Vanuatu



Official Country Name
Republic of Vanuatu

Vanuatu Overview
Multiple waves of colonizers, each speaking a distinct language, migrated to the New Hebrides in the millennia preceeding European exploration in the 18th century. This settlement pattern accounts for the complex linguistic diversity found on the archipelago to this day. The British and French, who settled the New Hebrides in the 19th century, agreed in 1906 to an Anglo-French Condominium, which administered the islands until independence in 1980, when the new name of Vanuatu was adopted.

Vanuatu Economy
This South Pacific island economy is based primarily on small-scale agriculture, which provides a living for 65% of the population. Fishing, offshore financial services, and tourism, with more than 60,000 visitors in 2005, are other mainstays of the economy. Mineral deposits are negligible; the country has no known petroleum deposits. A small light industry sector caters to the local market. Tax revenues come mainly from import duties. Economic development is hindered by dependence on relatively few commodity exports, vulnerability to natural disasters, and long distances from main markets and between constituent islands. GDP growth rose less than 3% on average in the 1990s. In response to foreign concerns, the government has promised to tighten regulation of its offshore financial center. In mid-2002 the government stepped up efforts to boost tourism through improved air connections, resort development, and cruise ship facilities. Agriculture, especially livestock farming, is a second target for growth. Australia and New Zealand are the main suppliers of tourists and foreign aid.

Vanuatu Location
Vanuatu is located in Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to Australia

Region
Vanuatu is located in Oceania

Vanuatu Population
Vanuatu has population of 208,869 (July 2006 est.)

Vanuatu Climate
Vanuatu has 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

Vanuatu Terrain
mostly mountainous islands of volcanic origin; narrow coastal plains

Vanuatu Natural Resources
manganese, hardwood forests, fish

Ethnic Groups in Vanuatu
Vanuatu has the following ethnic groups - Ni-Vanuatu 98.5%, other 1.5% (1999 Census)

Vanuatu Religions
Presbyterian 31.4%, Anglican 13.4%, Roman Catholic 13.1%, Seventh-Day Adventist 10.8%, other Christian 13.8%, indigenous beliefs 5.6% (including Jon Frum cargo cult), other 9.6%, none 1%, unspecified 1.3% (1999 Census)

Vanuatu Languages
local languages (more than 100) 72.6%, pidgin (known as Bislama or Bichelama) 23.1%, English 1.9%, French 1.4%, other 0.3%, unspecified 0.7% (1999 Census)

Vanuatu Capital
Vanuatu capital is Port-Vila (on Efate)

Vanuatu Currency
Vanuatu currency is vatu

Map of Vanuatu