Background: Britain established a protectorate over the Solomon Islands in the 1890s. The islands were the scene of the most brutal battles of the Second World War. Self-government was obtained in 1976, independence – two years later. Current problems are government deficits, deforestation and malaria.
Location: Oceania, a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Papua New Guinea.
Geographical coordinates: 8° 00′ S. latitude, 159° 00′ E
Reference map: Oceania.
Area: total: 28,450 square kilometers; land surface area: 27,540 km2; water surface area: 910 km2
Comparative area: slightly smaller than the state of Maryland.
Land borders: 0 km.
Coastline: 5,313 km.
Maritime claims: measured from the declared boundaries of the archipelago; continental shelf: 200 nautical miles; exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: tropical monsoon; slight variations in temperature and weather.
Terrain: mostly precipitous mountains, a few flat coral atolls.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m; highest point: Mount Makarakomburu 2,447 m.
Natural resources: fish, dog, gold, bauxite, phosphate, lead, zinc, nickel.
Land use: arable land: 1%; cultivated land: 1%; pastures: 1%; forests and plantations: 88%; others: 9% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: no data.
Natural hazards: typhoons; but they rarely reach destructive power; geologically active region with frequent earthquakes; volcanic activity.
Current environmental issues: deforestation; soil erosion; many of the coral reefs surrounding the islands have perished or are dying.
International environmental agreements: member: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Environmental Change, Law of the Sea, Marine Pollution, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Whaling; signed but not ratified: Kyoto Protocol.
Note to the section “Geography”:
Population: 480 442 people (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 43.79% (male 107,229; female 103,162); 15 to 64 years old: 53.15% (male 129,315; female 126,021); over 65: 3.06% (male 7,190; female 7,525) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 2.98% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 34.05 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 4.27 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 0 people /1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male/female; under 15: 1.04 male/female; from 15 to 64 years old: 1.03 male/female; over 65: 0.96 male/female; for the general population: 1.03 male/female (2001 est.).
Child mortality: 24.47 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 71.55 years; men: 69.12 years; women: 74.1 years (2001 est.).
Total fertility rate: 4.65 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of the adult population infected with HIV: no data available.
Number of people infected with HIV: no data.
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: Solomon Islander; adjective: referring to the inhabitants of the Solomon Islands.
Ethnic groups: Melanesian 93%, Polynesian 4%, Micronesian 1.5%, European 0.8%, Chinese 0.3%, other 0.4%.
Believers: Anglicans 34%, Catholics 19%, Baptists 17%, United Methodists and Presbyterians 11%, Seventh-day Adventists 10%, other Protestants 5%, Native faiths 4%.
Language(s): Distorted Melanesian is the common language spoken in most parts of the country, with English spoken by 1-2% of the population; note: 120 local languages.
Literacy: definition: no data; for the general population: no data available; men: no data; women: no data; State Name:
Common long form: no;
conventional short form: Solomon Islands; former: British Solomon Islands
State structure: parliamentary democracy. See politicsezine.com to know more about Solomon Islands Political System.
Administrative division: 7 provinces and 1 city*: Guadalcanal, Western, Makira, Malaita, Santa Isabel, Temotu, Honiara*, Central; note – there may be two new provinces: Choiseul (Lauro) and Rennell-Bellona, the administrative unit of Honiara may be abolished.
Independence: from July 7, 1978 (former British protectorate).
National holiday: Independence Day, 7 July (1978).
Constitution: adopted July 7, 1978.
Legal system: English common law.
Suffrage: from 21 years old; universal.
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Father John LAPLI (since 1999);
head of government: Prime Minister Mannaseh Damuka-na SOGAVARE (since 1 July 2000); Deputy Prime Minister Allan KEMA-KEZA (since 1 July 2000); note – Prime Minister Bartholomew ULUFA’ALU had to resign in June 2000 after armed supporters of opposition parties took over the capital; Mannase Damukana SOGAWARE, who was the leader of the opposition, was subsequently elected Prime Minister by the National Parliament on 30 June 2000;
government: cabinet appointed by the governor-general on the advice of the prime minister from among the members of parliament; elections: no; hereditary monarchy; the governor general is appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of parliament for a term of 5 years; after legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or coalition is usually elected prime minister by parliament; The Deputy Prime Minister is appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister from among the Members of Parliament.
Legislature: unicameral National Parliament (50 seats; members are elected from single-member districts by universal suffrage for 4 years); elections: last held 6 August 1997 (next to be held in August 2001); election results: distribution of votes between parties: no data; distribution of seats among parties: GNUR 21, PAP 7, NAPSI 5, SILP 4, UP 4, independents 6, others 3.
Judiciary: Court of Appeal.
Political parties and leaders: the two largest coalitions: the Coalition for National Unity, Accord and Peace (CNURP) and the Alliance for Change; The Coalition for National Unity, Accord and Peace seized power on June 30, 2000, it includes the Liberal Party, the People’s Alliance Party and the United Party, as well as independent members, the Union for Change formerly in power, now in opposition; in general, political alliances are unstable; Group for National Unity and Accord (GNUR) (leader – NA); Liberal Party (Bartholomew ULUFAALU); Solomon Islands National Action Party (NAPSI) (Francis SAEMALA); Popular Alliance Party (PAP) (George LEPPING [George LEPPING]); People’s Progressive Party (Mannase Damukana SOGAVARE); Solomon Islands Labor Party (SILP) (Joses TUHANUKU);
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: АСР, AsDB, С, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user ), IOC, ITU, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WTrO.
Diplomatic representation in the USA: head of mission: the post of ambassador is vacant; Chargé d’Affaires Jeremiah MANELE; office: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400L, New York, New York 10017; phone:  (212) 599-6192, 599-6193; fax: [\) (212) 661-8925.
US Diplomatic Mission: The US does not have an embassy in the Solomon Islands (embassy closed in July 1993); the ambassador to Papua New Guinea is accredited to the Solomon Islands.
Flag Description: divided diagonally by a thin yellow stripe emerging from the lower corner on the side of the hoist side; in the upper blue triangle are five white five-pointed stars arranged in an X; the bottom triangle is green.