Vanuatu Facts

Vanuatu, know as New Hebrides before 1980, state of Melanesia in southwestern Pacific; 12,190 km2, 293,000 residents (2019). Vanuatu encompasses a chain of twelve major and some sixty smaller islands that extend over 900 km from the northwest to the southeast. Almost 70 islands are inhabited; the biggest among them are Espíritu Santo and Malekula. The capital Port Vila (51,300 residents, 2012) is located on the island of Efaté in the middle of the archipelago.

Vanuatu Country Flag

Country facts

  • Ripablik blong Vanuatu / Republic of Vanuatu
  • Country abbreviation: VU
  • Area: 12 190 km2
  • Population (2019): 293,000 residents
  • Capital: Port Vila
  • Main languages: Bislama, English, French
  • State: Republic
  • Head of State: Tallis Obed Moses (President)
  • Head of Government: Bob Loughman
  • Per capita GDP (2018): US $ 3,033
  • GNI per capita (2018): US $ 2,970
  • Currency unit: 1 vat = 100 centimes
  • Currency code: VUV
  • Country number (telephony): 678
  • Internet domain name: from
  • Time difference compared to Sweden: +10
  • National Day: July 30 (Independence Day, 1980)


  • Land use: forest (75%), agricultural land (12%), other (13%)
  • Highest mountain: Tabwemasana (1,879 m asl)


  • Population density (2019): 24 residents per km2
  • Natural population growth (2019): 2.5%; birthrate 29 ‰, death count 4 ‰
  • Age structure (2019): 0-14 years (39%), 15-64 (67%), 65- (4%)
  • Life expectancy (2019): men 70 years, women 73 years
  • Infant mortality (2019): 28 per 1,000 live births
  • Population forecast 2050: 600,000 residents
  • HDI (2017): 0.603 (place 138 of 189)
  • Urbanization rate (2019): 25%
  • Most populous city (2012): Port Vila (51,300 residents)


  • Industry’s contribution to GDP (2017): agriculture (27%), industry (12%), service (61%)
  • Exports (2017): US $ 61 million
  • Main export products: copra, beef, cocoa
  • Main exporting countries: Philippines, Australia, USA
  • Imports (2017): US $ 274 million
  • Main import products: machinery, transport, food
  • Main importing countries: Russian Federation, Australia, New Zealand
  • Railway network: no information available

Vanuatu encompasses a chain of twelve major and some 60 smaller islands. On the two largest islands there are remnants of older bedrock, but most of the islands are built up by younger rocks, such as lava and coral lime. The islands are tall and have a topography of mountains, plateaus and coastal lands. The country has a maritime tropical climate with two seasons, one hot and humid during November – April and one cool and dry during May – October.

Parliament has the legislative power, and its members are elected in general elections every four years. The Council of Ministers is the Executive and is chaired by the Prime Minister appointed by Parliament. The president is the head of state and is appointed for five years by parliament and the presidents of the country’s regional councils. The country became independent in 1980 from the United Kingdom and France, which agreed on joint colonial rule. Vanuatu is a member of the Commonwealth.

Vanuatu is one of the least developed states in the world. The industry is very limited, transport conditions are poor and the lack of educated, domestic labor is very large. The traditional barley crop is copra from coconut trees, but production is uncertain due to tropical storms and large variations in demand. The country also earns revenue by selling fishing permits to foreign fishing fleets. In 2015, large parts of the country’s development of the tropical cyclone Pam were demolished.

Vanuatu Map

Vanuatu Map


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