Solomon Islands

Melanesian peoples first settled the Solomons  some 4,000 years ago--it is believed that Papuan-speaking settlers arrived as early as 30,000 BC 

In the 16th century the Spanish (searching for gold) were the first Europeans to build scattered settlements here. All eventually failed, and the British subsequently established a protectorate over the Solomon Islands in 1893. It was then seized by the Japanese in 1942. 

During World War II, some of the heaviest fighting of that war occurred in the Solomons, with the bloodiest and most decisive battle fought on the island of Guadalcanal. 

After decades of nationalistic feelings, the Solomons achieved self-government in 1976, and independence from the UK in 1978. They remain a member of the British Commonwealth today. 

The major industries are agriculture, forestry and fishing.

Fast Facts

  • Name: Solomon Islands 
  • Capital City: Honiara (64,609 pop.)
  • Population: 609,883 (2014 est.)
  • World Populations (all countries)
  • Currency: Solomon Islands dollar (SBD) 
    (conversion rates)

    Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique franc  
    Ten dollars

  • Ethnicity: Melanesian 95.3%, Polynesian 3.1%, Micronesian 1.2%, other 0.3%
  • Language: Melanesian pidgin (in much of the country is lingua franca), English (official but spoken by only 1%-2% of the population), 120 indigenous languages
  • Largest Cities: (by population
    Honiara (Guadalcanal), Auki (Malaita), Gizo (Western Province), Buala (Isabel), Tulaghi (Central Province), Kirakira (Makira)
  • National Day: July 7
  • Religion: Protestant 73.4% (Church of Melanesia 31.9%, South Sea Evangelical 17.1%, Seventh Day Adventist 11.7%, United Church 10.1%, Christian Fellowship Church 2.5%), Roman Catholic 19.6%, other Christian 2.9%, other 1.3%


Micronesia flag

The flag of the Solomon Islands was officially adopted on November 18, 1977. 

The five white stars represent the five main island groups. Blue is said to represent the surrounding ocean; green represents the land, and the yellow stripe is symbolic of sunshine. 

Larger Solomon Islands flag

Geo. Statistics

  • Coastline: 3,301 miles (5,313 km)
  • Land Area
    (land) 11,156 sq mi (27,986 sq km)
    (water) 351 sq mi (910 sq km)
    (TOTAL) 10,805 sq mi (28,896 sq km)

    To convert sq km (kilometers) to sq mi (miles)
    use our converter

  • Land Area: (all countries)
  • Latitude & Longitude: 
    Honiara (capital city): 9° 26' S, 159° 58' E
  • Horizontal Width: unknown
  • Vertical Length: unknown

    Note: Lengths and widths are point-to-point, straight-line measurements from a Mercator map projection, and will vary some using other map projections

  • Geographic Center: unknown
  • Highest Point: Mount Popomanaseu 7,578 ft. (2,310 m) 
  • Lowest Point: Pacific Ocean (0m)


Extending about 900 miles (1,448 km) in total length, the Solomons are a wide-spread archipelago of mountainous, (heavily forrested) volcanic islands (some active), and a few low-lying coral atolls. 

Included in the mix are six major islands and approximately 1,000 smaller islands, all ending in the Santa Cruz Islands of the far southeast.

The highest point is Mt. Popomanaseu, located on Guadalcanal, which peaks at 7,578 ft. (2,310 m).




Travel Info.

ATTRACTIONS: (a few major)
The hidden paradise of the Solomon Islands boasts coral-ringed beaches and mountains covered in rainforests, with traditional villages sprinkled across the islands. 

Tourism is a growing economic impact, however, and travelers are warned to be aware of potential ethnic violence and a rising crime rate.


Weather in the Solomons is generally warm and humid, though local temperatures are rarely excessive due to prevailing trade winds. Daytime highs are normally in the mid-80s. 

November through March is the rainy season, with slightly warmer temperatures throughout the islands.

Click for Forecast     Click for Forecast 

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on June 16, 2020.