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  Vanuatu   
Introduction
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Transnational
Issues
  Introduction Back To Top

Background:
Multiple waves of colonizers, each speaking a distinct language, migrated to the New Hebrides in the millennia preceding European exploration in the 18th century. This settlement pattern accounts for the complex linguistic diversity found on the archipelago to this day. The British and French, who settled the New Hebrides in the 19th century, agreed in 1906 to an Anglo-French Condominium, which administered the islands until independence in 1980, when the new name of Vanuatu was adopted.

  Geography Back To Top

Land boundaries:
0 km

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 94
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Climate:
tropical; moderated by southeast trade winds from May to October; moderate rainfall from November to April; may be affected by cyclones from December to April

Map references:
Australia/Oceania

Geographic coordinates:
16 00 S, 167 00 E

Natural resources:
manganese, hardwood forests, fish

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

Terrain:
mostly mountainous islands of volcanic origin; narrow coastal plains

Geography - note:
a Y-shaped chain of four main islands and 80 smaller islands; several of the islands have active volcanoes

Area:
total: 12,200 sq km
land: 12,200 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes more than 80 islands, about 65 of which are inhabited

Location:
Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to Australia

Coastline:
2,528 km

Area - comparative:
slightly larger than Connecticut

Irrigated land:
NA

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

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

Natural hazards:
tropical cyclones or typhoons (January to April); volcanic eruption on Aoba (Ambae) island began 27 November 2005, volcanism also causes minor earthquakes; tsunamis

Land use:
arable land: 1.64%
permanent crops: 6.97%
other: 91.39% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
2.57 children born/woman (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.07 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 63.61 years
male: 62.04 years
female: 65.27 years (2008 est.)

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 74%
male: NA
female: NA (1999 census)

Net migration rate:
NA (2008 est.)

Ethnic groups:
Ni-Vanuatu 98.5%, other 1.5% (1999 Census)

Median age:
total: 23.8 years
male: 23.8 years
female: 23.8 years (2008 est.)

Population:
215,446 (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:
9.5% of GDP (2003)

Population growth rate:
1.434% (2008 est.)

Languages:
local languages (more than 100) 72.6%, pidgin (known as Bislama or Bichelama) 23.1%, English 1.9%, French 1.4%, other 0.3%, unspecified 0.7% (1999 Census)

Death rate:
7.61 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 50.77 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 53.32 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 48.09 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 10 years
male: 11 years
female: 10 years (2004)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 31.3% (male 34,441/female 33,000)
15-64 years: 64.8% (male 71,159/female 68,435)
65 years and over: 3.9% (male 4,352/female 4,059) (2008 est.)

Birth rate:
21.95 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Religions:
Presbyterian 31.4%, Anglican 13.4%, Roman Catholic 13.1%, Seventh-Day Adventist 10.8%, other Christian 13.8%, indigenous beliefs 5.6% (including Jon Frum cargo cult), other 9.6%, none 1%, unspecified 1.3% (1999 Census)

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

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
the US does not have an embassy in Vanuatu; the ambassador to Papua New Guinea is accredited to Vanuatu

National holiday:
Independence Day, 30 July (1980)

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal

Government type:
parliamentary republic

Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA

Diplomatic representation in the US:
Vanuatu does not have an embassy in the US; it does, however, have a Permanent Mission to the UN

International organization participation:
ACCT, ACP, ADB, C, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IOC, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Legislative branch:
unicameral Parliament (52 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 2 September 2008 (next to be held 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - VP 11, NUP 8, UMP 7, VRP 7, PPP 4, GC 2, MPP 1, NA 1, NAG 1, PAP 1, Shepherds Alliance 1, VFFP 1, VLP 1, VNP 1, VPRFP 1, and independent 4; note - political party associations are fluid
note: the National Council of Chiefs advises on matters of culture and language

Legal system:
unified system being created from former dual French and British systems; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

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

Independence:
30 July 1980 (from France and UK)

Country name (Goverment):
conventional long form: Republic of Vanuatu
conventional short form: Vanuatu
local long form: Ripablik blong Vanuatu
local short form: Vanuatu
former: New Hebrides

Political parties and leaders:
Greens Confederation or GC [Moana CARCASSES]; Jon Frum Movement or JF [Song KEASPAI]; Melanesian Progressive Party or MPP [Barak SOPE]; Nagriamel movement or NAG [Havo MOLI]; Namangi Aute or NA [Paul TELUKLUK]; National United Party or NUP [Ham LINI]; People's Action Party or PAP [Peter VUTA]; People's Progressive Party or PPP [Sato KILMAN]; Shepherds Alliance Party [leader NA]; Union of Moderate Parties or UMP [Serge VOHOR]; Vanuatu Family First Party or VFFP [Eta RORI]; Vanuatu Labor Party or VLP [Joshua KALSAKAU]; Vanuatu National Party or VNP [Issac HAMARILIU]; Vanua'aku Pati (Our Land Party) or VP [Edward NATAPEI]; Vanuatu Republican Party or VRP [Maxime Carlot KORMAN]; Vanuatu Republican Farmers Party or VPRFP [Jean RAVOU]

Capital:
name: Port-Vila (on Efate)
geographic coordinates: 17 44 S, 168 19 E
time difference: UTC+11 (16 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Constitution:
30 July 1980

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Kalkot Matas KELEKELE (since 16 August 2004)
head of government: Prime Minister Edward NATAPEI (since 22 September 2008); Deputy Prime Minister Ham LINI (since 22 September 2008)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister, responsible to Parliament
elections: president elected for a five-year term by an electoral college consisting of Parliament and the presidents of the regional councils; election for president last held 16 August 2004 (next to be held in 2009); 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 22 September 2008 (next to be held following general elections in 2012)
election results: Kalkot Matas KELEKELE elected president, with 49 votes out of 56, after several ballots on 16 August 2004

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

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)

  Economy Back To Top

Exports - partners:
Thailand 58.3%, India 18.5%, Japan 11.3% (2007)

Electricity - consumption:
39.99 million kWh (2006 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
6% (31 December 2007)

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Current account balance:
-$60 million (2007 est.)

Debt - external:
$81.2 million (2004)

Unemployment rate:
1.7% (1999)

Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2005)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$4,700 (2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$229.5 million (31 December 2007)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$1.01 billion (2008 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$560 million (2008 est.)

Exchange rates:
vatu (VUV) per US dollar - NA (2007), 111.93 (2006), NA (2005), 111.79 (2004), 122.19 (2003)

GDP - real growth rate:
6.5% (2008 est.)

Stock of money:
$107.1 million (31 December 2007)

Labor force:
76,410 (1999)

Imports - partners:
Australia 20.7%, Singapore 11.8%, NZ 11.2%, Norway 8.5%, US 8.3%, Fiji 8.1%, China 7.2%, New Caledonia 4.5% (2007)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.9% (2007 est.)

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

Oil - imports:
671.1 bbl/day (2005)

Exports:
$40 million f.o.b. (2006)

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Currency (code):
vatu (VUV)

Economy - overview:
This South Pacific island economy is based primarily on small-scale agriculture, which provides a living for over 70% of the population. Fishing, offshore financial services, and tourism, with more than 167,000 visitors in 2007, 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. In response to foreign concerns, the government has promised to tighten regulation of its offshore financial center. In mid-2002 the government stepped up efforts to boost tourism through improved air connections, resort development, and cruise ship facilities. Agriculture, especially livestock farming, is a second target for growth. Australia and New Zealand are the main suppliers of tourists and foreign aid.

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, fuels

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

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line:
NA%

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
8.16% (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$421.8 million (31 December 2007)

Electricity - production:
46 million kWh (2007 est.)

Imports:
$156 million c.i.f. (2006)

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

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

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$40.54 million (2003)

Oil - consumption:
660 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA

Currency code:
VUV

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Exports - commodities:
copra, beef, cocoa, timber, kava, coffee

Economic aid - recipient:
$39.48 million (2005)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $78.7 million
expenditures: $72.23 million (2005 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
17,000 (2007)

Telephones - main lines in use:
8,800 (2007)

Televisions:
2,300 (1999)

Internet country code:
.vu

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 2, FM 4, shortwave 1 (2001)

Radios:
67,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
26,000 (2007)

Television broadcast stations:
1 (2004)

Telephone system:
general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: country code - 678; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)

Internet hosts:
990 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

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

Merchant marine:
total: 54
by type: bulk carrier 32, cargo 8, container 1, liquefied gas 2, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 4, vehicle carrier 5
foreign-owned: 54 (Australia 2, Belgium 4, Canada 5, Estonia 1, Greece 1, Japan 29, Monaco 1, Poland 7, Russia 2, Switzerland 1, US 1) (2008)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2007)

Roadways:
total: 1,070 km
paved: 256 km
unpaved: 814 km (1999)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 28
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 22 (2007)

Airports:
31 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 58,900 (2008 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 40,577 (2008 est.)

Military branches:
no regular military forces; Vanuatu Police Force (VPF), Vanuatu Mobile Force (VMF; includes Police Maritime Wing (PMW)) (2008)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 2,385
female: 2,290 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures:
NA

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

Disputes - international:
Matthew and Hunter Islands east of New Caledonia claimed by Vanuatu and France

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