Solomon Islands Overview
|Form of government
||Solomon Islands dollar
|Telephone area code
The island state of the Solomon Islands is located
northeast of Australia and consists of two approximately
1,000 km long rows of islands running approximately
parallel in the northeast-southwest direction. In
addition to the six main islands of Guadalcanal (6 475
km²), Santa Isabel (4 662 km²), New Georgia (4 144 km²),
Malaita (4 071 km²), San Crist¨®bal (Makira, 3,188 km²)
and Choiseul (2,538 km²) about 30 other islands (e.g.
Vella Lavella, Ontong Java, Rennell, Bellona, Santa
Cruz, Florida, Russell, Reef and Duff Islands) and
numerous small and smallest atolls. The islands of
Bougainville and Buka in the north are geographically
part of the Solomon Islands, but are the territory of
Papua New Guinea.
The larger of the Solomon Islands are volcanic in
origin and mostly mountainous. In many cases, they are
surrounded by coral reefs. The mountain ranges, some of
which are still active volcanoes, are partly rugged and
drop steeply. The highest point in the state is the
Popomanaseu on Guadalcanal with 2,331 m. On Guadalcanal
there is a wide coastal plain in the northeast, here is
also the state capital, Honiara.
In the Solomon Islands there is a tropical and humid
climate with little temperature fluctuations all year
round. The average values are around 27 ¡ã C. The
amount of precipitation varies depending on the altitude
and region and is between 2,000 mm and up to 6,000 mm on
the mountain slopes facing the wind. Most rain falls
from November to April, during which hurricanes also
Flora and fauna
The mountain slopes on the larger Solomon Islands are
mostly densely forested, in total almost 90% of the land
area is covered with tropical rainforest. In higher
regions, this changes first into mountain, then into
cloud forest. The flora is extremely rich in species,
including ebony trees, cassowaries and a variety of
different types of orchids. Mangrove forests and coconut
palms are found along the coast.
The animal world includes various marsupials such as
opossum, couscous and bag rat and smaller mammals
(rodents, bats). Especially reptiles (lizards, monitor
lizards, snakes) and birds (parrots, birds of paradise,
seabirds) occur in many different species. Crocodiles
live in the mangrove swamps in the coastal area.
Around 537,000 people live in the Solomon Islands,
about two thirds of them on the largest islands of
Guadalcanal, New Georgia and Malaita. The average
population density is low at 19 residents per square
kilometer. By far the largest city is the capital
Honiara on Guadalcanal with 75,000 residents. 80% of the
population live in villages and rural areas. Population
growth is high at 2.7%.
The largest population group are Melanesians, just
under 4% Polynesians and Micronesians, who mainly live
on the islands of Ontong Java and Rennell. The official
language is English, but it is only the first language
for a tiny fraction of the population. Pidgin English
(Tok Pidgin) is used as the language of communication.
Around 120 different Melanesian and Polynesian languages
are also used on the islands.
According to COUNTRYAAH, 95% of the population profess Christianity: The
largest religious community are Anglicans (45%), almost
20% are Catholics, another 12% followers of the
Methodist or Presbyterian Church. Traditional religions
are also practiced.
The average life expectancy is 73 years. There is no
compulsory education for children, only three quarters
of the children attend primary school. There is no
university on the islands; Students have to go abroad.
The literacy rate is around 62%.
The Solomon Islands are a constitutional monarchy
within the British Commonwealth of Nations. The
constitution dates from 1978. The head of state is the
British monarch Elizabeth II, who is represented on the
spot by a governor general (since July 2009 Frank
Kabui). The prime minister, as head of government, is
usually the representative of the strongest party in
parliament and is elected by it (since December 2014
The legislature lies with the parliament, which
consists of a chamber with 50 seats. The deputies are
elected directly by the people in one-person
constituencies for four years. Voting rights from the
age of 21.
The Solomon Islands are divided into nine provinces
and a capital district.
The Solomon Islands are dependent on foreign aid. The
backbone of the economy is agriculture. Although only a
small percentage of the country's area can be used for
agriculture, there are good climatic conditions. For
their own use, coconuts, manioc, sweet potatoes, rice
and bananas are mainly grown. Agricultural products for
export are mainly tropical wood, copra, palm oil, cocoa
and fish. The export of tropical wood is the largest
source of foreign exchange in the country. However, the
mining is not carried out sustainably, so the resources
will be used up in the foreseeable future and the land
will no longer be usable due to soil erosion.
There are gold, silver, copper, phosphate and zinc
deposits in the Solomon Islands, which are only
partially mined. The industry is poorly developed and
has a 9% share of GDP. There are mainly food processing
companies (including spice processing).
Tourism plays a subordinate role due to poor
infrastructure and tensions between different population
The most important trading partners for exports are
China, Australia and Thailand; imports (food, machinery,
vehicles, fuels and consumer goods) come mainly from
Australia and Singapore.
The currency is the Solomon Islands dollar.