Provinces of Solomon Islands

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Provinces of the Solomon Islands, as of 1989 (click to enlarge).
Provinces of the Solomon Islands, numbered in alphabetical order.

Solomon Islands is divided into nine provinces. The national capital, Honiara, on the island of Guadalcanal, is separately governed as Capital Territory.

History[edit]

In the United Kingdom protectorate, there were initially 12 administrative districts: Choiseul, Eastern Solomons, Gizo, Guadalcanal, Lord Howe, Malaita, Nggela and Savo, Rennell and Bellona Islands, Santa Cruz, Shortlands, Sikaiana (Stewart), and Ysabel and Cape Marsh. The capital was Tulagi.

After World War II, it was reorganized into four districts, Central, Western, Eastern, and Malalaita. These districts were then further subdivided into councils. The capital was also moved to Honiara. These were the political divisions that the nation inherited at its independence in 1978.

In 1981 the nation was reorganized into seven provinces by splitting some of the districts: Central District was split into Central, Guadalcanal, and Isabel provinces; Eastern District was split into Makira and Temotu provinces. The other two districts, Western and Malalaita, were also designated as provinces. These new provinces corresponded to the councils of the districts before 1981.

In 1983, the 22 square-kilometer Honiara was split from Guadalcanal province and became a separately-governed Capital Territory. The city still serves as the capital of Guadalcanal province.

In 1995, Choiseul was split from Western province, and Rennell and Bellona was split from Central province, making the nine provinces of today.

Population[edit]

The population census data is from the 1999 census; the 2009 population estimates are those provided by the Solomon Islands National Statistics office. They show how the population has increased in the past decade for most of the provinces, especially the more urban ones, as urbanization grows. The figures for Guadalcanal Province do not include the separately-administered Capital Territory of Honiara; if included, that province would have had a total population of 109,382 in 1999, when it was the second largest province; by 2009, the combined estimate for Guadalcanal and the Capital Territory would be 157,745, making it the largest province. The Capital Territory is ranked as n/a below, and does not count in the order.

Table of provinces[edit]

# Province Capital Premier Area
(km²)
Population
census 1999
Population
per km² (2009)
Population
census 2009
1 Central Province Tulagi Patrick Vasuni 615 21,577 42.4 26,051
2 Choiseul Province Taro Island Jackson Kiloe 3,837 20,008 6.9 26,371
3 Guadalcanal Province[1] Honiara Anthony Veke 5,336 60,275 17.5 93,613
4 Isabel Province Buala Hovikoilo Ward 4,136 20,421 6.3 26,158
5 Makira-Ulawa Province Kirakira  ? 3,188 31,006 12.7 40,419
6 Malaita Province Auki Edwin Suibaea 4,225 122,620 32.6 137,596
7 Rennell and Bellona Province Tigoa George Tuhaika 671 2,377 4.5 3,041
8 Temotu Province Lata Fr. Charles Brown Beu 895 18,912 23.9 21,362
9 Western Province Gizo George Solingi Lilo 5,475 62,739 14.0 76,649
- Capital Territory Honiara Israel Maeoli (Mayor) 22 49,107 2,936.8 64,609
  Solomon Islands Honiara - 28,400 409,042 14.7 515,870

[1] excluding the Capital Territory of Honiara

See also[edit]