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The World Factbook 2002

         
  Solomon Islands  
Flag of Solomon Islands
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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
  Government
  Economy
  Communications
  Transportation
  Military
  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.


This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


Map of Solomon Islands

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Solomon Islands
Background:
Definition Field Listing
The UK established a protectorate over the Solomon Islands in the 1890s. Some of the most bitter 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.
   Geography    Solomon Islands
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
total: 28,450 sq km
water: 910 sq km
land: 27,540 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: 1%
permanent crops: 1%
other: 98% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
NA sq km
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, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
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
Population:
Definition Field Listing
494,786 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 43.4% (male 109,339; female 105,170)
15-64 years: 53.5% (male 134,125; female 130,804)
65 years and over: 3.1% (male 7,467; female 7,881) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.91% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
33.26 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
4.19 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.95 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
23.68 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 71.82 years
female: 74.39 years (2002 est.)
male: 69.38 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
4.5 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Solomon Islander(s)
adjective: Solomon Islander
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Melanesian 93%, Polynesian 4%, Micronesian 1.5%, European 0.8%, Chinese 0.3%, other 0.4%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Anglican 45%, Roman Catholic 18%, United (Methodist/Presbyterian) 12%, Baptist 9%, Seventh-Day Adventist 7%, other Protestant 5%, indigenous beliefs 4%
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
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 tending toward anarchy
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Honiara
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
9 provinces and 1 capital territory*; Central, Choiseul (Lauru), Guadalcanal, Honiara*, Isabel, Makira, Malaita, Rennell/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 Sir John LAPLI (since NA 1999)
elections: 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
cabinet: Cabinet consists of 20 members appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister from among the members of Parliament
head of government: Prime Minister Allan KEMAKEZA (since 17 December 2001); Deputy Prime Minister Snyder RINI (since 17 December 2001)
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral National Parliament (50 seats; members elected from single-member constituencies by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
election results: percent of vote by party - PAP 40%, SIACC 40%, PPP 20%; seats by party - PAP 16, SIACC 13, PPP 2, SILP 1, independents 18
elections: last held 5 December 2001 (next to be held by December 2005)
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Court of Appeal
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Association of Independents [Snyder RINI]; People's Alliance Party or PAP [Allan KEMAKEZA]; People's Progressive Party or PPP [Mannaseh Damukana SOGAVARE]; Solomon Islands Alliance for Change Coalition or SIACC [Bartholomew ULUFA'ALU]; Solomon Islands Labor Party or SILP [Joses TUHANUKU]
note: in general, Solomon Islands politics is characterized by fluid coalitions
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACP, AsDB, C, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IOC, ITU, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Jeremiah MANELE
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
   Economy    Solomon Islands
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
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 serious economic disarray, indeed near collapse. Tanker deliveries of crucial fuel supplies (including those for electrical generation) have become sporadic due to the government's inability to pay and attacks against ships. Telecommunications are threatened by the nonpayment of bills and by the lack of technical and maintenance staff many of whom have left the country.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $800 million (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
-10% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $1,700 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 42%
industry: 11%
services: 47% (2000 est.)
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
7.9% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
26,842
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 75%, industry 5%, services 20% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $38 million (2001)
expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
fish (tuna), mining, timber
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
32 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
29.76 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
cocoa, beans, coconuts, palm kernels, rice, potatoes, vegetables, fruit; cattle, pigs; timber; fish
Exports:
Definition Field Listing
$165 million (f.o.b., 1999 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
timber, fish, copra, palm oil, cocoa
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Japan 22%, China 15%, Philippines 13%, South Korea 12%, UK 12%, Thailand 5% (2000)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing
$152 million (f.o.b., 1999 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
plant and equipment, manufactured goods, food and live animals, fuels, chemicals
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Australia 27%, Singapore 25%, NZ 5.5%, Japan 5.3%, US 5.1% (2000)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$137 million (2001 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$28 million mainly from Japan, Australia, China, and NZ (2001 est.)
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
Solomon Islands dollar (SBD)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
SBD
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Solomon Islands dollars per US dollar - 5.3728 (December 2001), 5.0889 (2000), 4.8381 (1999), 4.8156 (1998), 3.7169 (1997)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Solomon Islands
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
8,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
658 (1997)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 3, FM 0, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios:
Definition Field Listing
57,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
0 (1997)
Televisions:
Definition Field Listing
3,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.sb
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
1 (2000)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
3,000 (2000)
   Transportation    Solomon Islands
Railways:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Highways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1,360 km
paved: 34 km
unpaved: 1,326 km (includes about 800 km of private plantation roads) (1996 est.)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
none
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Aola Bay, Honiara, Lofung, Noro, Viru Harbor, Yandina
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
none (2002 est.)
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
31 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2001)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 29
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 19 (2001)
   Military    Solomon Islands
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
no regular military forces; Solomon Islands National Reconnaissance and Surveillance Force; Royal Solomon Islands Police (RSIP)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
   Transnational Issues    Solomon Islands
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
none

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


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