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You are in:  Nations > Oceania > Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands*Solomon Islands flag
Basic facts
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The country 
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Capital: Honiara
Area: 27,556 sq km; 10,639 sq miles
Population: 470,000 (2000 Estimate)
Urbanisation: Urban 18 per cent (1998 Estimate); Rural 82 per cent (1998 Estimate)
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Economy

Exports: Fish, timber, copra, palm oil, cocoa

Industry: Copra, fish (tuna), coconut oil, palm oil, cocoa processing

Agriculture: Cash crops: cacao, beans, coconuts, palm kernels, timber; other products: rice, potatoes, vegetables, fruit, cattle, pigs

Currency: 1 Solomon Islands dollar (SI$), consisting of 100 cents

Natural resources: Fish, forests, gold, bauxite, phosphates, lead, zinc, nickel

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The people

Ethnic: Melanesian 93.0 per cent, Polynesian 4.0 per cent, Micronesian 1.5 per cent, European 0.8 per cent, Chinese 0.3 per cent, Other 0.4 per cent

Language: Melanesian pidgin; English (official); and more than 80 indigenous languages. English is the official language, although Pidgin English is more widely spoken. More than 80 tribal languages are also used.

Religion: Christian 95 per cent, Indigenous beliefs 5 per cent. More than 70 per cent of the population is Christian, with Church of Melanesians (Anglicans), Roman Catholics and South Sea Evangelicals predominating.

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The history

Independence: 7 July 1978 (from the United Kingdom)

Government: The country is governed according to a 1978 constitution. The chief Government official is a Prime Minister, who is chosen by the nation's democratically elected 38-member parliament. The British monarch is the nominal head of state and is represented by a governor-general.

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