Vanuatu Population, Main Cities and Geography

By | January 27, 2023

Vanuatu Population, cities


According to Countryaah website, Vanuatu has about 250,000 residents who live on 65 islands.

Ethnic groups

Around 98% of the population are Melanesians, the rest are French, Vietnamese, Chinese and other Pacific Islanders.


The main religion is Christianity with the following denominations:

Presbyterians around 37%, Anglicans around 15%, Catholics around 15%, native religions around 8%, Seventh-Day Adventists around 6%, Church of Christ around 4% and others around 16% (including Jon Frum Cargo Kult).

Cargo cults emerged after the Second World War. When the Americans withdrew from Vanuatu, they sank much of their equipment in the sea. The wealth that came with the Americans therefore disappeared with them. As a reaction to this, the globally unique cargo cults emerged, which were supposed to prepare for the return of wealth in the form of cargo. The best known of these cults is the aforementioned Jon Frum Cargo cult.


The official languages of the country are English, French and Pidgin, also known as Bislama.

Bislama comes from the Portuguese “bicho do mar” and means little creature from the sea. It refers to the sea cucumber trade, “beche de mer”, with China. Bislama is phonetically closely related to English and to the structure of traditional Melanesian languages, and it also contains words borrowed from French. Below are a few words of Bislama:

Bislama German English
Tankyu (tumas) thank you Thank you
I oraet nomo You are welcome You’re welcome
Halo/Tata Good afternoon/goodbye Hello/Goodbye
Skiusmi sorry excuse me
Mi sori tumas I am sorry I’m sorry
Tolet i stap wea? Where is the toilet? Where is the toilet?

Vanuatu has about 113 other languages and countless dialects. This makes Vanuatu one of the most linguistically diverse countries on earth, not least due to the various migratory movements from Southeast Asia, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan and the remoteness within and between the islands.


The capital of Vanuatu is Port Vila on the island of Efate, with a population of around 35,000. According to Abbreviation Finder, VUT stands for Vanuatu in English. Click to see other meanings of this 3-letter acronym.

Vanuatu: geography, map

The islands of Vanuatu are located in the middle of the southern Pacific. Check topmbadirectory for politics, flags, famous people, animals and plants of Vanuatu.

The Y-shaped archipelago extends over a longitude of 166 ° 20 ‘to 170 ° East and a latitude of 13 ° 20’ and 20 ° 05 ‘South. It consists of around 83 islands of which around 65 are inhabited.

Vanuatu is located around 2,170 km northeast of Sydney/Australia and around 5,750 km southwest of Honolulu/Hawaii. The closest neighboring islands are New Caledonia in the south, approx. 230 km away, the Fiji Islands in the east, approx. 800 km away, and the Solomon Islands, in the northwest.

Vanuatu and the islands mentioned are located in the western part of the South Pacific, which is also known as Melanesia.

Islands, land area, coastline

The state consists of 83 islands, 65 of which are inhabited. It should be mentioned that Vanuatu lies above the meeting of the Pacific and Australian plates and also above the Pacific fire belt (ring of fire).

Vanuatu covers an area of approximately 861,000 km². Of this, around 12,200 km² are land and around 848,800 km² are water.

All the islands of Vanuatu together form a coast with a length of around 2,530 km. A selection of the islands:

  • Espiritu Santo, with a size of 3,677 km2, is the largest island.
  • M alakula, with a size of 2,023 km2, is the second largest island.
  • Erromango has a size of 975 km2.
  • Efate, with a size of 915 km2.
  • Banks and Torres, with a size of 851 km2, are the northernmost islands, which have the Solomon Islands as neighbors in the northwest.
  • Ambrym has an area of 680 km2.The island has two active twin volcanoes, Mount Benbow, which is 1,159 m high, and Mount Marum, which is 1,270 m high. The volcanoes have lava lakes.
  • Tanna has a size of 565 km2.
  • Pentecote has a size of 438 km2.
  • Epi has a size of 444 km2.
  • Maewo has a size of 269 km2.
  • Aneityum is the southernmost island, with a size of 162 km2.

Tidal range

The tidal range, i.e. the difference in height between high and low water, is up to 4 m here.

Longitude and latitude

Vanuatu extends over the following geographical latitude (abbreviation Δφ) and geographical longitude (abbreviation Δλ):

Δφ = from 13 ° 20 ‘to 20 ° 05’ south latitude Δλ = from 166 ° 20 ‘to 170 ° 00’ east longitude.

You can find detailed information on this subject under Longitude and Latitude.

Legal time

For Vanuatu, the following value applies to Central European Time (CET), i.e. the time without summer time. A minus sign means that it is earlier there, a plus sign that it is later than CET:

Δt (CET) = + 10 h

Further and detailed explanations of the time can be found under Time zones, time.

The highest point of the sun in Port Vila

Port Vila on the island of Efate is located at a southern latitude of 17 ° 50` = 17.5 ° and thus in the tropics. Twice a year at noon, the sun is exactly vertically above the city, namely when the declination of the sun is exactly the same as the latitude of Port Vila, i.e. 17.5 ° S. Roughly speaking, that is 23 days before December 21st and then again 23 days after December 21st.


If the image point of the sun is more northerly than the latitude of Port Vila, the sun is not there, as it is with us, at noon in the south, but in the north. So it then migrates from east to north to west, where, as with us, it goes under.


Mt. Kotomatam

The highest mountain in the country is Mt. Kotomatam with a height of 1,879 m on the island of Espiritu Santo.

Other high mountains are:

Mt. Tabwemasana on Espiritu Santo Island, at an altitude of 1,747 m.

Mt. Lolohoe on Espiritu Santo Island, at an altitude of 1,547 m.

Mt. Lombenben on the island of Ambae, at an altitude of 1,496 m.

Mt. Marum on the island of Ambryum, at an altitude of 1,270 m.

Mt. Tukosmera on the island of Tanna, with an altitude of 1,084 m


Vanuatu has seven active volcanoes on land and two active subaquatic (underwater) volcanoes.

Of these, the following two above-ground, active volcanoes should be mentioned:

  • Mount Garet or Mount GharatWith a height of 797m, the volcano is located on the island of Gaua. Mount Garat is located on the southwestern shore of Lake Letas, and is the largest and most active of the island’s intra-caldera volcanoes..
  • Mount Yasur.With a height of 361 m, this stratovolcano is located on Tanna. The volcano has one of the few lava lakes and hurls glowing lava up to 500 times a day. James Cook described the volcano as the lighthouse of the South Pacific as he approached the island in 1774. Its activities are comparable to those of the Strombolis off Italy.


Le Jourdain.

The longest river in the country is the Le Jourdain.

Other rivers in Vanuatu are:

  • Sarakana
  • Wamb


The country includes two larger lakes these are:

  • Lac Manaro
  • Lac Siwi


With a total coastline of 2,530 km, Vanuatu borders the Pacific Ocean – more precisely, Vanuatu is located in the South Pacific, the so-called South Pacific. This region of the Pacific Ocean includes the Polynesian Islands as well as parts of Melanesia and Micronesia.

Vanuatu Population