Welcome Country # 201 to our BLOG! Vanuatu Population: 227,574


 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
A Y-shaped chain of four main islands and 80 smaller islands; several of the islands have active volcanoes
Location: Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to Australia
Geographic coordinates: 16 00 S, 167 00 E
Area: total: 12,189 sq km land: 12,189 sq km water: 0 sq km note: includes more than 80 islands, about 65 of which are inhabitedSize comparison: slightly larger than Connecticut
Land Boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 2,528 km
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
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
Terrain: mostly mountainous islands of volcanic origin; narrow coastal plains
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m highest point: Tabwemasana 1,877 m
Natural resources: manganese, hardwood forests, fish
Land use: arable land: 1.64% permanent crops: 6.97% other: 91.39% (2005)
Irrigated land: NA
Natural hazards: tropical cyclones or typhoons (January to April); volcanic eruption on Aoba (Ambae) island began on 27 November 2005, volcanism also causes minor earthquakes; tsunamis volcanism: significant volcanic activity with multiple eruptions in recent years; Yasur (elev. 361 m), one of the world’s most active volcanoes, has experienced continuous activity in recent centuries; other historically active volcanoes include, Aoba, Ambrym, Epi, Gaua, Kuwae, Lopevi, Suretamatai, and Traitor’s Head
Current Environment Issues: most of the population does not have access to a reliable supply of potable water; deforestation
International Environment 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
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 People
Population: 227,574 (July 2012 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 29.6% (male 33,968/female 32,550) 15-64 years: 66.1% (male 75,559/female 72,919) 65 years and over: 4.3% (male 4,862/female 4,706) (2011 est.)
Median age: total: 25.4 years male: 25.3 years female: 25.4 years (2012 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.321% (2012 est.)
Birth rate: 20.6 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)
Death rate: 7.39 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)
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: 1.02 male(s)/female total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 45.57 deaths/1,000 live births male: 47.99 deaths/1,000 live births female: 43.03 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 65.06 years male: 63.38 years female: 66.83 years (2012 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.35 children born/woman (2012 est.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: NA
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: NA
HIV/AIDS – deaths: NA
Nationality: noun: Ni-Vanuatu (singular and plural) adjective: Ni-Vanuatu
Ethnic groups: Ni-Vanuatu 98.5%, other 1.5% (1999 Census)
Religions: Protestant 55.6% (Presbyterian 31.4%, Anglican 13.4%, Seventh-Day Adventist 10.8%), Roman Catholic 13.1%, other Christian 13.8%, indigenous beliefs 5.6% (including Jon Frum cargo cult), other 9.6%, none 1%, unspecified 1.3% (1999 Census)
Languages: local languages (more than 100) 72.6%, pidgin (known as Bislama or Bichelama – official) 23.1%, English (official) 1.9%, French (official) 1.4%, other 0.3%, unspecified 0.7% (1999 Census)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 74% male: NA female: NA (1999 census)
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 Government
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Vanuatu conventional short form: Vanuatu local long form: Ripablik blong Vanuatu local short form: Vanuatu former: New Hebrides
Government type: parliamentary republic
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)
Administrative divisions: 6 provinces; Malampa, Penama, Sanma, Shefa, Tafea, Torba
Independence: 30 July 1980 (from France and the UK)
National holiday:
Constitution: 30 July 1980
Legal system: mixed legal system of English common law, French law, and customary law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Iolu Johnson ABBIL (since 3 September 2009) head of government: Prime Minister Sato KILMAN (since 26 June 2011) cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister, responsible to parliament (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) 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 on 2 September 2009 (next to be held in 2014); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually elected prime minister by parliament from among its members; election for prime minister last held on 26 June 2011 following a supreme court decision nullifying KILMAN’s December 2010 election; KILMAN defeated Vohor SERGE 29 to 23 (next to be held following general elections in 2012) election results: Iolu Johnson ABBIL elected president, with 41 votes out of 58, on the third ballot on 2 September 2009
Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament (52 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) elections: last held on 2 September 2008 (next to be held in 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
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)
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]; Vanua’aku Pati (Our Land Party) or VP [Edward NATAPEI]; Vanuatu Family First Party or VFFP [Eta RORI]; Vanuatu Labor Party or VLP [Joshua KALSAKAU]; Vanuatu National Party or VNP [Issac HAMARILIU]; Vanuatu Republican Farmers Party or VPRFP [Jean RAVOU]; Vanuatu Republican Party or VRP [Maxime Carlot KORMAN]
Political pressure groups and leaders: NA
International organization participation: ACP, ADB, AOSIS, C, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, IOC, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US: Vanuatu does not have an embassy in the US; it does, however, have a Permanent Mission to the UN
Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Vanuatu; the US ambassador to Papua New Guinea is accredited to Vanuatu
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 Economy
This South Pacific island economy is based primarily on small-scale agriculture, which provides a living for about two-thirds of the population. Fishing, offshore financial services, and tourism, with nearly 197,000 visitors in 2008, 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.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $1.219 billion (2011 est.) $1.18 billion (2010 est.) $1.154 billion (2009 est.) note: data are in 2011 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $743 million (2011 est.)
GDP – real growth rate: 3.3% (2011 est.) 2.2% (2010 est.) 3.5% (2009 est.)
GDP – per capita (PPP): GDP – per capita (PPP): $5,000 (2011 est.) $4,900 (2010 est.) $4,900 (2009 est.) note: data are in 2011 US dollars
GDP – composition by sector: agriculture: 21.2% industry: 10.4% services: 68.4% (2011 est.)
Labor force: 115,900 (2007)
Labor force – by occupation: agriculture: 65% industry: 5% services: 30% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate: 1.7% (1999)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA% highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0.9% (2011 est.) 2.8% (2010 est.)
Budget: revenues: $202.6 million expenditures: $192.4 million (2011 est.)
Agriculture – products: copra, coconuts, cocoa, coffee, taro, yams, fruits, vegetables; beef; fish
Industries: food and fish freezing, wood processing, meat canning
Industrial production growth rate:
Electricity – production: 43 million kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity – consumption: 39.99 million kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity – exports: 0 kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity – imports: 0 kWh (2009 est.)
Oil – production: 0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Oil – consumption: 1,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Oil – exports: 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Oil – imports: 761.1 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Oil – proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
Natural gas – production: 0 cu m (2009 est.)
Natural gas – consumption: 0 cu m (2009 est.)
Natural gas – exports: 0 cu m (2009 est.)
Natural gas – imports: 0 cu m (2009 est.)
Natural gas – proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
Current account balance: -$60 million (2007 est.)
Exports: $40 million (2006)
Exports – commodities: copra, beef, cocoa, timber, kava, coffee
Exports – partners: Thailand 56.7%, Japan 21.4% (2011)
Imports: $156 million (2006)
Imports – commodities: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, fuels
Imports – partners: China 26.7%, Singapore 21.2%, Australia 13.5%, NZ 7.2%, Fiji 6.6%, Japan 5.4% (2011)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $161.4 million (31 December 2010 est.) $161.4 million (31 December 2010 est.)
Debt – external: $81.2 million (2004)
Stock of direct foreign investment – at home: $367.2 million $333.1 million
Stock of direct foreign investment – abroad: $15.41 million $15.41 million
Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA
Exchange rates: vatu (VUV) per US dollar – 90.25 (2011 est,) 96.91 (2010 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
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 Communications
Telephones in use: 5,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 213
Cellular Phones in use: 285,300 (2009)
Telephone system: general assessment: NA domestic: NA international: country code – 678; satellite earth station – 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Television broadcast stations:
Internet country code: .vu
Internet hosts: 5,656 (2010)
Internet users: 17,000 (2009)
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 Transportation
Airports: 31 (2012) country comparison to the world: 113
Airports (paved runways): total: 3 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2012)
Airports (unpaved runways): total: 28 914 to 1,523 m: 5 under 914 m: 23 (2012)
Roadways: total: 1,070 km paved: 256 km unpaved: 814 km (1999)
Merchant marine: total: 77 by type: bulk carrier 38, cargo 8, chemical tanker 2, container 1, liquefied gas 2, passenger 1, refrigerated cargo 24, vehicle carrier 1 foreign-owned: 72 (Belgium 1, Canada 5, China 1, Greece 3, Japan 39, Norway 1, Poland 9, Russia 7, Singapore 2, Taiwan 1, UAE 1, US 2) (2010)
Ports and terminals: Forari Bay, Luganville (Santo, Espiritu Santo), Port-Vila
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 Military
Military branches: no regular military forces; Vanuatu Police Force (VPF), Vanuatu Mobile Force (VMF; includes Police Maritime Wing (PMW)) (2009)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 62,216 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 43,331 females age 16-49: 44,927 (2010 est.)

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