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Solomon Islands (2001)

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Solomon Islands 2001 year

 Solomon Islands
Administrative divisions 7 provinces and 1 town*; Central, Guadalcanal, Honiara*, Isabel, Makira, Malaita, Temotu, Western; note - there may be two new provinces of Choiseul (Lauru) and Rennell/Bellona and the administrative unit of Honiara may have been abolished
Age structure 0-14 years:
43.79% (male 107,229; female 103,162)

15-64 years:
53.15% (male 129,315; female 126,021)

65 years and over:
3.06% (male 7,190; female 7,525) (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products cocoa, beans, coconuts, palm kernels, rice, potatoes, vegetables, fruit; cattle, pigs; timber; fish
Airports 31 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total:

1,524 to 2,437 m:

914 to 1,523 m:
1 (2000 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total:

1,524 to 2,437 m:

914 to 1,523 m:

under 914 m:
18 (2000 est.)
Area total:
28,450 sq km

27,540 sq km

910 sq km
Area - comparative slightly smaller than Maryland
Background The UK established a protectorate over the Solomon Islands in the 1890s. Some of the bitterest fighting of World War II occurred on these islands. Self-government was achieved in 1976 and independence two years later. Current issues include government deficits, deforestation, and malaria control.
Birth rate 34.05 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Budget revenues:
$147 million

$168 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997 est.)
Capital Honiara
Climate tropical monsoon; few extremes of temperature and weather
Coastline 5,313 km
Constitution 7 July 1978
Country name conventional long form:

conventional short form:
Solomon Islands

British Solomon Islands
Currency Solomon Islands dollar (SBD)
Death rate 4.27 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Debt - external $152.4 million (1998)
Diplomatic representation from the US the US does not have an embassy in Solomon Islands (embassy closed July 1993); the ambassador to Papua New Guinea is accredited to the Solomon Islands
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission:
Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires ad interim Jeremiah MANELE

800 Second Avenue, Suite 400L, New York, NY 10017

[1] (212) 599-6192, 6193

[1] (212) 661-8925
Disputes - international none
Economic aid - recipient $47 million (1999 est.), mainly from Japan, Australia, China, and NZ
Economy - overview The bulk of the population depends on agriculture, fishing, and forestry for at least part of their 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. However, severe ethnic violence, the closing of key business enterprises, and an empty government treasury have led to a continuing economic downslide. Deliveries of crucial fuel supplies (including those for electrical generation) by tankers have become sporadic due to the government's inability to pay and attacks against ships. Telecommunications are threatened by the lack of technical and maintenance staff many of whom have left the country.
Electricity - consumption 27.9 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - production 30 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel:



0% (1999)
Elevation extremes lowest point:
Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point:
Mount Makarakomburu 2,447 m
Environment - current issues deforestation; soil erosion; much of the surrounding coral reefs are dead or dying
Environment - international agreements party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Whaling

signed, but not ratified:
Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Ethnic groups Melanesian 93%, Polynesian 4%, Micronesian 1.5%, European 0.8%, Chinese 0.3%, other 0.4%
Exchange rates Solomon Islands dollars per US dollar - 5.0968 (November 2000), 5.0864 (2000), 4.8381 (1999), 4.8156 (1998), 3.7169 (1997), 3.5664 (1996)
Executive branch chief of state:
Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Father John LAPLI (since NA 1999)

head of government:
Prime Minister Mannaseh Damukana SOGAVARE (since 1 July 2000); Assistant Prime Minister Nathaniel WAENA (since 1 July 2000); Deputy Prime Minister Allan KEMAKEZA (since 1 July 2000); note - Prime Minister Bartholomew ULUFA'ALU was forced to resign his position in June 2000 following the armed takeover of the capital by elements supporting the opposition parties; Mannaseh Damukana SOGAVARE, who had been opposition leader, was then elected prime minister at a sitting of National Parliament on 30 June 2000

Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister from among the members of Parliament

none; the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the advice of Parliament for up to five years; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition is 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
Exports 0 kWh (1999)
Exports $165 million (f.o.b., 1999 est.)
Exports - commodities timber, fish, palm oil, cocoa, copra
Exports - partners Japan 35.5%, other Asian countries 47.3% (1999)
Fiscal year calendar year
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
GDP purchasing power parity - $900 million (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture:


46.5% (1995)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $2,000 (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 1% (2000 est.)
Geographic coordinates 8 00 S, 159 00 E
Highways total:
1,360 km

34 km

1,326 km (includes about 800 km of private plantation roads) (1996 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%:

highest 10%:
Imports 0 kWh (1999)
Imports $152 million (f.o.b., 1999 est.)
Imports - commodities plant and equipment, manufactured goods, food and live animals, fuels, chemicals
Imports - partners Australia 38.5%, Singapore 15%, Japan 10.6%, NZ 6.2% (1999)
Independence 7 July 1978 (from UK)
Industrial production growth rate NA%
Industries fish (tuna), mining, timber
Infant mortality rate 24.47 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 10% (1999 est.)
International organization participation ACP, AsDB, C, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), IOC, ITU, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WTrO
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 1 (2000)
Irrigated land NA sq km
Judicial branch Court of Appeal
Labor force 26,842
Labor force - by occupation agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%
Land boundaries 0 km
Land use arable land:

permanent crops:

permanent pastures:

forests and woodland:

9% (1993 est.)
Languages Melanesian pidgin in much of the country is lingua franca, English spoken by 1%-2% of population

120 indigenous languages
Legal system English common law
Legislative branch unicameral National Parliament (50 seats; members elected from single member constituencies by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

last held 6 August 1997 (next to be held by August 2001)

election results:
percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - GNUR 21, PAP 7, NAPSI 5, SILP 4, UP 4, independents 6, other 3
Life expectancy at birth total population:
71.55 years

69.12 years

74.1 years (2001 est.)
Literacy definition:

total population:


Location Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Papua New Guinea
Map references Oceania
Maritime claims measured from claimed archipelagic baselines

continental shelf:
200 NM

exclusive economic zone:
200 NM

territorial sea:
12 NM
Merchant marine none (2000 est.)
Military branches no regular military forces; Solomon Islands National Reconnaissance and Surveillance Force; Royal Solomon Islands Police (RSIP)
Military expenditures - dollar figure $NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP NA%
National holiday Independence Day, 7 July (1978)
Nationality noun:
Solomon Islander(s)

Solomon Islander
Natural hazards typhoons, but they are rarely destructive; geologically active region with frequent earth tremors; volcanic activity
Natural resources fish, forests, gold, bauxite, phosphates, lead, zinc, nickel
Net migration rate 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Political parties and leaders there are two main coalitions - Coalition for National Unity, Reconciliation, and Peace or CNURP and Alliance for Change; the CNURP took power on 30 June 2000, it comprises members of the Liberal Party, People's Alliance Party, and the United Party, as well as a number of independents; the Alliance for Change, represents the former government and now is the opposition; in general, Solomon Islands politics is characterized by fluid coalitions; Group for National Unity and Reconciliation or GNUR [leader NA]; Liberal Party [Bartholomew ULUFA'ALU]; National Action Party of Solomon Islands or NAPSI [Francis SAEMALA]; People's Alliance Party or PAP [George LEPPING]; People's Progressive Party [Mannaseh Damukana SOGAVARE]; Solomon Islands Labor Party or SILP [Joses TUHANUKU]; United Party or UP [leader NA]
Political pressure groups and leaders NA
Population 480,442 (July 2001 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 2.98% (2001 est.)
Ports and harbors Aola Bay, Honiara, Lofung, Noro, Viru Harbor, Yandina
Radio broadcast stations AM 3, FM 0, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios 57,000 (1997)
Railways 0 km
Religions Anglican 34%, Roman Catholic 19%, Baptist 17%, United (Methodist/Presbyterian) 11%, Seventh-Day Adventist 10%, other Protestant 5%, indigenous beliefs 4%
Sex ratio at birth:
1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years:
1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years:
1.03 male(s)/female

65 years and over:
0.96 male(s)/female

total population:
1.03 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Suffrage 21 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment:


satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 8,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular 658 (1997)
Television broadcast stations 0 (1997)
Terrain mostly rugged mountains with some low coral atolls
Total fertility rate 4.65 children born/woman (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate NA%
Waterways none
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