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 Total12,000 square kilometres land area 12,000 square kilometres Sea Area 0 square kilometres Land boundaries 0 kilometres Coastal Length 2,500 kilometres

Climatological Conditions & information on Vanuatu

Hot, tropical maritime climate influenced by usually prevailing southeast trade winds.

Terrain Features

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

Population 199,000 (July 2003 estimate) Age structure under 15 years: 35 percent 15 to 64 years62 percent Over 653 percent Median age of population Total22 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 Total58 deaths per thousand live births female: 55deaths per thousand live births (2003 estimate) male: 61 deaths per thousand live births Life expectancy at birth total population: 62 years male: 61 years female: 63 years (2003 estimate) Total fertility rate 3 children born/woman (2003 estimate)



Ethnic groups

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 Literacy definition 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

Country name Republic of Vanuatu Government type Parliamentary Republic Capital city Port-Vila Independence July 30th 1980 National holiday Independence Day 30 July 1980 Constitution 30 July 1980 Legal system Based on UK and French laws.

Electoral & Voting System

Universal vote from the age of 18. Executive branch Head of StatePresident
Cabinet: PM appoints Council of Ministers. Chief of Government:Prime Minister
Legislative branch 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 industry10 percent services62 percent (2000 estimate) Population below poverty line NA percent

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

Incomes $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)

Foreign Indebtedness

$USD68 million (2000 estimate) National Currency vatu (VUV) Currency Abbreviation VUV

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 .vu

Transportation in & travel information on Vanuatu

Railroad networks 0 kilometres Roading System Total1,000 kilometres Airports & airfields 35 (2002)

Military system of Vanuatu

Military branches no regular military forces; Vanuatu Police which includes paramilitary Vanuatu Mobile Force Military spending - $USDNA Military spending : percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) NA percent

International Issues Vanuatu Disputes - international Both Vanuatu and France claim the Matthew and Hunter Islands situated east of New Caledonia.

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Facts on Vanuatu
Source: All info sourced and adapted from CIA Factbook
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