 capital territory*; Central, Choiseul (Lauru), Guadalcanal, Honiara*, Isabel, Makira, Malaita, Rennell/Bellona, Temotu, Western

Independence: 7 July 1978 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 7 July (1978)

Constitution: 7 July 1978

Legal system: common law

Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Sir John LAPLI (since NA 1999)
head of government: Prime Minister Allan KEMAKEZA (since 17 December 2001); Deputy Prime Minister Snyder RINI (since 17 December 2001)
cabinet: Cabinet consists of 20 members appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister from among the members of Parliament
elections : none; the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the advice of Parliament for up to five years; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition is usually elected prime minister by Parliament; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister from among the members of Parliament

Legislative branch: unicameral National Parliament (50 seats; members elected from single-member constituencies by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections:last held 5 December 2001 (next to be held by December 2005)
election results:percent of vote by party - PAP 40%, SIACC 40%, PPP 20%; seats by party - PAP 16, SIACC 13, PPP 2, SILP 1, independents 18

Judicial branch: Court of Appeal

Political parties and leaders: Association of Independents [Snyder RINI]; People's Alliance Party or PAP [Allan KEMAKEZA]; People's Progressive Party or PPP [Mannaseh Damukana SOGAVARE]; Solomon Islands Alliance for Change Coalition or SIACC [Bartholomew ULUFA'ALU]; Solomon Islands Labor Party or SILP [Joses TUHANUKU]

International organization participation: ACP, AsDB, C, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IOC, ITU, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador(vacant); Charge d'Affaires Jeremiah MANELE
chancery: Permanent Mission of the Solomon Islands to the UN, 820 Second Avenue, Suite 800, New York, NY 10017
telephone : [1] (212) 599-6193
FAX: [1] (212) 661-8925

Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Solomon Islands (embassy closed July 1993); the ambassador to Papua New Guinea is accredited to the Solomon Islands

Flag description: divided diagonally by a thin yellow stripe from the lower hoist-side corner; the upper triangle (hoist side) is blue with five white five-pointed stars arranged in an X pattern; the lower triangle is green


Economy - overview: The bulk of the population depends on agriculture, fishing, and forestry for at least part of their 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. However, severe ethnic violence, the closing of key business enterprises, and an empty government treasury have led to serious economic disarray, indeed near collapse. Tanker deliveries of crucial fuel supplies (including those for electrical generation) have become sporadic due to the government's inability to pay and attacks against ships. Telecommunications are threatened by the nonpayment of bills and by the lack of technical and maintenance staff many of whom have left the country.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $800 million (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: -10% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,700 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 42%
services: 47% (2000 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 7.9% (2001 est.)

Labor force:
total: 26,842
by occupation: agriculture 75%, industry 5%, services 20% (2000 est.)

Unemployment rate: NA%

revenues: $38 million (2001)
expenditures: $168 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997 est.)

Industries: fish (tuna), mining, timber

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - capacity: 20,000 kW (1994)

Electricity - production: 32 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - consumption per capita: NA kWh

Agriculture - products: cocoa, beans, coconuts, palm kernels, rice, potatoes, vegetables, fruit; cattle, pigs; timber; fish

total value: $165 million (f.o.b., 1999 est.)
commodities: timber, fish, palm oil, cocoa, copra
partners : Japan 22%, China 15%, Philippines 13%, South Korea 12%, UK 12%, Thailand 5% (2000)

total value: $152 million (f.o.b., 1999 est.)
commodities: plant and machinery, manufactured goods, food and live animals, fuel
partners: Australia 27%, Singapore 25%, NZ 5.5%, Japan 5.3%, US 5.1% (2000)

Debt - external: $137 million (2001 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: $28 million mainly from Japan, Australia, China, and NZ (2001 est.)

Currency: 1 Solomon Islands dollar (SBD) = 100 cents

Exchange rates:Solomon Islands dollars per US dollar - 5.3728 (December 2001), 5.0889 (2000), 4.8381 (1999), 4.8156 (1998), 3.7169 (1997)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Telephones:8,000 (1997)

Telephone system:
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations:AM 3, FM 0, shortwave 0 (1998)

Radios: 57,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations:0 (1997)

Televisions:3,000 (1997)


Railways: 0 km

total : 1,360 km
paved: 34 km
unpaved: 1,326 km (includes about 800 km of private plantation roads) (1996 est.)

Ports and harbors: Aola Bay, Honiara, Lofung, Noro, Viru Harbor, Yandina

Merchant marine: none

Airports: 31 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m : 19 (2001)


Military branches: no regular military forces; Solomon Islands National Reconnaissance and Surveillance Force; Royal Solomon Islands Police (RSIP)

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: NA

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: NA

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $NA

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA%

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none