The World Factbook (1982)/Solomon Islands

The World Factbook (1982)
by the Central Intelligence Agency
Solomon Islands


(See reference map X)

NOTE: This archipelagic nation, independent since 7 July 1978, includes southern Solomon Islands, primarily Guadalcanal, Malaita, San Cristobal, Santa Isabel, Choiseul. Northern Solomon Islands constitute part of Papua New Guinea.


About 29,785 km²


Limits of territorial waters: 12 nm (fishing 200 nm)

Coastline: about 5,313 km


Population: 245,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 3.4%

Nationality: noun—Solomon Islander(s); adjective—Solomon Islander

Ethnic divisions: 93.0% Melanesians, 4.0% Polynesians, 1.5% Micronesians, 0.8% Europeans, 0.3% Chinese, 0.4% others

Religion: almost all at least nominally Christian; Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Methodist churches dominant

Literacy: 60%


Official name: Solomon Islands

Type: independent parliamentary state within Commonwealth

Capital: Honiara on the island of Guadalcanal

Political subdivisions: 4 administrative districts

Legal system: a High Court plus Magistrates Courts, also a system of native courts throughout the islands

Branches: executive authority in Governor General; a Legislative Assembly of 38 members

Government leaders: Governor General Baddeley DEVESI, Prime Minister Solomon MAMALONI

Suffrage: universal age 21 and over

Elections: every four years, latest August 1980

Political parties and leaders: United Party, Peter Kenilorea; People's Alliance Party, Solomon Mamaloni, National Democratic Party, Bartholemew Ulufa'alu

Member of: ADB, GATT (de facto), IBRD, IDA, IFAD, IMF, UN, UPU


GDP: $71.2 million (1977), $320 per capita

Agriculture: largely dominated by coconut production with subsistence crops of yams, taro, bananas; self-sufficient in rice

Electric power: 12,000 kW capacity (1981); 26 million kWh produced (1981), 113 kWh per capita

Exports: $41.0 million (1977); 39% copra, 27% timber, 23% fish

Imports: $32.5 million (1977); 12% energy fuels

Major trade partners: exports—EEC excluding UK 42%, Japan 29%; imports— Australia 34%, UK 14%, Japan 13% (1975)

Aid: economic commitments from Western (non-US) countries, ODA (1979), $13.3 million

Budget: (1977) $24.2 million

Monetary conversion rate: 1 Australian dollar=US$1.1532 (September 1978)


Railroad: none

Highways: 834 km total; 241 km sealed or all-weather

Inland waterways: none

Ports: 5 minor

Civil air: no major transport aircraft

Airfields: 25 total, 23 usable; 1 with permanent-surface runways; 5 with runways 1,220-2,430 m

Telecommunications: 4 AM broadcast, no FM, and no TV stations; 1,726 telephones, no TV sets; one ground satellite station