General overview stats and information on Vanuatu
General Information on Vanuatu & Quick Overview
Vanuatu, the former New Hebrides was an in a rather unusual colonial situation when it was a colony in that it was one of the world’s few condominiums – a colony of two colonial masters. When they arrived in the 1800’s into the New Hebrides, the French and British who settled there agreed in 1906 to an Anglo-French Condominium.
The two powers, France and Great Britain administered the New Hebrides islands until their gaining independence in 1980. It then changed its name to Vanuatu.
Geographical statistics & Information on Vanuatu Geographical Position:
South Pacific, in Melanesia, north-east of Australia.
Map Ref Latitude & Longitude
15 degrees 00 South, 165 degrees 00 East Total Land & Sea Area
12,000 square kilometres land area
12,000 square kilometres Sea Area
0 square kilometres Land boundaries
0 kilometres Coastal Length
Climatological Conditions & information on Vanuatu
Hot, tropical maritime climate influenced by usually prevailing southeast trade winds.
Mostly rugged, thickly forested mountains of volcanic construction; with narrow fertile, coastal plains. Some coral islands.
Highest & Lowest Elevations: Lowest elevation
Pacific Ocean at sea level Highest elevation
Tabwemasana 1,880 metres Country’s natural resources
Manganese deposits, timber resources in hardwood forests, fish stocks & resources
Land use Ploughable land area
2.5 percent permanent crops
7.5 percent other: 90 percent (1998 estimate) Irrigated land area
NA square kilometres Hazardous Natural phenomena
Vanuatu is subject to tropical cyclones and hurricanes particularly from the month of January to the month of April; volcanic activity remains active in some areas and there are occasional earthquakes; tsunamis and tidal waves.
Geographical Point of Interest
Vanuatu is a Y-shaped archipelago of over 80 islands. There are 4 main islands and eighty smaller islands, many of them with active volcanoes.
People-Information on Vanuatu
199,000 (July 2003 estimate) Age structure under 15 years:
35 percent 15 to 64 years
62 percent Over 65
3 percent Median age of population
22 years male: 22 years female: 22 years (2002) Population growth rate
1 percent (2003 estimate) Birth rate
24 births per thousand population (2003 estimate) mortality rate
8 deaths per thousand population (2003 estimate) Net rate of migration
0 migrant(s) per thousand population (2003 estimate) Infant mortality rate Total
58 deaths per thousand live births female: 55deaths per thousand live births (2003 estimate) male: 61 deaths per thousand live births Life expectancy at birth
62 years male: 61 years female: 63 years (2003 estimate) Total fertility rate
3 children born/woman (2003 estimate)
Melanesian indigenes 97 percent, French, Asian, other Pacific Islanders
Religious information on Vanuatu
Christian 77 percent, indigenous religious beliefs 7 percent, others 16 percent ( includes Cargo cults like the John Frum movement)
Languages & Linguistic Groupings
Three official languages: English, French, Bislama, and over a hundred indigenous vernaculars
People over the age of 15 years that are literate (can read & write): total population:
53 percent male: 56 percent female: 50 percent (1979 estimate)
Government information on Vanuatu
Republic of Vanuatu Government type
Parliamentary Republic Capital city
July 30th 1980
National holiday Independence Day
30 July 1980
30 July 1980 Legal system
Based on UK and French laws.
Electoral & Voting System
Universal vote from the age of 18.
Head of State
PM appoints Council of Ministers.
Chief of Government:
Unicameral Parliament voted for four-year terms.
Economy information on Vanuatu Economy - overview
Vanuatu’s economy is primarily driven by primary industry – small scale farming, fishing etc which occupies sixty-five percent of the population. Large areas of forestry.
There is a growing offshore financial services industry, and a growing tourist industry, but little in the way of mineral wealth.
Natural disasters including earthquakes, tsunamis and tropical cyclones hinder development.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
$USD500 million (2002 estimate) Gross Domestic Product - actual growth rate
-1 percent (2002 estimate) Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - per head of population:
$USD5,000 (2002 estimate) Gross Domestic Product - composition by sector agriculture
28 percent industry
10 percent services
62 percent (2000 estimate) Population below poverty line
Rate of inflation 3 percent (2001 estimate) Labour force NA Labour force - by occupation agriculture 65 percent, services 30 percent, industry 5 percent (2000 estimate) Rate of unemploymentNA percent
Budget information on Vanuatu
$USD95 million spending
$USD100 million, Industries
food processing, fisheries and fish processing, timber milling, meat industry
Industrial production growth rate
3 percent (1997 estimate)
Agriculture - products Coconut products, copra, cocoa, coffee, tubers and root crops, fruits, vegetables; fish, meats
$USD15 million . (2001) Exports - commodities
Copra, meat, cocoa, timber, coffee, kava,
Exports - partners
India 30 percent, Thailand 25 percent, South Korea 12 percent, Indonesia 7 percent, Japan 5 percent (2002)
$USD95 million . (2001) Imports - commodities
machinery, vehicles and equipment, foodstuffs, fuels Imports -most important trading partners
Australia 22 percent, Japan 19 percent, New Zealand 10 percent, Singapore 8 percent, Fiji 6 percent, Taiwan 5 percent, India 5 percent (2002)
$USD68 million (2000 estimate) National Currency
vatu (VUV) Currency Abbreviation
Communications information on Vanuatu Telephones landlines
5,000 (1998) Radio broadcast stations
Amplitude Modulation 2, Frequency Modulation 2, shortwave 1 (2002) Television broadcast stations
2 (2002) Internet country code
Transportation in & travel information on Vanuatu Railroad networks
0 kilometres Roading System Total
1,000 kilometres Airports & airfields
Military system of Vanuatu Military branches
no regular military forces; Vanuatu Police which includes paramilitary Vanuatu Mobile Force
- $USDNA Military spending : percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
International Issues Vanuatu Disputes - international Both Vanuatu and France claim the Matthew and Hunter Islands situated east of New Caledonia.
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Source: All info sourced and adapted from CIA Factbook
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