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Vanuatu (English: /ˌvɑːnuˈɑːt/ VAH-noo-AH-too or /vænˈwɑːt/ 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.

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Republic of Vanuatu
  • Ripablik blong Vanuatu (Bislama)
  • République de Vanuatu (French)
Motto: "Long God yumi stanap" (Bislama)
Nous nous tenons devant Dieu (French)
"With God we stand"[1][2]
Anthem: "Yumi, Yumi, Yumi" (Bislama)
"We, We, We"
Location of Vanuatu
and largest city
Port Vila
17°S 168°E / -17; 168
Official languages
Ethnic groups
  • 4.6% Animism
  • 1.4% Baha'i faith
  • 0.6% other / none
Demonym(s)Ni-Vanuatu and Vanuatuan
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary republic
Nikenike Vurobaravu
Charlot Salwai
 from the United Kingdom and France
30 July 1980
 Admitted to the United Nations
15 September 1981
12,189 km2 (4,706 sq mi) (157th)
 2023 estimate
335,908[4] (182nd)
 2020 census
27.6/km2 (71.5/sq mi) (188th)
GDP (PPP)2023 estimate
$1.064 billion[6]
 Per capita
GDP (nominal)2023 estimate
$1.002 billion[6]
 Per capita
Gini (2010)37.6[7]
HDI (2021)Decrease 0.607[8]
medium · 142nd
CurrencyVatu (VUV)
Time zoneUTC+11 (VUT (Vanuatu Time))
Driving sideright
Calling code+678
ISO 3166 codeVU

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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