Population: 224,564 (est.)
Capital: Port Vila
- The Vanuatu vatu is the currency of Vanuatu.
- Christianity is the predominant religion in Vanuatu, with the Presbyterian Church having the most adherents with about one-third of the population.
- Vanuatu’s economy is primarily agricultural; 80% of the population is engaged in agricultural activities that range from subsistence farming to smallholder farming of coconuts and other cash crops.
- The climate is tropical and cool between April and September and then becomes hotter and more humid starting in October.
- The traditional drink of Vanuatu is kava, which is made from the roots of piper methysticum.
- The national dish of Vanuatu is ‘lap’, made from a vegetable porridge, cooked in coconut milk.
- There are no regular military forces in Vanuatu. The Vanuatu police have a paramilitary force called the ‘Vanuatu Mobile Force’.
- Vanuatu is acknowledged as a distinct terrestrial eco region, known as the Vanuatu rain forests.
Vanuatu, officially the Republic of Vanuatu, is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is some 1,750 kilometres (1,090 mi) east of northern Australia, 500 kilometres (310 mi) northeast of New Caledonia, west of Fiji, and southeast of the Solomon Islands, near New Guinea.
Vanuatu was first inhabited by Melanesian people. The first Europeans to visit the islands were the members of a Spanish expedition led by Portuguese navigator Fernandes de Queirós, who arrived in Espiritu Santo in 1605; he claimed the archipelago for Spain and named it Espiritu Santo or Holy Spirit. In the 1880s France and the United Kingdom claimed parts of the country, and in 1906 they agreed on a framework for jointly managing the archipelago as the New Hebrides through a British–French Condominium. An independence movement arose in the 1970s, and the Republic of Vanuatu was founded in 1980.
The nation’s name was derived from the word vanua (“land” or “home”), which occurs in several Austronesian languages, and the word tu (“stand”). Together the two words indicated the independent status of the new nation.