Region: Oceania-Melanesia

Capital: Port-Villa

Population: 266,937 (July 2014 CIA est.)

Surface area: 12,200 sq km

Currency: vatu (VUV)

GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity US $4,800 (2013 CIA est.)

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 about two-thirds of the population. Fishing, offshore financial services, and tourism, with nearly 197,000 visitors in 2008, 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 2014)

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

Remittances inflows: US $22 million USD (World Bank 2012)

Human Development Index 2013 ranking: 124 out of 186 countries (UNDP 2013)

Official Development Assistance and Major Development Partners:
Net ODA US $101,420,000.
Major development partners include: Australia, United States, Japan, New Zealand, France. (OECD 2012).

Total External DebtUS $307.7 million (31 December 2011 CIA est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth: 72.72 years (CIA 2014)

Environmental Indicators:
Endangered Species (as a % of all species): 12.0
Forested Area (percentage of land area): 36.1
CO2 Emissions (tonnes per capita): 0.4
(UNDP 2013)

United Nations membership date: 15 September 1981

New York Mission:
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Vanuatu to the United Nations
800 Second Avenue, Suite 400B
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 2013. United Nations Development Programme.
UN Data:

Updated January 2015