Quick Facts

  • The United Kingdom established a protectorate over the islands in the 1890’s, but self-government was achieved in 1977 and independence from Great Britain on July 7, 1978.
  • Location: Oceania, a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Papua New Guinea (1,000 islands)
  • Area: 10,965 sq. miles, slightly smaller than the state of Maryland
  • Population: 622,469
  • Capital and major city: Honiara (pop. 73,000)
  • Climate: tropical monsoon; few extremes of temperature and weather
  • Terrain: mostly rugged mountains with some low coral atolls
  • Nationality: Solomon Islanders
  • Major ethnic group: Melanesian
  • Languages: Melanesian pidgin, English (official, but only spoken by 1-2% of the population)
  • Major religion: Christianity
  • Economy: Most of the people 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 of lead, zinc, nickel, and gold. Ethnic violence lead to economic collapse, but the Regional Assistance Mission has helped to restore law and order, and the economy is starting to rebuild.
  • Literacy rate: 84.1%
  • Current weather conditions: www.weather.com
  • Tips for travel in country: www.travel.state.gov
  • Currency exchange rates: www.xe.com

Government in Power

  • A parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
  • Chief of state: Queen Elizabeth II (since 1952) – represented by Governor General Frank Kabui (since 2009) – appointed by the monarchy
  • Head of government: Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare (since 2014) – leader of the majority party or majority coalition party and elected prime minister by parliament


Healthcare Statistics

  • Maternal mortality rate: 114/100,000
  • Infant mortality rate: 15.65/1,000
  • Life expectancy: 75.12 years
  • Health expenditures: 5.1% of GDP
  • Physicians density: 0.22 physicians/1,000 population
  • Hospital bed density: 1.3 beds/1,000 population
  • Obesity: 25%
  • Children under the age of 5 underweight: 11.5%
  • Infectious disease updates: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm

Images From the Field

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Area Agencies

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