Region: Oceania-Melanesia

Capital: Port-Villa

Population: 245,600 (UNDP 2011)

Surface area: 12,200 sq km

Currency: vatu (VUV)

GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity US $2687.4 (2009 – UN Data)

Multiple waves of colonizers, each speaking a distinct language, migrated to the New Hebrides in the millennia preceding European exploration in the 18th century. This settlement pattern accounts for the complex linguistic diversity found on the archipelago to this day. The British and French, who settled the New Hebrides in the 19th century, agreed in 1906 to an Anglo-French Condominium, which administered the islands until independence in 1980, when the new name of Vanuatu was adopted.

Economy – Overview
This South Pacific island economy is based primarily on small-scale agriculture, which provides a living for 65% of the population. Fishing, offshore financial services, and tourism, with more than 60,000 visitors in 2005, are other mainstays of the economy. Mineral deposits are negligible; the country has no known petroleum deposits. A small light industry sector caters to the local market. Tax revenues come mainly from import duties. Economic development is hindered by dependence on relatively few commodity exports, vulnerability to natural disasters, and long distances from main markets and between constituent islands. In response to foreign concerns, the government has promised to tighten regulation of its offshore financial center. In mid-2002 the government stepped up efforts to boost tourism through improved air connections, resort development, and cruise ship facilities. Agriculture, especially livestock farming, is a second target for growth. Australia and New Zealand are the main suppliers of tourists and foreign aid. (CIA, 2012)

Major Export Commodities: copra, beef, cocoa, timber, kava, coffee

Remittances:6 million USD (World Bank 2007)

Human Development Index 2011 ranking: 125 out of 187 countries

Official Development Assistance and Major Development Partners: Net ODA US $108 million. Major development partners include: Australia, United States, Japan, New Zealand, France (OECD 2010).

Total External Debt: US $81.2 million (2004)

Life Expectancy at Birth: 71.0 years

Environmental Indicators:

                                                Endangered Species (as a % of all species): 14

                                                Forested Area (percentage of land area): 36.1

                                                CO2 Emissions (tonnes per capita): 0.4

                                                (Data Source: UNDP 2011)

United Nations membership date: 15 September 1981

New York Mission:
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Vanuatu to the United Nations
42 Broadway, 12th Floor, Suite 1200-18
New York, NY 10017 USA
Telephone: 212-425-9600
Fax: 212-422-3427




CIA World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.

World Development Indicators. World Bank

Development, Recipient Aid Charts. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Human Development Report 2011. United Nations Development Programme.

UN Data:

Updated July 2012