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Countries > Vanuatu Vanuatu Flag

Languages   3 languages are spoken in Vanuatu. We have 330 products available for those languages.

Capital: Port-Villa
Population: 182,000
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Vanuatu Map


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

total : 14,760 sq km
land: 14,760 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes more than 80 islands

Area - comparative: slightly larger than Connecticut

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 2,528 km

Maritime claims: measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea : 12 nm

Climate: tropical; moderated by southeast trade winds

Terrain: mostly mountains of volcanic origin; narrow coastal plains

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Tabwemasana 1,877 m

Natural resources: manganese, hardwood forests, fish

Land use:
arable land: 2%
permanent crops: 10%
permanent pastures : 2%
forests and woodland: 75%
other: 11% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: tropical cyclones or typhoons (January to April); volcanism causes minor earthquakes

Environment - current issues: a majority of the population does not have access to a potable and reliable supply of water; deforestation

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: Desertification, Law of the Sea


Population: 196,178 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 35.6% (male 35,681; female 34,164)
15-64 years: 61.1% (male 61,384; female 58,473)
65 years and over: 3.3% (male 3,473; female 3,003) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.66% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 24.83 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate: 8.25 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: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over : 1.16 male(s)/female
total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 59.58 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 61.33 years
male: 59.93 years
female: 62.8 years (2002 est.)

Total fertility rate:3.08 children born/woman (2002 est.)

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

Ethnic groups: indigenous Melanesian 94%, French 4%, Vietnamese, Chinese, Pacific Islanders

Religions: Presbyterian 36.7%, Anglican 15%, Catholic 15%, indigenous beliefs 7.6%, Seventh-Day Adventist 6.2%, Church of Christ 3.8%, other 15.7%

Languages: English (official), French (official), pidgin (known as Bislama or Bichelama)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 53%
male: 57%
female: 48% (1979 est.)


Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Vanuatu
conventional short form: Vanuatu
former: New Hebrides

Data code: NH

Government type: republic

National capital: Port-Vila

Administrative divisions: 6 provinces; Malampa, Penama, Sanma, Shefa, Tafea, Torba

Independence: 30 July 1980 (from France and 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

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Father John BANI (since 25 March 1999)
head of government: Prime Minister Edward NATAPEI (since 16 April 2001); Deputy Prime Minister Serge VOHOR (since 16 April 2001)
cabinet : Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister, responsible to Parliament
elections: president elected for a four-year term by an electoral college consisting of Parliament and the presidents of the regional councils for a five-year term; election for president last held 25 March 1999 (next to be held NA 2004); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition is usually elected prime minister by Parliament from among its members; election for prime minister last held 2 May 2002 (next to be held NA 2003) note: the government of Prime Minister Barak SOPE was ousted in a no confidence vote on 14 April 2001 and Edward NATAPEI was elected the new prime minister by Parliament
election results: Father John BANI elected president; percent of electoral college vote - NA%; Edward NATAPEI reelected prime minister by Parliament cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister, responsible to Parliament

Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament (52 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections : last held 2 May 2002 (next to be held NA 2006) ]
election results:percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - UMP 15, VP 14, VRP 3, MPP 2, other and independent 18; note - political party associations are fluid

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: Jon Frum Movement [Song KEASPAI]; Melanesian Progressive Party or MPP [Barak SOPE]; National United Party or NUP [Dinh Van THAN]; Union of Moderate Parties or UMP [Serge VOHOR]; Vanuaaku Party (Our Land Party) or VP [Edward NATAPEI]; Vanuatu Republican Party [Maxime Carlot KORMAN]

International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AsDB, C, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), IOC, ITU, NAM, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation in the US: Vanuatu does not have an embassy in the US

Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Vanuatu; the 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 leaves, all in yellow


Economy - overview: The economy is based primarily on subsistence or small-scale agriculture which provides a living for 65% of the population. Fishing, offshore financial services, and tourism, with about 50,000 visitors in 1997, 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. A severe earthquake in November 1999 followed by a tsunami, caused extensive damage to the northern island of Pentecote and left thousands homeless. Another powerful earthquake in January 2002 caused extensive damage in the capital, Port-Vila, and surrounding areas, and also was followed by a tsunami. GDP growth has risen less than 3% on average in the 1990s. In response to foreign concerns, the government has promised to tighten regulation of its offshore financial center.

GDP: purchasing power parity -$257 million (2000 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 2.7% (2000 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,300 (2000 est.)

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

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 2.5% (2000 est.)

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

Unemployment rate: NA%

revenues : $94.4 million
expenditures: $99.8 million, including capital expenditures of $30.4 million (1996 est.)

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

Industrial production growth rate: 1% (1997 est.)

Electricity - capacity: 11,000 kW (1995)

Electricity - production: 39 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - consumption per capita:36.27 million kWh (2000)

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

total value:$22.8 million (f.o.b., 2000)
commodities: copra, beef, cocoa, timber, coffee
partners : Japan 32%, Belgium 17%, US 17%, Germany 8% (2000)

total value: $87.5 million (f.o.b., 2000)
commodities: machines and vehicles, food and beverages, basic manufactures, raw materials and fuels, chemicals
partners: Australia 28%, Singapore 14%, New Zealand 8%, Japan 4%, US 1% (2000)

Debt - external: $64.6 million (1999 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: $45.8 million (1995)

Currency: 1 vatu (VUV) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: vatu per US dollar - 146.02 (December 2001), 145.31 (2001), 137.64 (2000), 129.08 (1999), 127.52 (1998), 115.87 (1997)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Telephones: 5,500 (1998)

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

Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 2, shortwave 1 (2002)

Radios: 67,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 1 (2002)

Televisions: 2,300 (1999)


Railways: 0 km

total : 1,070 km
paved:256 km
unpaved: 814 km (1996)

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

Merchant marine:
total : 54 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,092,838 GRT/1,329,576 DWT
ships by type:bulk 22, cargo 9, chemical tanker 1, combination bulk 3, container 2, liquefied gas 3, petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 7, vehicle carrier 6
note : includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Australia 3, Canada 2, China 1, Japan 25, Monaco 4, Netherlands 1, New Zealand 5, Panama 1, Poland 1, Switzerland 2, United Kingdom 4, US 2, Vietnam 1 (2002 est.)

Airports: 31 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 29
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m : 10
under 914 m: 17 (2001)


Military branches: no regular military forces; Vanuatu Police Force (VPF; includes the paramilitary Vanuatu Mobile Force or VMF)

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: claims Matthew and Hunter Islands east of New Caledonia

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