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macrohistory & world report

Solomon Islands

Location of Solomon Islands

Map of Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands in the South Pacific (south of the equator)

World Factbook as of November 2014: "The bulk of the population depends on agriculture, fishing, and forestry for at least part of its livelihood. Most manufactured goods and petroleum products must be imported. The islands are rich in undeveloped mineral resources such as lead, zinc, nickel, and gold. Prior to the arrival of The Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI), severe ethnic violence, the closing of key businesses, and an empty government treasury culminated in economic collapse. RAMSI's efforts to restore law and order and economic stability have led to modest growth as the economy rebuilds."

Property ownership
As much as 95% of all land is kinship owned. When a mining company wants to acquire land it must bargain with kinship groups.

Labor force in agriculture
2000 est: 75%

Budget
2003: Revenues only 66% of expenditures.

Estimated per capita GDP (2010 US dollars)
2010: $2,900

Infant mortality (deaths before the age of one year per 1,000 live births)
2011: 17.82
2005: 21.29

Average life expectancy at birth
2011: 74.18
2008: 73.44
2005: 72.66

People

Population
July 2013: 597,248
July 2011: 571,890

Population of Honiara (the capital city)
2009 estimate: 78,190

Population of Malaita
2007 estimate: 140,000

The island of Tikopia supports around 1,200 people, is 2.9 square kilometers (1.8 square miles). Unlike those on much of the rest of the islands, these are Polynesians.

Living in an urban area
2010: 19%

Density for 2007: 19.92 persons per square kilometer, up from 19.5 in 2005, in other words roughly one more person for every two square miles.

Birth and death rates
2011: births 28.03, deaths 3.93

Ethnic groups
1999 census: Melanesian 94.5%, Polynesian 3%, Micronesian 1.2%, other 1.1%, unspecified 0.2%

Religions
1999 census: 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%

Geography

South of the equator in Oceania. Nearly 1,000 islands and atolls totalling 28,450 square kilometers of land, equivalent to 168.7 by 168.7 kilometers or roughly 105 by 105 miles. Includes Guadalcanal.

Government

A member of the Commonwealth of Nations. (Chief of State: Queen Elizabeth II ). A parliamentary democracy. Unicameral National Parliament has 50 members elected by popular vote to four-year terms.

Capital: Honiara, on the north side of Guadalcanal.

Recent History

British established a protectorate over the islands in the 1890s.

1976: Acquired self-government. In 1978 this was extended to Independence and membership in the Commonwealth of Nations.

2003: Conflict and lawlessness and ineffective police prompts a formal request by the Solomon Islands Government for outside help. The request is unanimously supported in Parliament. An Australian-led multinational force (RAMSI) restored peace and disarmed ethnic militias.

2005: A leading troublemaker up to 2003, Harold Keke, 33, is given a life sentence for murder. Keke is a former Catholic who turned to evangelical Christianity and came to view himself as a prophet leading people to the promised land. He is accused of arson, kidnapping, assassination and has been personally implicated in more than 50 murders.

SOURCES:
The World Factbook

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.