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Solomon Islands

 
Flag of Solomon Islands
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Coordinates:
08.00 S  159.00 E

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

Map of Solomon Islands

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Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Solomon Islands Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
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. Ethnic violence, government malfeasance, and endemic crime have undermined stability and civil society. In June 2003, Prime Minister Sir Allen KEMAKEZA sought the assistance of Australia in reestablishing law and order; the following month, an Australian-led multinational force arrived to restore peace and disarm ethnic militias. The Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) has been very effective in restoring law and order and rebuilding government institutions.
   Geography    Solomon Islands Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Papua New Guinea
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
8 00 S, 159 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Oceania
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 28,450 sq km
land: 27,540 sq km
water: 910 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than Maryland
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
5,313 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical monsoon; few extremes of temperature and weather
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
mostly rugged mountains with some low coral atolls
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Makarakomburu 2,447 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
fish, forests, gold, bauxite, phosphates, lead, zinc, nickel
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 0.62%
permanent crops: 2.04%
other: 97.34% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
typhoons, but rarely destructive; geologically active region with frequent earth tremors; volcanic activity
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
deforestation; soil erosion; many of the surrounding coral reefs are dead or dying
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
strategic location on sea routes between the South Pacific Ocean, the Solomon Sea, and the Coral Sea
   People    Solomon Islands Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
552,438 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 41.3% (male 116,370/female 111,834)
15-64 years: 55.4% (male 154,793/female 151,308)
65 years and over: 3.3% (male 8,696/female 9,437) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 18.9 years
male: 18.7 years
female: 19 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.61% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
30.01 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.92 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
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: 0.92 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 20.63 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 23.54 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 17.59 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 72.91 years
male: 70.4 years
female: 75.55 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.91 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Solomon Islander(s)
adjective: Solomon Islander
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Melanesian 94.5%, Polynesian 3%, Micronesian 1.2%, other 1.1%, unspecified 0.2% (1999 census)
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Church of Melanesia 32.8%, Roman Catholic 19%, South Seas Evangelical 17%, Seventh-Day Adventist 11.2%, United Church 10.3%, Christian Fellowship Church 2.4%, other Christian 4.4%, other 2.4%, unspecified 0.3%, none 0.2% (1999 census)
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Melanesian pidgin in much of the country is lingua franca; English is official but spoken by only 1%-2% of the population
note: 120 indigenous languages
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: NA
total population: NA
male: NA
female: NA
   Government    Solomon Islands Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Solomon Islands
former: British Solomon Islands
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
parliamentary democracy
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Honiara
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
9 provinces and 1 capital territory*; Central, Choiseul, Guadalcanal, Honiara*, Isabel, Makira, Malaita, Rennell and Bellona, Temotu, Western
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
7 July 1978 (from UK)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 7 July (1978)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
7 July 1978
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
English common law, which is widely disregarded
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
21 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Nathaniel WAENA (since 7 July 2004)
head of government: Prime Minister Manasseh SOGAVARE (since 4 May 2006); note - Prime Minister Snyder RINI, elected on 18 April 2006 and sworn in on 20 April 2006, resigned on 26 April prior to no confidence vote in parliament; SOGAVARE elected on 4 May
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: none; the monarch 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 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
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral National Parliament (50 seats; members elected from single-member constituencies by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 5 April 2006 (next to be held in 2010)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Court of Appeal
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Association of Independent Members or AIM [Thomas CHAN]; People's Alliance Party or PAP [Sir Allan KEMAKEZA]; LAFARI Party; National Party [Francis HILLY]; Social Credit Party or SOCRED [Manasseh Damukana SOGAVARE]; Solomon Islands Alliance for Change Coalition or SIACC [Bartholomew ULUFA'ALU]; Solomon Islands Labor Party or SILP [Joses TUHANUKU]; United Party [Sir Peter KENILOREA]
note: in general, Solomon Islands politics is characterized by fluid coalitions
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
ACP, AsDB, C, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IOC, ITU, MIGA, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
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
Government - note:
Definition Field Listing
June 2003 Prime Minister Sir Allan KEMAKEZA sought the intervention of Australia to aid in restoring order; parliament approved the request for intervention in July 2003; troops from Australia, NZ, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Tonga arrived 24 July 2003; by 2006, the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) had been scaled back to 259 police officers and 20 military, in addition to civilian technical advisers; in response to rioting that broke out in mid-April 2006, Australia dispatched an addtional 220 troops and 70 police officers to help restore order
   Economy    Solomon Islands Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
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 the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI), severe ethnic violence, the closing of key businesses, and an empty government treasury culminated in economic collapse. RAMSI has enabled a return to law and order, a new period of economic stability, and modest growth as the economy rebuilds.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$800 million (2002 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
NA
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.8% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1,700 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 42%
industry: 11%
services: 47% (2000 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
26,840 (1999)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 75%
industry: 5%
services: 20% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA%
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10% (2003 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $49.7 million
expenditures: $75.1 million; including capital expenditures of $0 (2003)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
cocoa beans, coconuts, palm kernels, rice, potatoes, vegetables, fruit; timber; cattle, pigs; fish
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
fish (tuna), mining, timber
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA%
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
55 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
51.15 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,270 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$171 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
timber, fish, copra, palm oil, cocoa
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
China 39.1%, South Korea 15.6%, Thailand 6.6%, Japan 5.6%, Philippines 4.7%, Italy 4% (2005)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$159 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
food, plant and equipment, manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Australia 26%, Singapore 24.8%, NZ 6.4%, Fiji 4.3%, Papua New Guinea 4.1% (2005)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$180.4 million (2002)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$28 million annually, mainly from Australia (2003 est.)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
Solomon Islands dollar (SBD)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Solomon Islands dollars per US dollar - 7.5299 (2005), 7.4847 (2004), 7.5059 (2003), 6.7488 (2002), 5.278 (2001)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Solomon Islands Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6,200 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,500 (2003)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: country code - 677; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 1 (2004)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.sb
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
740 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8,400 (2005)
   Transportation    Solomon Islands Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
34 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 32
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 22 (2005)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 1,360 km
paved: 34 km
unpaved: 1,326 km (1999)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Honiara, Malloco Bay, Shortland Harbor, Viru Harbor, Yandina
   Military    Solomon Islands Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
no regular military forces; Royal Solomon Islands Police (RSIP)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 114,253 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 92,796 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 6,033 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
   Transnational Issues    Solomon Islands Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
Australian Defense Force leads the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) at the invitation of the Solomon Islands' Government to maintain civil and political order and reinforce regional security

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook