Solomon Islands - Encyclopedia Information
Official name Solomon Islands
Formation 1978 / 1978
Population 500,000 / 46 people per sq mile (18 people per sq km)
Total area 10,985 sq. miles (28,450 sq. km)
Languages English*, Pidgin English, Melanesian Pidgin, around 120 others
Religions Church of Melanesia (Anglican) 34%, Roman Catholic 19%, South Seas Evangelical Church 17%, Methodist 11%, Other 19%
Ethnic mix Melanesian 93%, Polynesian 4%, Other 3%
Government Parliamentary system
Currency Solomon Islands dollar = 100 cents
Literacy rate 77%
Calorie consumption 2434 kilocalories
Among early British visitors to the area were Lieutenant Shortland and Captain Manning in the late eighteenth century.
In the 1870s, HMS Rosario clashed with islanders on Nukapu, leading to the ship landing a party here and destroying a local village.
Then, in the late nineteenth century, there was the familiar competition among European powers to take control. In 1893, we declared a protectorate over the southern islands, including Guadalcanal, and in 1899 we took over control from the Germans of the northern islands. In return, we recognised their control over Western Samoa.
During the Second World War the Japanese invaded, followed by the Americans, leading to the crucial actions at Guadalcanal and Tulagi. Members of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate Defence Force also played a brave and important role at this time.
The Solomon Islands became independent in 1978.