Vanuatu Background Information

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.

Vanuatu Quickstats

  • Population: 211,971 (July 2007 est.)
  • Area: 12,200 sq km
  • Density: 17 /km² (188th)
  • GDP (total): $726 million (175th)
  • GDP (per capita): $3,346 (121st)
  • Literacy: 74%

Languages of Vanuatu

Useful to know

  • Currency: Vanuatu vatu (VUV)
  • Dial code: +678

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