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Vanuatu

  • Capital Port Vila (17°44´S, 168°19´E)
  • International airport(s) Bauerfield International Airport, Port Vila
  • Official language(s) Bislama, English, French
  • Currency Vanuatu Vatu (VUV)
  • Time UTC+11
  • Region Pacific
GeographyClimateEconomyCulture
Vanuatu forms an archipelago of about 83 small islands of volcanic origin. Located in the South Pacific about 2 000 km East of Queensland in Australia. The distance between its most northern and southern islands is about 1 300 km. Only 14 of the 83 islands have a land area larger than 100 km2. The largest islands are Espiritu Santo and Malakula. Only 67 of the 83 islands are inhabited. Most islands are steep on the edges with a rocky shoreline, fringing reefs, unstable soil and little permanent freshwater. Volcanic activity is common, Mount Yasur on the island of Tanna remains active. Earthquakes are a common feature of island life in Vanuatu.
The climate in Vanuatu is tropical. The rainy season is long, with significant rainfall and hot weather especially from December to April. Cyclones are possible during this time of year. The remainder of the year is cooler and drier. Average monthly temperatures range from 23 to 25 °C. Water temperatures range from 22 °C in the winter to 28 °C in the summer. Annual average rainfall is 2 500 mm with large variations: the northern islands receive over 4 000 mm of rainfall, while the southern extremes of the archipelago receive about 1 500 mm. Cyclones are common during the warm and wet months, although recently cyclones hit outside of the usual season. -—
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Vanuatu is the world's most at‐risk country for natural hazards, according to the United Nations University -—
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World Risk Index.
Vanuatu's economy is centered on agriculture, raising of cattle, tourism and offshore financial services. Agriculture provides employment for more than half of the population. Fishing is also important for domestic consumption. The tropical climate supports a wide range of fruits, vegetables and spices, such as kava, coconut and cocoa. Important export markets include Malaysia, Australia and Japan. Together, agriculture and fishing account for about one quarter of GDP -—
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. In 2016, Vanuatu launched a citizenship programme, offering the possibility to buy a Vanuatu passport for US$150 000, which enjoys visa‐free travel throughout Europe. With demand from the Chinese market booming, by 2018 passport sales generated about a third of government revenues. Vanuatu's economic growth has recently been driven by tourism and construction. Tourist arrivals in Vanuatu vary from 250 to 350 thousand annually. In 2018, inbound tourism expenditure equalled 37 per cent over GDP. Incorrect syntax for items Still, economic development is constrained by the concentration of exports in relatively few commodities, vulnerability to natural disasters and connectivity issues between islands and main markets.
The density of languages per capita is the highest in the world in Vanuatu, with an average of 2 000 speakers per language. More than 95 per cent of Bislama words are of English origin, whilst the remainder comprises a few dozen words from French, as well as some specific vocabulary inherited from various languages of Vanuatu; though these are essentially limited to flora and fauna. Vanuatu's national anthem, 'Yumi, Yumi, Yumi', is composed in Bislama. 'Yumi' means 'we', derived from the words you and me.

Traditional music in Bislama is popular in rural areas. Musical instruments consist mostly of various types of drums, slit gongs and rattles. Vanuatu was home to an internationally known women's rights activist, Grace Mera Molisa, who became famous for her poetry.

Vanuatu cuisine incorporates fish, root vegetables, vegetables and many fruits, such as papayas, pineapples, mangoes, plantains and sweet potatoes. Coconut milk flavors many dishes. Most island families grow food in their gardens throughout the year.

Cricket is very popular in Vanuatu with about 8 000 registered cricketers. In 1988, Vanuatu became a member of FIFA and the Oceania Football Confederation. Vanuatu also has a successful Women's Beach‐Volleyball team. Vanuatu first participated in the Olympic Games in 1988 in Seoul, South Korea, in track and field and boxing.
Land areakm2
Arable land%
Forest area%
Coastline
lengthkm
Exclusive economic zonekm2
Nearest
neighbourkm
Economic trendsMaritime transportPopulationInternational tradeEnvironmentInformation and communications technology
Gross domestic product
US dollars at constant prices (2015) in millions
GDP per capita

2019

US$

Productive Capacity Index

2018

Economic and environmental vulnerability index

2019

Consumer Price Index growth

2019

%

Unemployment
rate

Total %
Female %, Male %
Main economic sectors, 2019
Percentage of GDP
Tourist arrivals
Thousands of tourists, percentage of GDP
External financial resources
Percentage of GDP
Public debt as % of GDP

2018

%

Fleet size
Number of ships
Ship type20112019
Total fleet1 4071 407
Oil tankers264266
Bulk carriers311333
General cargo16177
Container ships5249
Other types of ships619682
Port performance
Ranked by 2019 data within SIDS group
Indicators2019SIDS Ranking
Number of port calls25126
Median time in port (days)0.924
Average age of vessels1811
Average size (GT) of vessels51 8223
Container port throuput

2019

TEU

Bilateral connectivity index, 2019
Top 5 partners
Liner shipping connectivity index
Maximum China Q1 2006=100
Total population
Thousands of people, share of urban population
Population development indicators
IndicatorsPeriodValue
Poverty headcount (% of population)201013.2
Human development index20180.6
Human assets index202077
Adult literacy rate (15+ years, both sexes %)....
Gender inequality index....
Life expectancy at birth

years

Population density

2019

persons per km2
Dependency
ratio

2019

Child:
Old-age:
Age structure by gender, 2019
Percentage of total population
Merchandise and services trade
US dollars in millions
Indicators20052010201520192019 (% of GDP)
Merchandise exports384939586.4
Merchandise imports14928536733336.7
Services exports13927728300
Services imports7412517100
Trade openness
Goods and services

% of GDP

Export concentration index

2019

Food import
dependency
Average 2015-2019

Top 5 partners in merchandise trade, 2019
Exports in millions US dollars
Merchandise exports by product group, 2019
Services exports by category, 2019
CO2 emissions per capita
Kg per capita
CO2 emissions per GDP
Kg per 2010 US$ of GDP
Renewable energy share in total energy consumption, 2017
Percentage of total energy consumption
Material
footprint
per capita

2016

kg

Terrestrial
protected
area

2018

%

Marine
protected
area

2018

%

Disasters indicators
Data not available
Trade in ICT goods

Exports: %
Imports: %
Trade in ICT services

Exports: %
Imports: %
Share of
internet users

%

Fixed broadband vs Mobile broadband subscriptions
Number of subscriptions per 100 people
Sources
Source of data: -—
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except indicators listed below.
References
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