Solomon Islands Population: 597,248


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The UK established a protectorate over the Solomon Islands in the 1890s. Some of the most bitter fighting of World War II occurred on this archipelago. 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, then Prime Minister Sir Allan 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 generally been effective in restoring law and order and rebuilding government institutions.

Strategic location on sea routes between the South Pacific Ocean, the Solomon Sea, and the Coral Sea; on 2 April 2007 an undersea earthquake measuring 8.1 on the Richter scale occurred 345 km WNW of the capital Honiara; the resulting tsunami devastated coastal areas of Western and Choiseul provinces with dozens of deaths and thousands dislocated; the provincial capital of Gizo was especially hard hit
Location: Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Papua New Guinea
Geographic coordinates: 8 00 S, 159 00 E
Area: total: 28,896 sq km
land: 27,986 sq km
water: 910 sq km

Size comparison: slightly smaller than Maryland
Land Boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 5,313 km
Maritime claims: measured from claimed archipelagic baselines territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
Climate: tropical monsoon; few extremes of temperature and weather
Terrain: mostly rugged mountains with some low coral atolls
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Popomanaseu 2,310 m
Natural resources: fish, forests, gold, bauxite, phosphates, lead, zinc, nickel
Land use: arable land: 0.62%
permanent crops: 2.25%
other: 97.13% (2011)
Irrigated land: NA
Natural hazards: typhoons, but rarely destructive; geologically active region with frequent earthquakes, tremors, and volcanic activity; tsunamis volcanism: Tinakula (elev. 851 m) has frequent eruption activity, while an eruption of Savo (elev. 485 m) could affect the capital Honiara on nearby Guadalcanal
Current Environment Issues: deforestation; soil erosion; many of the surrounding coral reefs are dead or dying
International Environment Agreements: 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
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Nationality: noun: Solomon Islander(s)
adjective: Solomon Islander
Ethnic groups: Melanesian 94.5%, Polynesian 3%, Micronesian 1.2%, other 1.1%, unspecified 0.2% (1999 census)
Languages: Melanesian pidgin (in much of the country is lingua franca), English (official but spoken by only 1%-2% of the population), 120 indigenous languages
Religions: Protestant 73.7% (Church of Melanesia 32.8%, South Seas Evangelical 17%, Seventh-Day Adventist 11.2%, United Church 10.3%, Christian Fellowship Church 2.4%), Roman Catholic 19%, other Christian 4.4%, other 2.4%, unspecified 0.3%, none 0.2% (1999 census)
Population: 597,248 (July 2013 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 36.8% (male 113,030/female 106,527)
15-24 years: 20% (male 61,244/female 58,027)
25-54 years: 35% (male 106,525/female 102,452)
55-64 years: 4.3% (male 12,586/female 12,930)
65 years and over: 4% (male 11,598/female 12,329) (2013 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 77.1 %
youth dependency ratio: 71.2 %
elderly dependency ratio: 6 %
potential support ratio: 16.8 (2013)
Median age: total: 21.3 years
male: 21.1 years
female: 21.6 years (2013 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.12% (2013 est.)
Birth rate: 26.9 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Death rate: 3.88 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.82 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 19% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 4.2% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: HONIARA (capital) 72,000 (2009)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.95 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 93 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Infant mortality rate: total: 16.7 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 19.03 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 14.26 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 74.66 years
male: 72.05 years
female: 77.39 years (2013 est.)
Total fertility rate: 3.44 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 34.6% (2006/07)
Health expenditures: 8.6% of GDP (2010)
Physicians density: 0.19 physicians/1,000 population (2005)
Hospital bed density: 1.4 beds/1,000 population (2005)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 94% of population
rural: 65% of population
total: 70% of population

urban: 6% of population
rural: 35% of population
total: 30% of population (2000 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 98% of population
rural: 18% of population
total: 31% of population

urban: 2% of population
rural: 82% of population
total: 69% of population (2000 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 30% (2008)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 11.5% (2007)
Education expenditures: 7.3% of GDP (2010)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 84.1%
male: 88.9%
female: 79.2%
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 9 years
male: 10 years
female: 9 years (2007)
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Country name: conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Solomon Islands
local long form: none
local short form: Solomon Islands
former: British Solomon Islands
Government type: parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
Capital: name: Honiara
geographic coordinates: 9 26 S, 159 57 E
time difference: UTC+11 (16 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 9 provinces and 1 capital territory*; Central, Choiseul, Guadalcanal, Honiara*, Isabel, Makira, Malaita, Rennell and Bellona, Temotu, Western
Independence: 7 July 1978 (from the UK)
National holiday: Independence Day, 7 July (1978)
Constitution: 7 July 1978
Legal system: mixed legal system of English common law and customary law
Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Frank KABUI (since 7 July 2009)

head of government: Prime Minister Gordon Darcy LILO (since 16 November 2011)

cabinet: Cabinet consists of 20 members appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister from among the members of parliament (For more information visit the World Leaders website )

elections: the monarchy 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 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; Gordon Darcy LILO elected on 16 November 2011
Legislative branch: unicameral National Parliament (50 seats; members elected from single-member constituencies by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held on 4 August 2010 (next to be held in 2014)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - SIDP 14, OUR 4, SIPRA 3, RDP 3, IDP 2, DDP 2, PCP 1, PFP 1, RUPP 1, SILP 1, SINP 1, independents 17
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Court of Appeal (consists of the court president, and ex officio members to include the High Court chief justice and its puisne judges); High Court (consists of the chief justice and puisne judges as prescribed by the National Parliament) judge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal and High Court president, chief justices, and puisne judges appointed by the governor-general upon recommendation of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, chaired by the chief justice to include 5 members, mostly judicial officials and legal professionals; all judges appointed until retirement at age 60

subordinate courts: Magistrates' Courts; local courts; Customary Land Appeal Court
Political parties and leaders: Direct Development Party or DDP [Dick HA'AMORI] Independent Democratic Party or IDP [Snyder RINI] People's Alliance Party or PAP [James MEKAB] People's Congress Party or PCP [Fred FONO] People's Federation Party or PFP [Rudolf DORA] Ownership, Unity, and Responsibility Party or OUR [Manasseh SOGAVARE] Reform Democratic Party or RDP [Danny PHILIP] Rural and Urban Political Party or RUPP [Samuel MANETOALI] Solomon Islands Democratic Party or SIDP [Steve ABANA] Solomon Islands Liberal Party or SILP [Derek SIKUA] Solomon Islands National Party or SINP [Francis HILLY] Solomon Islands Party for Rural Advancement or SIPRA [Job D. TAUSINGA] United Party [Sir Peter KENILOREA] note: in general, Solomon Islands politics is characterized by fluid coalitions
Political pressure groups and leaders: 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: ACP, ADB, AOSIS, C, EITI (candidate country), ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IOC, ITU, MIGA, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WTO
National anthem: name: "God Save Our Solomon Islands"
lyrics/music: Panapasa BALEKANA and Matila BALEKANA/Panapasa BALEKANA

note: adopted 1978
Diplomatic representation in the US: 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: the US does not have an embassy in the Solomon Islands; the US ambassador to Papua New Guinea is accredited to the Solomon Islands
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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's efforts to restore law and order and economic stability have led to modest growth as the economy rebuilds.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $1.922 billion (2012 est.) $1.822 billion (2011 est.) $1.646 billion (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $1.01 billion (2012 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 5.5% (2012 est.) 10.7% (2011 est.) 7.8% (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $3,400 (2012 est.) $3,300 (2011 est.) $3,100 (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars
Agriculture - products: cocoa, coconuts, palm kernels, rice, potatoes, vegetables, fruit; cattle, pigs; fish; timber
Industries: fish (tuna), mining, timber
Industrial production growth rate: NA%
Labor force: 202,500 (2007)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 75%
industry: 5%
services: 20% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate: NA%
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budget: revenues: $380.7 million
expenditures: $326.3 million (2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 37.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5.9% (2012 est.) 7.4% (2011 est.)
Current account balance: -$372.6 million (2010 est.) -$207.9 million (2009 est.)
Exports: $226.5 million (2010 est.)
Exports - commodities: timber, fish, copra, palm oil, cocoa
Exports - partners: China 47.9%, Australia 16.6% (2012)
Imports: $360.3 million (2010 est.)
Imports - commodities: food, plant and equipment, manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals
Imports - partners: Singapore 26.6%, Australia 25.1%, China 7%, NZ 4.8%, Malaysia 4.7% (2012)
Debt - external: $255.5 million (31 December 2011 est.) $166 million (2004)
Exchange rates: Solomon Islands dollars (SBD) per US dollar - 7.3552 (2012 est.) 7.6413 (2011 est.) 8.0645 (2010 est.)
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Electricity - production: 82 million kWh (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 200
Electricity - consumption: 76.26 million kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 14,000 kW (2009 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 100% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 1,728 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 1,433 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 359,000 Mt (2010 est.)
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Telephones in use: 8,400 (2011)
country comparison to the world: 203
Cellular Phones in use: 274,900 (2011)
Telephone system:

domestic: mobile-cellular telephone density is about 50 per 100 persons

international: country code - 677; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2011)
Broadcast media: Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) is the sole TV broadcaster with 1 station; multi-channel pay-TV is available; SIBC operates 2 national radio stations and 2 provincial stations; 2 local commercial radio stations; Radio Australia is available via satellite feed (2009)
Internet country code: .sb
Internet hosts: 4,370 (2012)
Internet users: 10,000 (2009)
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Airports: 36 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 110
Airports (paved runways): total 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 35

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 10
under 914 m: 24 (2013)
Heliports: 3 (2013)
Roadways: total 1,360 km
paved: 33 km
unpaved: 1,327 km

note: includes 800 km of private plantation roads (2002)
Ports and terminals: Honiara, Malloco Bay, Viru Harbor, Tulaghi
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Military branches: no regular military forces; Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (2013)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 142,913 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 118,921
females age 16-49: 118,164 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually: male: 6,483
female: 6,098 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures: 3.7% of GDP (2007)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: since 2003, the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, consisting of police, military, and civilian advisors drawn from 15 countries, has assisted in reestablishing and maintaining civil and political order while reinforcing regional stability and security
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