Republic of Vanuatu

  • Ripablik blong Vanuatu (Bislama)
  • République de Vanuatu (French)
Motto: "Long God yumi stanap" (Bislama)
Nous nous tenons devant Dieu (French)
"In God we stand"[1][2]
Anthem: Yumi, Yumi, Yumi  (Bislama)
We, We, We
Location of Vanuatu
Location of Vanuatu
and largest city
Port Vila
• President
Tallis Obed Moses
Charlot Salwai
• from France and the United Kingdom
30 July 1980
15 September 1981
• Total
12,189 km2 (4,706 sq mi) (157th)
• 2016 census
• Density
19.7/km2 (51.0/sq mi) (188th)
GDP (PPP)2018 estimate
• Total
$820 million[4] (178th)
• Per capita
$2,850[4] (155th)
GDP (nominal)2018 estimate
• Total
$957 million[4] (175th)
• Per capita
$3,327[4] (124th)
Gini (2010)37.6[5]
HDI (2015)Decrease 0.597[6]
medium · 134th
CurrencyVanuatu vatu (VUV)
Time zoneUTC+11 (VUT (Vanuatu Time))
Driving sideright
Calling code+678
ISO 3166 codeVU

Vanuatu (English: / (About this soundlisten) AH-too or / WAH-too; Bislama pronunciation [vanuatu]), officially the Republic of Vanuatu (French: République de Vanuatu, Bislama: Ripablik blong Vanuatu), is a Pacific island country located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is 1,750 kilometres (1,090 mi) east of northern Australia, 540 kilometres (340 mi) northeast of New Caledonia, east of New Guinea, southeast of the Solomon Islands, and west of Fiji.

Vanuatu was first inhabited by Melanesian people. The first Europeans to visit the islands were a Spanish expedition led by Portuguese navigator Fernandes de Queirós, who arrived on the largest island, Espíritu Santo, in 1606. Since the Portuguese and Spanish monarchies had been unified under the king of Spain in 1580 (following the vacancy of the Portuguese throne, which lasted for sixty years, until 1640, when the Portuguese monarchy was restored), Queirós claimed the archipelago for Spain, as part of the colonial Spanish East Indies, and named it La Austrialia del Espíritu Santo.

In the 1880s, France and the United Kingdom claimed parts of the archipelago, and in 1906, they agreed on a framework for jointly managing the archipelago as the New Hebrides through an Anglo–French condominium. An independence movement arose in the 1970s, and the Republic of Vanuatu was founded in 1980. Since independence, the country has become a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, Organisation internationale de la Francophonie and the Pacific Islands Forum.


Vanuatu's name is derived from the word vanua ("land" or "home"),[7] which occurs in several Austronesian languages,[a] and the word tu ("stand"). Together the two words indicated the independent status of the new country.[8]