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Solomon Islands, See : Flags, Maps

The Solomon Islands and Their Natives, by Henry Brougham Guppy

Grammar and Vocabulary of the Lau Language , Walter G. Ivens

Solomon Islands (Australia-Oceania)

Introduction ::Solomon Islands

Background:

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.

Geography ::Solomon Islands


View Larger Map

Location:

Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Papua
New Guinea

Geographic coordinates:
8 00 S, 159 00 E

Map references:

Oceania

Area:

total: 28,896 sq km country comparison to the world: 143 land: 27,986 sq km

water: 910 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Maryland

Land boundaries:

0 km

Solomon Islands Musicians

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

Sandfly Island, Floridas, Solomon Islands

Land use:

arable land: 0.62%

permanent crops: 2.04%

other: 97.34% (2005)

Irrigated land:
NA

Total renewable water resources:

44.7 cu km (1987)

Natural hazards:

typhoons, but rarely destructive; geologically active region with frequent earthquakes, tremors, and volcanic activity; tsunamis

volcanism: Tinakula (elev. 851 m, 2,792 ft) has frequent eruption activity, while an eruption of Savo (elev. 485 m, 1,591 ft) could affect the capital Honiara on nearby Guadalcanal

Environment - current issues:

deforestation; soil erosion; many of the surrounding coral reefs are dead or dying

Environment - international 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

Geography - note:

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

People ::Solomon Islands

Population:

559,198 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 168

Age structure:

0-14 years: 39.5% (male 119,875/female 115,127)

15-64 years: 57.1% (male 171,792/female 168,023)

65 years and over: 3.5% (male 9,849/female 10,947) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 20.6 years

male: 20.4 years

female: 20.8 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

2.27% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 37

Birth rate:

28.6 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 46

Death rate:

3.96 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 210

Net migration rate:

-1.94 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 170

Urbanization:

urban population: 18% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 4.1% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

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: 0.89 male(s)/female

total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 18.41 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 103 male: 20.95 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 15.74 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 73.94 years country comparison to the world: 106 male: 71.37 years

female: 76.63 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

3.67 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 44

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA

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)

Religions:

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:

Melanesian pidgin in much of the country is lingua franca; English (official but spoken by only 1%-2% of the population); 120 indigenous languages

Literacy:
NA

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 9 years

male: 9 years

female: 9 years (2006)

Education expenditures:

2.2% of GDP (1999) country comparison to the world: 167

Government ::Solomon Islands

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:

English common law, which is widely disregarded; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

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 Danny PHILIP (since 25 August 2010)

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

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 - Solomon Islands Democratic Party 13, Our Party 3, Reformed Democratic Party 3, Independent Democratic Party 2, PAP 2, SIPRA 2, Peoples Congress Party 1, Peoples Federation Party 1, Rural Development Party 1, Rural and Urban Political Party 1, Solomon Islands Liberal Party 1, Solomon Islands National Party 1, independents 19

Judicial branch:

Court of Appeal

Political parties and leaders:

Association of Independent Members or AIM [Thomas CHAN]; Christian
Alliance Solomon Islands or CASI [Edward RONIA]; LAFARI Party [John
GARO]; National Party [Francis HILLY]; People's Alliance Party or
PAP [Sir Allan KEMAKEZA]; Social Credit Party or SOCRED [Manasseh
Damukana SOGAVARE]; Solomon First Party [David QUAN]; Solomon
Islands Democratic Party [Gabriel SURI]; Solomon Islands Labor Party
or SILP [Joses TUHANUKU]; Solomon Islands Liberal Party [Bartholomew
ULUFA'ALU]; 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, 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

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

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; blue represents the ocean; green the land; and yellow sunshine; the five stars stand for the five main island groups of the Solomon Islands

National anthem:

name: "God Save Our Solomon Islands"

lyrics/music: Panapasa BALEKANA and Matila BALEKANA/Panapasa BALEKANA

note: adopted 1978

Government - note:

by the end of 2007, the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) - originally made up of police and troops from Australia, NZ, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Tonga - had been scaled back to 303 police officers, 197 civilian technical advisers, and 72 military advisers from 15 countries across the region

Economy ::Solomon Islands

Economy - overview:

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 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):

$1.559 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 194 $1.517 billion (2009 est.)

$1.553 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$674 million (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

2.8% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 131 -2.3% (2009 est.)

7.4% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$2,800 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 171 $2,800 (2009 est.)

$2,900 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 42%

industry: 11%

services: 47% (2005 est.)

Labor force:

202,500 (2007) country comparison to the world: 168

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%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

6.3% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 167

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

15.26% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 51 14.44% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$139.9 million (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 176 $124.4 million (31 December 2008)

Stock of broad money:

$227.1 million (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 180 $195.9 million (31 December 2008)

Stock of domestic credit:

$221.9 million (31 December 2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 173 $183.8 million (31 December 2007 est.)

Agriculture - products:

cocoa beans, coconuts, palm kernels, rice, potatoes, vegetables, fruit; timber; cattle, pigs; fish

Industries:

fish (tuna), mining, timber

Industrial production growth rate:
NA%

Electricity - production:

71 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 195

Electricity - consumption:

66.03 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 195

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 130

Oil - consumption:

2,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 185

Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 173

Oil - imports:

1,323 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 182

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 120

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 128

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 177

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 123

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 131

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 132

Current account balance:

-$143 million (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 82

Exports:

$237 million (2006) country comparison to the world: 177

Exports - commodities:

timber, fish, copra, palm oil, cocoa

Exports - partners:

China 54.07%, South Korea 6.19%, Philippines 6.04%, Spain 4.87% (2009)

Imports:

$256 million (2006) country comparison to the world: 197

Imports - commodities:

food, plant and equipment, manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals

Imports - partners:

Singapore 24.69%, Australia 23.06%, NZ 5.2%, Fiji 4.47%, Papua New
Guinea 4.34%, Malaysia 3.98% (2009)

Debt - external:

$166 million (2004) country comparison to the world: 176

Exchange rates:

Solomon Islands dollars (SBD) per US dollar - NA (2007), 7.3447 (2006), 7.5299 (2005), 7.4847 (2004), 7.5059 (2003)

Communications ::Solomon Islands

Telephones - main lines in use:

8,200 (2009) country comparison to the world: 204

Telephones - mobile cellular:

30,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 202

Telephone system:

general assessment: NA

domestic: mobile-cellular telephone density is about 5 telephones per 100 persons

international: country code - 677; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Broadcast media:

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) is the sole TV broadcaster with 1 station; multi-channel pay-TV is available; SIBC, the public service broadcaster, operates 2 national radio stations and 2 provincial stations; 2 local commercial radio stations operating; Radio Australia is obtainable via satellite feed (2009)

Internet country code:

.sb

Internet hosts:

4,065 (2010) country comparison to the world: 141

Internet users:

10,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 200

Transportation ::Solomon Islands

Airports:

36 (2010) country comparison to the world: 108

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 34

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 8

under 914 m: 25 (2010)

Heliports:

3 (2010)

Roadways:

total: 1,360 km country comparison to the world: 177 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

Military ::Solomon Islands

Military branches:

no regular military forces; Solomon Islands Police Force (2009)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 150,987 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 125,928

females age 16-49: 126,999 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 7,256

female: 6,995 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

3% of GDP (2006) country comparison to the world: 45

Transnational Issues ::Solomon Islands

Disputes - international:

since 2003, RAMSI, 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

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

IDPs: 5,400 (displaced by tsunami on 2 April 2007) (2007)

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