Vanuatu Country Overview
Where is Vanuatu located? Vanuatu is an island nation made up of 83 islands. Vanatu is located in the South Pacific and is self-contained. Despite the small area, the island state of Vanuatu has a world time zone named after it on the time zone map, the “Vanuata Time”. In this time zone there is a time difference of +11 hours to the coordinated world time. Even in the summer months, there is still a difference of 11 hours to the world clock, since there is no changeover to summer time.
As of 2023, the latest population of Vanuatu is 298,333, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).
|Population growth rate||1.73%|
|Birth rate||24.00 births per 1,000 people|
|Overall life expectancy||72.38 years|
|Men life expectancy||70.83 years|
|Women life expectancy||74.00 years|
|65 years and above||4.12%|
|Median age||21.40 years|
|Gender ratio (Male to Female)||1.01|
|Population density||24.48 residents per km²|
|approx. 91% Ni-Vanuatu (Melanesians), 3% Polynesians or Micronesians|
|Presbyterians 31.4%, Anglicans 13.4%, Catholics (Roman Catholic) 13.1%, Seventh-day Adventists 10.8% Members of other Christian denominations 13.8% Indigenous religions 5.6% (including Jon Frum Cargo cult), others 9.6% non-denominational 1% unspecified 1.3% |
|Human Development Index (HDI)||0.597|
|HDI ranking||141st out of 194|
People in Vanuatu
270,000 people live on Vanuatu and most of them are Melanesians. There are also a few Europeans, Australians, New Zealanders, Vietnamese, Chinese and people from other parts of the Pacific. The Melanesians include the residents of New Guinea, New Caledonia, the Solomon Islands and, formerly, the indigenous people of Australia.
But the term has not been clarified and is also controversial because the Melanesians cannot be precisely defined. Their language and culture are often very different. They are more closely related to the Aborigines in Australia than, for example, the Polynesians who once migrated through their settlement areas. The Melanesians have dark skin, but can still have blonde hair, which is not common otherwise.
The locals refer to themselves as Ni-Vanuatu and lead a very quiet life, even if they are not rich people.
Almost a third of the total population lives on the four largest islands Espíritu Santo, Malakula, Éfaté and Erromango. But very few of them live in the cities, most of them are spread over the countryside. The largest city is the capital Port Vila, this is where most of the people live.
- 33 out of 100 people are under 14 years old, over 60 out of 100 are 15 to 64 years old and over 64 years are only just under 4 percent of Vanuatu’s residents.
- The birth rate is 1.5 per woman. That means: every woman has around 1.5 children, on average, of course. In 2015, Germany also had a birth rate of 1.5 children per woman. But that was extraordinarily high, higher than it had been for a long time.
- 5 out of 100 babies die during or after their birth.
- The life expectancy of men is 61 years for men and 64 years for women.
Languages in Vanuatu
There are said to be 110 languages on Vanuatu. This small country has one of the highest density of different languages in the whole world. Most of the people here speak a language called Bislama, a language that originated during the time of the British and French colonies. This is a Creole language. 21 out of 100 people speak it as their mother tongue, but the truth is that most of Vanuatu’s residents understand and speak this language. English and French are official languages.
Religions in Vanuatu
Most of the people who live on Vanuatu are Christians, with most of the Presbyterian Church, which is one of the Reformed Churches. Then follow the members of the Anglican Church. 13 out of 100 residents are Catholic. Many also belong to other Christian religious communities. Then there are the beliefs of the locals.