Solomon Islands 1999Solomon%20Islands

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Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands 


Solomon Islands - Introduction 1999
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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 1999
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Location: Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Papua New Guinea

Geographic coordinates: 8 00 S, 159 00 E

Map referenceOceania

Total: 28,450 km²
Land: 27,540 km²
Water: 910 km²
Comparative: slightly smaller 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: fish, forests, gold, bauxite, phosphates, lead, zinc, nickel
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 1%
Permanent crops: 1%
Permanent pastures: 1%
Forests and woodland: 88%
Other: 9% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: NA km²

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: typhoons, but they are rarely destructive; geologically active region with frequent earth tremors; volcanic activity


Solomon Islands - People 1999
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Population: 455,429 (July 1999 est.)
Growth rate: 3.18% (1999 est.)
Below poverty line: NA%

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

Religions: 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: 45% (male 103,844; female 99,972)
15-64 years: 52% (male 120,518; female 117,298)
65 years and over: 3% (male 6,808; female 6,989) (1999 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 3.18% (1999 est.)

Birth rate: 35.92 births/1000 population (1999 est.)

Death rate: 4.11 deaths/1000 population (1999 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1000 population (1999 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; much of the surrounding coral reefs are dead or dying
International agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Whaling
International agreements signed but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

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: 0.97 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (1999 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 23 deaths/1000 live births (1999 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 72.09 years
Male: 69.55 years
Female: 74.75 years (1999 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.96 children born/woman (1999 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: NA

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Solomon Islands - Government 1999
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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 UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 7 July (1978)

Constitution: 7 July 1978

Legal system: English common law

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Moses PITAKAKA (since 10 June 1994)
Head of government: Prime Minister Bartholomew ULUFA'ALU (since 27 August 1997); Deputy Prime Minister Sir Baddeley DEVESI (since 27 August 1997)
Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister from among the members of Parliament
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

Legislative branch: unicameral National Parliament (50 seats; members elected from single member constituencies by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
Elections: last held 6 August 1997 (next to be held by August 2001)
Election results: percent of vote by party_NA; seats by party_GNUR 21, PAP 7, NAPSI 5, SILP 4, UP 4, independents 6, other 3

Judicial branch: Court of Appeal

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, WTrO

Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador Stephen Rex HOROI (represents the country as both the Permanent Representative to the UN and the ambassador to the US)
In the us chancery: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400L, New York, NY 10,017
In the us telephone: [1] (212) 599-6,192, 6,193
In the us FAX: [1] (212) 661-8,925
From the us: 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 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 1999
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Economy overview: The bulk of the population depend 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. Economic troubles in Southeast Asia led to a steep downturn in the timber industry, and economic output declined by about 10% in 1998. The government instituted public service pay cuts and other retrenchments.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: -10% (1998 est.)

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: NA%
Industry: NA%
Services: NA%

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

Industries: copra, fish (tuna)

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Labor force: 26,842
By occupation services: 41.5%
By occupation agriculture forestry and fishing: 23.7%
By occupation commerce transport andfinance: 21.7%
By occupation construction andmining: 13.1% (1992 est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: NA%

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: NA%

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $147 million
Expenditures: $168 million, including capital expenditures of $N/A (1997 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

Exports: $184 million (f.o.b., 1996)
Commodities: timber, fish, palm oil, cocoa, copra
Partners: Japan 50%, Spain 16%, UK, Thailand 5% (1996)

Imports: $151 million (c.i.f., 1996 est.)
Commodities: plant and equipment, manufactured goods, food and live animals, fuel
Partners: Australia 42%, Japan 10%, Singapore 9%, NZ 8%, US 5% (1996)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $145 million (1996 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Solomon Islands dollars (SI$) per US$1_4.9334 (January 1999), 4.8156 (1998), 3.5664 (1997), 3.4059 (1995), 3.2914 (1994)

Solomon Islands - Energy 1999
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 30 million kWh (1996)
By source fossil fuel: 100%
By source hydro: 0%
By source nuclear: 0%
By source other: 0% (1996)

Electricity consumption: 30 million kWh (1996)

Electricity exports: 0 kWh (1996)

Electricity imports: 0 kWh (1996)

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 1999
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system
Domestic: NA
International: satellite earth station_1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Solomon Islands - Military 1999
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $NA
Percent of gdp: NA%

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Solomon Islands - Transportation 1999
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 33 (1998 est.)
With paved runways total: 2
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 1
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 1 (1998 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 31
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 1
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 9
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 21 (1998 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 2
15-24 to 2437 m: 1
914 to 1523 m: 1 (1998 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 31
15-24 to 2437 m: 1
914 to 1523 m: 9
Under 914 m: 21 (1998 est.)



Railways: 0 km



Merchant marine: none

Ports and terminals

Solomon Islands - Transnational issues 1999
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Disputes international: none

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

Fidel Crest

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