Fast Facts

Honiara; 56,000
28,370 square kilometers (10,954 square miles)
Melanesian pidgin, 120 indigenous languages, English
Protestant, Roman Catholic, indigenous beliefs
Solomon Islands dollar
Life Expectancy:
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $1,700
Literacy Percent:
Flag: Solomon Islands
Map: Solomon Islands

Northeast of Australia in the South Pacific, the Solomon Islands chain consists of six main islands that are volcanic, mountainous, and forested—Guadalcanal is the most populous island. A strategic battleground during World War II, the islands gained independence from Britain in 1978. About 85 percent of the islanders are Melanesians, who speak some 92 indigenous languages. Ethnic tension between natives of Guadalcanal and settlers from nearby Malaita island escalated into armed conflict from 1998 until 2003, when an Australian-led peacekeeping force restored order.


  • Industry: Fish (tuna), mining, timber
  • Agriculture: Cacao, coconuts, palm kernels, rice; cattle; timber; fish
  • Exports: Timber, fish, copra, palm oil

—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

Related Features

  • Photo: Healthy plate coral in the lagoon on Kanton island in the Phoenix Islands

    Photos: Phoenix Rising

    See How the Phoenix Islands Have Bounced Back From a Rare Bleaching Disaster

  • <p>Photo: White sand beach</p>

    The South Pacific

    Scattered about the world's largest ocean, the legendary islands of the South Pacific are a wonder to travelers, full of beautiful sights and fascinating cultures.

  • <p>Photo: Tonga, the South Pacific's last monarchy</p>

    Two Worlds of Tonga

    The island nation embraces both age-old tradition and modern values. Now democracy is astir in the South Pacific's last monarchy.

Take a Nat Geo Trip

Select a destination or trip type to find a trip:

See All Trips »

2016 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

  • Picture of a volcano on Reunion Island

    Who Will Win?

    Browse photos of nature, cities, and people and share your favorite photos.

Take a Nat Geo Trip

Select a destination or trip type to find a trip:

See All Trips »

Get Social With Nat Geo Travel