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

Geographic Coordinates:

 8 00 S, 159 00 E


 Total: 28,896 sq km
Land: 27,986 sq km
Water: 910 sq km

Area - Comparative:

 Slightly smaller than Maryland

Land Boundaries:

 0 km


 5,313 km (Rank: 24)

Maritime Claims:

 Measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Continental shelf: 200 nm


 Tropical monsoon; few extremes of temperature and weather


 Mostly rugged mountains with some low coral atolls

Elevation Extremes:

 Lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Highest point: Mount Popomanaseu 2,310 m

Natural Resources:

 Fish, forests, gold, bauxite, phosphates, lead, zinc, nickel

Land Use:

 Arable land: 0.62%
Permanent crops: 2.04%
Other: 97.34% (2005)

Total Renewable Water Resources:

 44.7 cu km (1987)

Natural Hazards:

 Typhoons, but rarely destructive; geologically active region with frequent earthquakes, tremors, and volcanic activity; tsunamis

Volcanism: Tinakula (elev. 851 m) has frequent eruption activity, while an eruption of Savo (elev. 485 m) could affect the capital Honiara on nearby Guadalcanal

Environment - Current Issues:

 Deforestation; soil erosion; many of the surrounding coral reefs are dead or dying

Environment - International Agreements:

 Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Whaling

Signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - Note:

 Strategic location on sea routes between the South Pacific Ocean, the Solomon Sea, and the Coral Sea; on 2 April 2007 an undersea earthquake measuring 8.1 on the Richter scale occurred 345 km WNW of the capital Honiara; the resulting tsunami devastated coastal areas of Western and Choiseul provinces with dozens of deaths and thousands dislocated; the provincial capital of Gizo was especially hard hit

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 Noun: Solomon Islander(s)
Adjective: Solomon Islander

Ethnic Groups:

 Melanesian 94.5%, Polynesian 3%, Micronesian 1.2%, other 1.1%, unspecified 0.2% (1999 census)


 Melanesian pidgin (in much of the country is lingua franca), English (official but spoken by only 1%-2% of the population), 120 indigenous languages


 Protestant 73.7% (Church of Melanesia 32.8%, South Seas Evangelical 17%, Seventh-Day Adventist 11.2%, United Church 10.3%, Christian Fellowship Church 2.4%), Roman Catholic 19%, other Christian 4.4%, other 2.4%, unspecified 0.3%, none 0.2% (1999 census)


 571,890 (July 2011 est.)

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 37.8% (male 111,265/female 104,896)
15-64 years: 58.3% (male 169,873/female 163,621)
65 years and over: 3.9% (male 10,879/female 11,356) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 20.9 years
Male: 20.7 years
Female: 21.1 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 2.22% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 28.03 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 3.93 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 -1.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


 Urban population: 19% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 4.2% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 HONIARA (capital) 72,000 (2009)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate:

 100 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 17.82 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 20.29 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 15.23 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 74.18 years
Male: 71.6 years
Female: 76.89 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 3.59 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Health Expenditures:

 5.4% of GDP (2009)

Physicians Density:

 0.186 physicians/1,000 population (2005)

Hospital Bed Density:

 1.4 beds/1,000 population (2005)

Drinking Water Source:

 Urban: 94% of population
Rural: 65% of population
Total: 70% of population
Urban: 6% of population
Rural: 35% of population
Total: 31% of population (2000)

Sanitation Facility Access:

 Urban: 98% of population
Rural: 18% of population
Total: 31% of population
Urban: 2% of population
Rural: 82% of population
Total: 69% of population (2000)

Children Under 5 - Underweight:

 11.5% (2007)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 9 years
Male: 9 years
Female: 9 years (2007)

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Country Name:

 Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: Solomon Islands
Local long form: none
Local short form: Solomon Islands
Former: British Solomon Islands

Government Type:

 Parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm


 Name: Honiara
Geographic coordinates: 9 26 S, 159 57 E
Time difference: UTC+11 (16 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative Divisions:

 9 provinces and 1 capital territory*; Central, Choiseul, Guadalcanal, Honiara*, Isabel, Makira, Malaita, Rennell and Bellona, Temotu, Western


 7 July 1978 (from the UK)

National Holiday:

 Independence Day, 7 July (1978)


 July 7, 1978

Legal System:

 Mixed legal system of English common law and customary law

International Law Organization Participation:

 Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


 21 years of age; universal

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Frank KABUI (since 7 July 2009)

Head of government: Prime Minister Gordon Darcy LILO (since 16 November 2011)

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: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the advice of parliament for up to five years (eligible for a second term); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition 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; Gordon Darcy LILO elected on 16 November 2011

Legislative Branch:

 Unicameral National Parliament (50 seats; members elected from single-member constituencies by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

Elections: last held on 4 August 2010 (next to be held in 2014)

Election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - SIDP 14, OUR 4, SIPRA 3, RDP 3, IDP 2, DDP 2, PCP 1, PFP 1, RUPP 1, SILP 1, SINP 1, independents 17

Judicial Branch:

 Court of Appeal

Political Parties and Leaders:

 Direct Development Party or DDP [Dick HA'AMORI]; People's Alliance Party or PAP [James MEKAB]; People's Congress Party or PCP [Fred FONO]; People's Federation Party or PFP [Rudolf DORA]; Ownership, Unity, and Responsibility Party or OUR [Manasseh SOGAVARE]; Reform Democratic Party or RDP [Danny PHILIP]; Rural and Urban Political Party or RUPP [Samuel MANETOALI]; Solomon Islands Democratic Party or SIDP [Steve ABANA]; Solomon Islands Liberal Party or SILP [Derek SIKUA]; Solomon Islands National Party or SINP [Francis HILLY]; Solomon Islands Party for Rural Advancement or SIPRA [Job D. TAUSINGA]; United Party [Sir Peter KENILOREA]

Note: in general, Solomon Islands politics is characterized by fluid coalitions

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders:

 Isatabu Freedom Movement (IFM); Malaita Eagle Force (MEF); note - these rival armed ethnic factions crippled the Solomon Islands in a wave of violence from 1999 to 2003

International Organization Participation:


Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Collin David BECK
Chancery: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400L, New York, NY 10017
Telephone: [1] (212) 599-6192, 6193
FAX: [1] (212) 661-8925

Diplomatic Representation From the US:

 The US does not have an embassy in the Solomon Islands; the US 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; blue represents the ocean; green the land; and yellow sunshine; the five stars stand for the five main island groups of the Solomon Islands

National Anthem:

 Name: "God Save Our Solomon Islands"
Lyrics/music: Panapasa BALEKANA and Matila BALEKANA/Panapasa BALEKANA

Note: adopted 1978

Government - Note:

 By the end of 2007, the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) - originally made up of police and troops from Australia, NZ, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Tonga - had been scaled back to 303 police officers, 197 civilian technical advisers, and 72 military advisers from 15 countries across the region

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Economy - Overview:

 The bulk of the population depends on agriculture, fishing, and forestry for at least part of its 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. Prior to the arrival of RAMSI, severe ethnic violence, the closing of key businesses, and an empty government treasury culminated in economic collapse. RAMSI's efforts to restore law and order and economic stability have led to modest growth as the economy rebuilds.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $1.627 billion (2010 est.)
$1.542 billion (2009 est.)
$1.562 billion (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $712 million (2010 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 5.6% (2010 est.)
-1.3% (2009 est.)
7.3% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $2,900 (2010 est.)
$2,800 (2009 est.)
$2,900 (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 31.1%
Industry: 6.9%
Services: 62% (2010 est.)

Labor Force:

 202,500 (2007)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: 75%
Industry: 5%
Services: 20% (2000 est.)

Unemployment Rate:


Population Below Poverty Line:


Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: NA%
Highest 10%: NA%

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons:

 IDPs: 5,400 (displaced by tsunami on 2 April 2007) (2007)


 Revenues: $223.2 million
Expenditures: $198.4 million (2010 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 31.3% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 3.5% of GDP (2010 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 1.3% (2010 est.)
7.1% (2009 est.)

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 14.4% (31 December 2010 est.)
15.3% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Money:

 $86.96 million (31 December 2008)
$94 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of Quasi Money:

 $96.79 million (31 December 2008)
$85.47 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $161.2 million (31 December 2010 est.)
$127.4 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $264.8 million (31 December 2010 est.)
$227.1 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $148.1 million (31 December 2010 est.)
$111.1 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Agriculture - Products:

 Cocoa beans, coconuts, palm kernels, rice, potatoes, vegetables, fruit; timber; cattle, pigs; fish


 Fish (tuna), mining, timber

Industrial Production Growth Rate:


Electricity - Production:

 78 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 100%
Hydro: 0%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 72.54 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - Production:

 0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 2,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 1,485 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 -$207.9 million (2009 est.)
-$207.9 million (2007 est.)


 $163.4 million (2009 est.)
$163.4 million (2006)

Exports - Commodities:

 Timber, fish, copra, palm oil, cocoa

Exports - Partners:

 China 63.7% (2010)


 $256 million (2006)
$239.2 million (2009 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

 Food, plant and equipment, manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals

Imports - Partners:

 Australia 29%, Singapore 21.7%, China 7.9%, NZ 6.1%, Fiji 4.3%, Papua New Guinea 4.2%, Malaysia 4.1% (2010)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold:

 $265.8 million (31 December 2010 est.)
$146 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - External:

 $166 million (2004)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert Solomon Islands Dollar to Any Currency

Solomon Islands dollars (SBD) per US dollar -
NA (2007)
7.3447 (2006)
7.5299 (2005)
7.4847 (2004)
7.5059 (2003)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 8,400 (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 30,000 (2010)

Telephone System:

 General assessment: NA

Domestic: mobile-cellular telephone density is about 5 telephones per 100 persons

International: country code - 677; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Broadcast Media:

 Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) is the sole TV broadcaster with 1 station; multi-channel pay-TV is available; SIBC, the public service broadcaster, operates 2 national radio stations and 2 provincial stations; 2 local commercial radio stations operating; Radio Australia is obtainable via satellite feed (2009)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 1 (2004)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 4,065 (2010)

Internet Users:

 10,000 (2009)

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 36 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - With Unpaved Runways:

 Total: 34
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 8
Under 914 m: 25 (2010)


 3 (2010)


 Total: 1,360 km
Paved: 33 km
Unpaved: 1,327 km

Note: includes 800 km of private plantation roads (2002)

Ports and Terminals:

 Honiara, Malloco Bay, Viru Harbor, Tulaghi

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Military Branches:

 No regular military forces; Solomon Islands Police Force (2011)

Manpower Available For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 142,913 (2010 est.)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 118,921
Females age 16-49: 118,164 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 6,483
Female: 6,098 (2010 est.)

Military Expenditures:

 3% of GDP (2006)

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Disputes - International:

 Since 2003, RAMSI, consisting of police, military, and civilian advisors drawn from 15 countries, has assisted in reestablishing and maintaining civil and political order while reinforcing regional stability and security

Trafficking in Persons:

 Current situation: the Solomon Islands is a destination country for local and Southeast Asian men and women subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution; local children are subjected to sex trafficking, particularly near foreign logging camps and on foreign and local commercial fishing vessels, but also at hotels and entertainment establishments; some girls are hired under the guise of domestic labor in logging and fishing areas, but subsequently coerced into commercial sex; some Asian women from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines may have been recruited from their home countries for legitimate work and upon arrival, forced into prostitution; men from Indonesia and Malaysia are recruited to work in the Solomon Islands' logging and mining industries, and may be subsequently subjected to forced labor in industrial camps; the Solomon Islands is a destination country for child sex tourists

Tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - the government failed to report any efforts to investigate or prosecute any trafficking offenders, or identify or assist any trafficking victims; the government did not conduct any public awareness campaigns on trafficking (2011)

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Last Updated: December 2011

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