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Vanuatu (English: // ⓘ VAH-noo-AH-too or // van-WAH-too; Bislama and French pronunciation [vanuatu]), officially the Republic of Vanuatu (French: République de Vanuatu; Bislama: Ripablik blong Vanuatu), is an island country in Melanesia, located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is 1,750 km (1,090 mi) east of northern Australia, 540 km (340 mi) northeast of New Caledonia, east of New Guinea, southeast of Solomon Islands, and west of Fiji.
Republic of Vanuatu
|Motto: "Long God yumi stanap" (Bislama)|
Nous nous tenons devant Dieu (French)
"With God we stand"
|Anthem: "Yumi, Yumi, Yumi" (Bislama)|
"We, We, We"
and largest city
|Ethnic groups |
|Demonym(s)||Ni-Vanuatu and Vanuatuan|
|Government||Unitary parliamentary republic|
|30 July 1980|
• Admitted to the United Nations
|15 September 1981|
|12,189 km2 (4,706 sq mi) (157th)|
• 2023 estimate
• 2020 census
|27.6/km2 (71.5/sq mi) (188th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2023 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2023 estimate|
• Per capita
|HDI (2021)|| 0.607|
medium · 142nd
|Time zone||UTC+11 (VUT (Vanuatu Time))|
|ISO 3166 code||VU|
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. 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.
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