Quick Facts

  • Officially known as the Republic of Vanuatu
  • Formerly the New Hebrides, administered by the Anglo-French Condominium (British and French) from 1906-1980. Gained independence on July 30, 1980, and the name Vanuatu was adopted.
  • Location: Oceania, groups of islands in the South Pacific, about 3/4 of the way from Hawaii to Australia
  • Area: 4,710 sq. miles (slightly larger than the state of Connecticut), consisting of four main islands and 80 smaller islands
  • Population: 272,264
  • Capital and largest city: Port Vila (pop. 53,000)
  • Climate: tropical; moderated by southeast trade winds from May-October, moderate rainfall from Nov.-April, may be affected by cyclones from Dec.-April
  • Terrain: mostly mountainous islands of volcanic origins, narrow coastal plains
  • Major ethnic group: Ni-Vanuatu
  • Language: local languages (more than 100) 63.2%, Bislama (official) 33.7%, English (official) 2%, French (official) 0.6%
  • Major religion: Protestant (70%)
  • Literacy: 85.2%
  • Economy: based on small-scale agriculture, providing a living for 2/3 of the population; fishing, offshore financial services, and tourism are other mainstays of the economy. Australia and New Zealand are the main suppliers of tourists and foreign aid.
  • 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 republic
  • Chief of state: President Baldwin Lonsdale (since 2014) – elected by an electoral college consisting of parliament and the presidents of regional councils
  • Head of government: Prime Minister Sato Kilman (since 2015) – usually the leader of the majority party or majority coalition party and elected prime minister by parliament from among its members


Healthcare Statistics

  • Maternal mortality rate: 78/100,000
  • Infant mortality rate: 15.7/1,000
  • Life expectancy: 73.06 years
  • Health expenditures: 3.9% of GDP
  • Physicians density: 0.12 physicians/1.000 population
  • Hospital bed density: 1.8 beds/1,000 population
  • Obesity: 32.9%
  • Infectious disease updates: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm

Images From the Field

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Area Agencies

    Field Stories

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