Statistical information Vanuatu 2023Vanuatu

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

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Vanuatu - Introduction 2023
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Vanuatu was first settled around 2000 B.C. by Austronesian speakers from Solomon Islands. By around 1000, localized chieftain systems began to develop on the islands. In the mid-1400s, the Kuwae Volcano erupted, causing frequent conflict and internal strife amid declining food availability, especially on Efate Island. Around 1600, Chief ROI MATA united Efate under his rule. In 1606, Portuguese explorer Pedro Fernandes de QUEIROS was the first European to see the Banks Islands and Espiritu Santo, setting up a short-lived settlement on the latter. The next European explorers arrived in the 1760s, and in 1774, British navigator James COOK named the islands the New Hebrides. The islands were frequented by whalers in the 1800s and interest in harvesting the islands’ sandalwood trees caused conflict between Europeans and local Ni-Vanuatu. Catholic and Protestant missionaries arrived in the 1840s but faced difficulties converting the locals. In the 1860s, European planters in Australia, Fiji, New Caledonia, and Samoa needed labor and kidnapped almost half the adult males of the islands and forced them to work as indentured servants.

With growing and overlapping interests in the islands, France and the UK agreed that the New Hebrides would be neutral in 1878 and established a joint naval commission in 1887. In 1906, the two countries created the British-French Condominium to jointly administer the islands and they established separate laws, police forces, currencies, and education and health systems. The condominium arrangement was dysfunctional and the UK used France’s defeat to Germany in World War II to assert greater control over the islands. As Japan pushed into Melanesia, the US stationed up to 50,000 soldiers in Vanuatu to prevent further advances. In 1945, US troops withdrew and sold their equipment, leading to the rise of political and religious cargo cults, such as the John Frum movement.

The France-UK condominium was reestablished after World War II. The UK was interested in moving the condominium toward independence in the 1960s, but France was hesitant and political parties agitating independence began to form, largely divided along linguistic lines. France eventually relented and elections were held in 1974 with independence granted in 1980 as Vanuatu under English-speaking Prime Minister Walter LINI. At independence, the Nagriamel Movement, with support from French-speaking landowners, declared Espiritu Santo independent, but the short-lived state was dissolved 12 weeks later. Linguistic divisions have lessened over time but highly fractious political parties have led to weak coalition governments that require support from both Anglophone and Francophone parties. Since 2008, prime ministers have been ousted through no-confidence motions or temporary procedural issues more than a dozen times.

Vanuatu - Geography 2023
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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

Map referenceOceania

Total: 12,189 km²
Land: 12,189 km²
Water: 0 km²
Note: includes more than 80 islands, about 65 of which are inhabited
Comparative: slightly larger than Connecticut

Land boundaries
Total: 0 km

Coastline: 2,528 km

Maritime claims
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

measured from claimed archipelagic baselines

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

Highest point: Tabwemasana 1,877 m
Lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

Natural resources: manganese, hardwood forests, fish
Land use

Land use
Agricultural land: 15.3% (2018 est.)
Agricultural land arable land: 1.6% (2018 est.)
Agricultural land permanent crops: 10.3% (2018 est.)
Agricultural land permanent pasture: 3.4% (2018 est.)
Forest: 36.1% (2018 est.)
Other: 48.6% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land: 0 km² (2022)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources: 10 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Natural hazards: tropical cyclones (January to April); volcanic eruption on Aoba (Ambae) island began on 27 November 2005, volcanism also causes minor earthquakes; tsunamis

Note: a Y-shaped chain of four main islands and 80 smaller islands; several of the islands have active volcanoes and there are several underwater volcanoes as well

Vanuatu - People 2023
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Distribution: three-quarters of the population lives in rural areas; the urban populace lives primarily in two cities, Port-Vila and Lugenville; three largest islands - Espiritu Santo, Malakula, and Efate - accomodate over half of the populace: 313,046 (2023 est.)
Growth rate: 1.59% (2023 est.)
Below poverty line: NA

Noun: Ni-Vanuatu (singular and plural)
Adjective: Ni-Vanuatu

Ethnic groups: Ni-Vanuatu 99%, other 1% (European, Asian, other Melanesian, Polynesian, Micronesian, other) (2020 est.)

Languages: Indigenous languages (more than 100) 82.6%, Bislama (official; creole) 14.5%, English (official) 2.1%, French (official) 0.8% (2020 est.)
Note: data represent first language spoken for population aged 3 years and above

Religions: Protestant 39.9% (Presbyterian 27.2%, Seventh Day Adventist 14.8%, Anglican 12%, Churches of Christ 5%, Assemblies of God 4.9%, Neil Thomas Ministry/Inner Life Ministry 3.2%), Roman Catholic 12.1%, Apostolic 2.3%, Church of Jesus Christ 1.8%, customary beliefs (including Jon Frum cargo cult) 3.1%, other 12%, none 1.4%, unspecified 0.1% (2020 est.)

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 31.73% (male 50,721/female 48,607)
15-64 years: 63.41% (male 97,376/female 101,135)
65 years and over: 4.86% (2023 est.) (male 7,486/female 7,721)

Dependency ratios
Total dependency ratio: 76.5
Youth dependency ratio: 69.9
Elderly dependency ratio: 12.3
Potential support ratio: 15.2 (2021 est.)

Median age
Total: 24.2 years (2023 est.)
Male: 23.7 years
Female: 24.6 years

Population growth rate: 1.59% (2023 est.)

Birth rate: 21.2 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Death rate: 4 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Population distribution: three-quarters of the population lives in rural areas; the urban populace lives primarily in two cities, Port-Vila and Lugenville; three largest islands - Espiritu Santo, Malakula, and Efate - accomodate over half of the populace

Urban population: 26% of total population (2023)
Rate of urbanization: 2.55% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas
Population: 53,000 PORT-VILA (capital) (2018)

Current issues: population growth; water pollution, most of the population does not have access to a reliable supply of potable water; inadequate sanitation; deforestation
International agreements party to: Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Marine Dumping-London Protocol, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
International agreements signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants
Particulate matter emissions: 8.42 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions: 0.15 megatons (2016 est.)
Methane emissions: 0.5 megatons (2020 est.)

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.97 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio: 94 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

Infant mortality rate
Total: 14 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)
Male: 15.4 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 12.6 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 75.4 years (2023 est.)
Male: 73.7 years
Female: 77.2 years

Total fertility rate: 2.59 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate: 49% (2013)

Drinking water source
Improved urban: 100% of population
Improved rural: 89.7% of population
Improved total: 92.3% of population
Unimproved urban: 0% of population
Unimproved rural: 10.3% of population
Unimproved total: 7.7% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure: 4% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density: 0.17 physicians/1,000 population (2016)

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access
Improved urban:
91.1% of population

rural: 60.4% of population

total: 68.2% of population

Unimproved urban:
8.9% of population

rural: 39.6% of population

total: 31.8% of population (2020 est.)


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate: 25.2% (2016)

Alcohol consumption
Per capita total: 1.6 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)
Per capita beer: 0.34 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)
Per capita wine: 0.39 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)
Per capita spirits: 0.87 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)
Per capita other alcohols: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

Tobacco use
Total: 17.8% (2020 est.)
Male: 33% (2020 est.)
Female: 2.6% (2020 est.)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 11.7% (2013)

Education expenditures: 2.2% of GDP (2020 est.)

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 89.1%
Male: 89.8%
Female: 88.4% (2021)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment
Rate ages 15 24 total: 5.4% (2021 est.)
Rate ages 15 24 male: 5.2%
Rate ages 15 24 female: 5.6%

Vanuatu - Government 2023
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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
Etymology: derived from the words "vanua" (home or land) and "tu" (stand) that occur in several of the Austonesian languages spoken on the islands and which provide a meaning of "the land remains" but which also convey a sense of "independence" or "our land"

Government type: parliamentary republic

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)
Etymology: there are two possibilities for the origin of the name: early European settlers were Portuguese and "vila" means "village or town" in Portuguese, hence "Port-Vila" would mean "Port Town"; alternatively, the site of the capital is referred to as "Efil" or "Ifira" in native languages, "Vila" is a likely corruption of these names

Administrative divisions: 6 provinces; Malampa, Penama, Sanma, Shefa, Tafea, Torba

Dependent areas

Independence: 30 July 1980 (from France and the UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 30 July (1980)

History: draft completed August 1979, finalized by constitution conference 19 September 1979, ratified by French and British Governments 23 October 1979, effective 30 July 1980 at independence
Amendments: proposed by the prime minister or by the Parliament membership; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote by Parliament in special session with at least three fourths of the membership; passage of amendments affecting the national and official languages, or the electoral and parliamentary system also requires approval in a referendum; amended several times, last in 2013

Legal system: mixed legal system of English common law, French law, and customary law

International law organization participation: has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship by birth: no
Citizenship by descent only: both parents must be citizens of Vanuatu; in the case of only one parent, it must be the father who is a citizen
Dual citizenship recognized: no
Residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Nikenike VUROBARAVU (since 23 July 2022)
Head of government: Prime Minister Charlot SALWAI (since 6 October 2023)
Cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister, responsible to Parliament
Elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by an electoral college consisting of Parliament and presidents of the 6 provinces; Vanuatu president serves a 5-year term; election last held on 23 July 2022 (next to be held in 2,027); 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 20 April 2020 (next to be held following general elections in 2024)
Election results:
Nikenike VUROBARAVU elected president in eighth round on 23 July 2022 with 48 votes;
Sato KILMAN defeated as prime minister in no-confidence vote on 6 October 2023; Charlot SALWAI elected prime minister on 6 October 2023, 29 votes for - 0 against

Legislative branch
Description: unicameral Parliament (52 seats; members directly elected in 8 single-seat and 9 multi-seat constituencies by single non-transferable vote to serve 4-year terms (candidates in multi-seat constituencies can be elected with only 4% of the vote)
Elections: last held on 13 October 2022 (next to be held in 2,026)
Election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 7, VP 7, LPV 5, RMC 5, GJP 4, NUP 4, RDP 4, IG 3, PPP 2, VNDP 2, NAG 1, VLM 1, other 6, independent 1; composition - men 51, women 1; percent of women 2%; note - political party associations are fluid
Note: the National Council of Chiefs advises on matters of culture and language

Judicial branch
Highest courts: Court of Appeal (consists of 2 or more judges of the Supreme Court designated by the chief justice); Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and 6 puisne judges - 3 local and 3 expatriate)
Judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice appointed by the president after consultation with the prime minister and the leader of the opposition; other judges appointed by the president on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission, a 4-member advisory body; judges serve until the age of retirement
Subordinate courts: Magistrates Courts; Island Courts

Political parties and leaders:
Green Confederation or GC [Moana CARCASSES Kalosil]
Iauko Group or IG [Tony NARI]
Land and Justice Party (Graon mo Jastis Pati) or GJP [Ralph REGENVANU]
Leaders Party of Vanuatu or LVP [Nikenike VUROBARAVU] 
Melanesian Progressive Party or MPP [Barak SOPE]
Nagriamel Movement or NAG [Frankie STEVENS]
Natatok Indigenous People's Democratic Party or NATATOK or NIPDP [Alfred Roland CARLOT]
National United Party or NUP [Ham LINI]
People's Progressive Party or PPP [Sato KILMAN]
People's Service Party or PSP [Don KEN]
Reunification of Movement for Change or RMC [Charlot SALWAI]
Rural Development Party or RDP [Jay NGWELE, spokesman]
Union of Moderate Parties or UMP [Alatoi Ishmael KALSAKAU]
Vanua'aku Pati (Our Land Party) or VP [Bob LOUGHMAN]
Vanuatu Democratic Party [Maxime Carlot KORMAN]
Vanuatu First or Vanuatu [Russel NARI]
Vanuatu Liberal Democratic Party or VLDP [Tapangararua WILLIE]
Vanuatu Liberal Movement or VLM [Gaetan PIKIOUNE]
Vanuatu National Development Party or VNDP [Robert Bohn SIKOL]
Vanuatu National Party or VNP [Issac HAMARILIU]
Vanuatu Republican Party or VRP [Marcellino PIPITE]

International organization participation: ACP, ADB, AOSIS, C, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, IOC, IOM, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission:
Ambassador Odo TEVI (since 8 September 2017)
note - also Permanent Representative to the UN

In the us chancery: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400B, New York, NY 10,017
In the us telephone: [1] (212) 661-4,323
In the us FAX: [1] (212) 422-3,427
In the us email address and website:


From the us embassy: the US does not have an embassy in Vanuatu; the US Ambassador to Papua New Guinea is accredited to Vanuatu

Flag descriptionflag of Vanuatu: two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a black isosceles triangle (based on the hoist side) all separated by a black-edged yellow stripe in the shape of a horizontal Y (the two points of the Y face the hoist side and enclose the triangle); centered in the triangle is a boar's tusk encircling two crossed namele fern fronds, all in yellow; red represents the blood of boars and men, as well as unity, green the richness of the islands, and black the ni-Vanuatu people; the yellow Y-shape - which reflects the pattern of the islands in the Pacific Ocean - symbolizes the light of the Gospel spreading through the islands; the boar's tusk is a symbol of prosperity frequently worn as a pendant on the islands; the fern fronds represent peace
Note: one of several flags where a prominent component of the design reflects the shape of the country; other such flags are those of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, and Eritrea

National symbols: boar's tusk with crossed fern fronds; national colors: red, black, green, yellow

National anthem
Name: "Yumi, Yumi, Yumi" (We, We, We)
Lyrics/music: Francois Vincent AYSSAV
Note: adopted 1980; the anthem is written in Bislama, a Creole language that mixes Pidgin English and French

National heritage
Total World Heritage Sites: 1 (cultural)
Selected World Heritage Site locales: Chief Roi Mata’s Domain

Vanuatu - Economy 2023
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Economy overview: lower-middle income Pacific island economy; extremely reliant on subsistence agriculture and tourism; environmentally fragile; struggling post-pandemic and Tropical Cyclone Harold rebound; sizeable inflation; road infrastructure aid from Australia

Real gdp purchasing power parity:
$888.165 million (2021 est.)
$884.192 million (2020 est.)
$934.627 million (2019 est.)

Note: data are in 2017 dollars

Real gdp growth rate:
0.45% (2021 est.)
-5.4% (2020 est.)
3.24% (2019 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use
Household consumption: 59.9% (2017 est.)
Government consumption: 17.4% (2017 est.)
Investment in fixed capital: 28.7% (2017 est.)
Investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.)
Exports of goods and services: 42.5% (2017 est.)
Imports of goods and services: -48.5% (2017 est.)

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 27.3% (2017 est.)
Industry: 11.8% (2017 est.)
Services: 60.8% (2017 est.)

Agriculture products

Industries: food and fish freezing, wood processing, meat canning

Industrial production growth rate: 4.92% (2018 est.)

Labor force: 132,700 (2021 est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate:
2.18% (2021 est.)
2.12% (2020 est.)
1.8% (2019 est.)

Youth unemployment
Rate ages 15 24 total: 5.4% (2021 est.)
Rate ages 15 24 male: 5.2%
Rate ages 15 24 female: 5.6%

Population below poverty line: NA

Gini index
Coefficient distribution of family income: 32.3 (2019 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10%: NA
Highest 10%: NA

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $398 million (2019 est.)
Expenditures: $355 million (2019 est.)
Surplus  or deficit: -0.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Public debt:
48.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
46.1% of GDP (2016 est.)

Taxes and other revenues: 14.24% (of GDP) (2020 est.)

From forest resources: 0.54% of GDP (2018 est.)
From coal: 0% of GDP (2018 est.)

Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance:
$1.893 million (2021 est.)
$60.619 million (2020 est.)
$215.521 million (2019 est.)

Inflation rate consumer prices:
2.34% (2021 est.)
5.33% (2020 est.)
2.76% (2019 est.)

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:
$1.893 million (2021 est.)
$60.619 million (2020 est.)
$215.521 million (2019 est.)

$88.805 million (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$141.534 million (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$372.711 million (2019 est.)

Partners: Thailand 54%, Japan 18%, South Korea 6%, Cyprus 5%, China 4% (2021)
Commodities: tuna, floating platforms, cargo ships, perfume plants, mollusks, copra (2021)

$495.858 million (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$429.601 million (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$488.795 million (2019 est.)

Partners: China 26%, Australia 16%, New Zealand 15%, Fiji 8%, Singapore 7% (2021)
Commodities: refined petroleum, fishing ships, poultry meats, delivery trucks, lumber, rice, broadcasting equipment (2021)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$664.751 million (31 December 2021 est.)
$613.637 million (31 December 2020 est.)
$511.546 million (31 December 2019 est.)

Debt external:
$200.5 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$182.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates:
vatu (VUV) per US dollar - 109.453 (2021 est.)
115.38 (2020 est.)
114.733 (2019 est.)
110.165 (2018 est.)
107.821 (2017 est.)

Vanuatu - Energy 2023
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Electricity access
Electrification-total population: 70% (2021)
Electrification-urban areas: 97% (2021)
Electrification-rural areas: 60.7% (2021)

Electricity production

Electricity consumption: 62.926 million kWh (2019 est.)

Electricity exports: 0 kWh (2020 est.)

Electricity imports: 0 kWh (2020 est.)

Electricity installed generating capacity: 35,000 kW (2020 est.)

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources
Fossil fuels: 84.5% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Solar: 8.2% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Wind: 7.4% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Hydroelectricity: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Biomass and waste: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Total petroleum production: 0 bbl/day (2021 est.)
Refined petroleum consumption: 1,500 bbl/day (2019 est.)
Crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
Crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
Crude oil estimated reserves: 0 barrels (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum
Products production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Products exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Products imports: 1,073 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Natural gas
Production: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)
Consumption: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)
Exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)
Imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)
Proven reserves: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions: 225,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)
From coal and metallurgical coke: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)
From petroleum and other liquids: 225,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)
From consumed natural gas: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

Energy consumption per capita: 10.878 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

Vanuatu - Communication 2023
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Telephones fixed lines
Total subscriptions: 3,437 (2022 est.)
Subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2021 est.)

Telephones mobile cellular
Total subscriptions: 250,000 (2021 est.)
Subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 78 (2021 est.)

Telephone system

Broadcast media: 1 state-owned TV station; multi-channel pay TV is available; state-owned Radio Vanuatu operates 2 radio stations; 2 privately owned radio broadcasters; programming from multiple international broadcasters is available

Internet country code: .vu

Internet users
Total: 211,200 (2021 est.)
Percent of population: 66% (2021 est.)

Broadband fixed subscriptions
Total: 2,785 (2020 est.)
Subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2020 est.)

Vanuatu - Military 2023
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces: no regular military forces; Ministry of Internal Affairs: Vanuatu Police Force (VPF) (2023)
Note: the VPF includes the Vanuatu Mobile Force (VMF) and Police Maritime Wing (VPMW); the paramilitary VMF also has external security responsibilities

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Vanuatu - Transportation 2023
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National air transport system
Number of registered air carriers: 1 (2020)
Inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 8
Annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 374,603 (2018)
Annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 1.66 million (2018) mt-km

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix: YJ

Airports: 31 (2021)
With paved runways: 3
With paved runways note: paved runways have a concrete or asphalt surface but not all have facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control; the length of a runway required for aircraft to safely operate depends on a number of factors including the type of aircraft, the takeoff weight (including passengers, cargo, and fuel), engine types, flap settings, landing speed, elevation of the airport, and average maximum daily air temperature; paved runways can reach a length of 5,000 m (16,000 ft.), but the “typical” length of a commercial airline runway is between 2,500-4,000 m (8,000-13,000 ft.)
With unpaved runways: 28
With unpaved runways note: unpaved runways have a surface composition such as grass or packed earth and are most suited to the operation of light aircraft; unpaved runways are usually short, often less than 1,000 m (3,280 ft.) in length; airports with unpaved runways often lack facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control

Airports with paved runways: 3
Note: paved runways have a concrete or asphalt surface but not all have facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control; the length of a runway required for aircraft to safely operate depends on a number of factors including the type of aircraft, the takeoff weight (including passengers, cargo, and fuel), engine types, flap settings, landing speed, elevation of the airport, and average maximum daily air temperature; paved runways can reach a length of 5,000 m (16,000 ft.), but the “typical” length of a commercial airline runway is between 2,500-4,000 m (8,000-13,000 ft.)

Airports with unpaved runways: 28
Note: unpaved runways have a surface composition such as grass or packed earth and are most suited to the operation of light aircraft; unpaved runways are usually short, often less than 1,000 m (3,280 ft.) in length; airports with unpaved runways often lack facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control




Total: 1,070 km (2000)
Paved: 256 km (2000)
Unpaved: 814 km (2000)


Merchant marine
Total: 331 (2022)
By type: bulk carrier 16, container ship 4, general cargo 87, oil tanker 2, other 222

Ports and terminals
Major seaports: Forari Bay, Luganville (Santo, Espiritu Santo), Port-Vila

Vanuatu - Transnational issues 2023
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Disputes internationalVanuatu-France: Matthew and Hunter Islands, two uninhabited islands east of New Caledonia, claimed by Vanuatu and France; in January 2019, a French naval mission landed officers on the islands to reinforce France’s sovereignty; in November 2021, French vessels fishing near the islands raised tensions

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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