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Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands
Flag of Solomon Islands
Coat of arms of Solomon Islands
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: "To Lead is to Serve"
Location of Solomon Islands
Location of Solomon Islands
Capital
and largest city
Honiara
9°28′S 159°49′E / 9.467°S 159.817°E / -9.467; 159.817
Official languages English
Ethnic groups (1999)
Demonym Solomon Islander
Government Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
• Monarch
Elizabeth II
Frank Kabui
Manasseh Sogavare
Legislature National Parliament
Independence
• from the United Kingdom
7 July 1978
Area
• Total
28,400 km2 (11,000 sq mi) (142nd)
• Water (%)
3.2%
Population
• 2015 estimate
642,000 (162nd)
• Density
18.1/km2 (46.9/sq mi) (200th)
GDP (PPP) 2011 estimate
• Total
$1.725 billion
• Per capita
$3,191
GDP (nominal) 2011 estimate
• Total
$840 million
• Per capita
$1,553
HDI (2014) Increase 0.506
low · 156th
Currency Solomon Islands dollar (SBD)
Time zone (UTC+11)
Drives on the left
Calling code +677
ISO 3166 code SB
Internet TLD .sb

Coordinates: 8°S 159°E / 8°S 159°E / -8; 159

Solomon Islands is a sovereign country consisting of six major islands and over 900 smaller islands in Oceania lying to the east of Papua New Guinea and northwest of Vanuatu and covering a land area of 28,400 square kilometres (11,000 sq mi). The country's capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal. The country takes its name from the Solomon Islands archipelago, which is a collection of Melanesian islands that also includes the North Solomon Islands (part of Papua New Guinea), but excludes outlying islands, such as Rennell and Bellona, and the Santa Cruz Islands.

The islands have been inhabited for thousands of years. In 1568, the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña was the first European to visit them, naming them the Islas Salomón. Britain defined its area of interest in the Solomon Islands archipelago in June 1893, when Captain Gibson R.N., of HMS Curacoa, declared the southern Solomon Islands as a British protectorate. During World War II, the Solomon Islands campaign (1942–1945) saw fierce fighting between the United States and the Empire of Japan, such as in the Battle of Guadalcanal.


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