Half the fun of the travel is the aesthetic of lostness.
— Ray Bradbury, 1920 -
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Solomon Islands

Background

Solomon Islands

The UK established a protectorate over the Solomon Islands in the 1890s. Some of the most bitter fighting of World War II occurred on this archipelago. Self-government was achieved in 1976 and independence two years later. Ethnic violence, government malfeasance, and endemic crime have undermined stability and civil society. In June 2003, then Prime Minister Sir Allan KEMAKEZA sought the assistance of Australia in reestablishing law and order; the following month, an Australian-led multinational force arrived to restore peace and disarm ethnic militias. The Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) has generally been effective in restoring law and order and rebuilding government institutions.

About

The Solomon Islands are a South Pacific archipelago east of Papua New Guinea. They occupy a strategic location on sea routes between the South Pacific Ocean, the Solomon Sea, and the Coral Sea.

Read more about Solomon Islands in our Solomon Islands travel guide »

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Solomon Islands

Capital
Honiara
Location

Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Papua New Guinea

Geographic coordinates

8 00 S, 159 00 E

Area comparative

slightly smaller than Maryland

Coastline

5,313 km

Climate

tropical monsoon; few extremes of temperature and weather

Terrain

mostly rugged mountains with some low coral atolls

Lowest point

Pacific Ocean 0 m

Highest point

Mount Popomanaseu 2,310 m

Natural resources

fish, forests, gold, bauxite, phosphates, lead, zinc, nickel

Population

559,198 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

Melanesian 94.5%, Polynesian 3%, Micronesian 1.2%, other 1.1%, unspecified 0.2% (1999 census)

Religions

Church of Melanesia 32.8%, Roman Catholic 19%, South Seas Evangelical 17%, Seventh-Day Adventist 11.2%, United Church 10.3%, Christian Fellowship Church 2.4%, other Christian 4.4%, other 2.4%, unspecified 0.3%, none 0.2% (1999 census)

Languages

Melanesian pidgin in much of the country is lingua franca; English (official but spoken by only 1%-2% of the population); 120 indigenous languages

Government type

parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm

Independence

7 July 1978 (from the UK)

National holiday

Independence Day, 7 July (1978)

Chief of state

Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Frank KABUI (since 7 July 2009)

Head of government

Prime Minister Danny PHILIP (since 25 August 2010)

Internet country code

.sb

Internet users

10,000 (2009)

Airports

36 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Honiara, Malloco Bay, Viru Harbor, Tulaghi

Other countries in the region