Provinces of the Solomon Islands
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.
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.
per km² (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||Honiara||Anthony Veke||5,336||60,275||17.5||93,613|
|4||Isabel Province||Buala||James Habu||4,136||20,421||6.3||26,158|
|5||Makira-Ulawa Province||Kirakira||Stanley Siapu||31,006||12.7||40,419|
|6||Malaita Province||Auki||Peter Ramohia||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||Wyne Maepio||5,475||62,739||14.0||76,649|
|-||Capital Territory||Honiara||Mua (Mayor)||22||49,107||2,936.8||64,609|
 excluding the Capital Territory of Honiara