Statistical information Solomon Islands 1996Solomon%20Islands

Map of Solomon Islands | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
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Solomon Islands in the World

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Solomon Islands - Introduction 1996
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Background: In 1893, Britain made the southern Solomon Islands a protectorate. Other islands were added to the group, including some ceded to Britain by Germany. The Solomon Islands were occupied by the Japanese during World War II. Following the war, internal self-government was established in 1976, and independence from the UK came two years later. Current issues include government deficits, deforestation, and malaria control.

Solomon Islands - Geography 1996
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Location: Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Papua New Guinea

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 28,450 km²
Land: 27,540 km²
Comparative: slightly larger than Maryland

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 5,313 km

Maritime claims: Measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
Continental shelf: 200 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: Tropical monsoon; few extremes of temperature and weather

Terrain: Mostly rugged mountains with some low coral atolls

Extremes lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Extremes highest point: Mount Makarakomburu 2,447 m

Natural resources:

Land use

Land use
Arable land: 1%
Permanent crops: 1%
Permanent pastures: 1%
Forests and woodland: 93%
Other: 4%

Irrigated land: NA

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Solomon Islands - People 1996
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412,902 (July 1996 est.)
399,206 (July 1995 est.)

Growth rate:
3.35% (1996 est.)
3.4% (1995 est.)

Noun: Solomon Islander(s)
Adjective: Solomon Islander

Ethnic groups:
Melanesian 93%
Polynesian 4%
Micronesian 1.5%
European 0.8%
Chinese 0.3%
Other 0.4%

Languages: Melanesian pidgin in much of the country is lingua franca, English spoken by 1%-2% of population
Note: 120 indigenous languages

Anglican 34%
Roman Catholic 19%
Baptist 17%
United (Methodist/Presbyterian) 11%
Seventh-Day Adventist 10%
Other Protestant 5%
Traditional beliefs 4%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years:
46% (male 96,241; female 92,722) (July 1996 est.)
46% (male 93,695; female 90,293) (July 1995 est.)

15-64 years:
51% (male 107,482; female 104,293) (July 1996 est.)
51% (male 103,374; female 100,183) (July 1995 est.)

65 years and over:
3% (male 6,129; female 6,035) (July 1996 est.)
3% (male 5,923; female 5,738) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate:
3.35% (1996 est.)
3.4% (1995 est.)

Birth rate:
37.91 births/1000 population (1996 est.)
38.48 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate:
4.41 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.)
4.51 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)
0 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; much of the surrounding coral reefs are dead or dying
Current issues Natural hazards: typhoons, but they are rarely destructive; geologically active region with frequent earth tremors; volcanic activity
International agreements: party to_Biodiversity, Climate Change, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Whaling; signed, but not ratified_Law of the Sea

Air pollutants

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
All ages:
1.03 male(s)/female (1996 est.) Infant Mortality Rate:25.8 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)
26.7 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 71.14 years (1996 est.), 70.84 years (1995 est.)
Male: 68.67 years 91,996 est.), 68.38 years (1995 est.)
Female: 73.74 years (1996 est.), 73.41 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate:
5.43 children born/woman (1996 est.)
5.59 children born/woman (1995 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: definition:NA

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Solomon Islands - Government 1996
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Country name
Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: Solomon Islands
Former: British Solomon Islands

Government type: Parliamentary democracy

Capital: Honiara

Administrative divisions: 7 provinces and 1 town*; Central, Guadalcanal, Honiara*, Isabel, Makira, Malaita, Temotu, Western
Note: there may be two new provinces of Choiseul (Lauru) and Rennell/Bellona and the administrative unit of Honiara may have been abolished

Dependent areas

Independence: 7 July 1978 (from U.K.)

National holiday: Independence Day, 7 July (1978)

Constitution: 7 July 1978

Legal system: Common law

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952) is a hereditary monarch, represented by Governor General Moses PITAKAKA (since 10 June 1994) who was appointed for up to five years by the queen on the advice of Parliament
Head of government: Prime Minister Solomon MAMALONI (since 7 November 1994) was elected by and from Parliament; Deputy Prime Minister Danny PHILIP (since NA October 1995) was appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister from among the members of Parliament
Cabinet: Cabinet; appointed by the governor general on advice of the prime minister from members of parliament

Legislative branch: Unicameral National Parliament:Elections last held 26 May 1993 (next to be held NA 1997; results_percent of vote by party NA; seats_(47 total) GNUR 21, PAP 7, NAPSI 5, SILP 4, UP 4, independents 6

Judicial branch: High Court

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ACP, AsDB, C, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), IOC, ITU, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of Solomon%20Islands: 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

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Solomon Islands - Economy 1996
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Economy overview: The bulk of the population depend on subsistence 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. The government of the Solomon Islands is nearing financial insolvency. In mid-1995 the central bank suspended interest and principal payments on government bonds and treasury bills held by financial institutions and the general public. The government has taken no steps to restrain expenditure or address the deficit, which is expected to be considerably higher than the $20 million forecasted in the 1996 budget.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 8% (1992)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: Including fishing and forestry, accounts for 31% of GDP; mostly subsistence farming; cash crops_cocoa, beans, coconuts, palm kernels, timber; other products_rice, potatoes, vegetables, fruit, cattle, pigs; not self-sufficient in food grains; 90% of the total fish catch of 44,500 metric tons was exported (1988)

Fish (tuna)

Industrial production growth rate: Growth rate -3.8% (1991 est.), accounts for 5% of GDP

Labor force: 26,842
By occupation agriculture forestry and fishing: 23.7%
By occupation services: 41.5%
By occupation andmining:

By occupation transport andfinance: 21.7% (1992)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: NA

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $81.3 million (1995 est.), $48 million (1991 est.)
Expenditures: $101.9 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1995 est.), $107 million, including capital expenditures of $45 million (1991 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: Calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

total value. $94 million (f.o.b., 1993)
$84 million (f.o.b., 1991)

Fish 46%
Timber 31%
Palm oil 5%

Japan 39%
U.K. 23%
Thailand 9%
Australia 5%
U.S. 2% (1991)

Total value:
$101 million (c.i.f., 1993)
$110 million (c.i.f., 1991)

Plant and machinery
Manufactured goods
Food and live animals

Australia 34%
Japan 16%
Singapore 14%
NZ 9%

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $128 million (1988 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Solomon Islands dollars (SI$) per US$1_3.3713 (2d quarter 1995), 3.2914 (1994), 3.1877 (1993), 2.9281 (1992), 2.7148 (1991), 2.5288 (1990)

Solomon Islands - Energy 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 30 million kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 80 kWh (1993)

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Solomon Islands - Communication 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 5,000 telephones (1991 est.)
Local: NA
Intercity: NA
International: 1 INTELSAT (Pacific Ocean) earth station

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Solomon Islands - Military 1996
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Solomon Islands - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 30
15-24 to 2437 m: 1
914 to 1523 m: 9 (1995 est.)
Under 914 m: 18

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways






Merchant marine: None

Ports and terminals

Solomon Islands - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

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