Wealth and poverty
Subsistence fishing and farming are the main economic activities. Sales of fishing licences account for almost half of government revenue. More than a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line.
Education and work
Education is compulsory for children aged 6–14, and 89% of the population (91% male and 88% female) can read and write.
Three quarters of the workforce are government employees.
Industries and products
Agricultural products include black pepper, tropical fruits and vegetables, coconuts, bananas, cassava (tapioca), sakau (kava), betel nuts, sweet potatoes, pigs, chickens and fish.
Tourism is a key industry, but its growth is restricted by limited air links and inadequate infrastructure. Other industries include construction, fish processing, specialised aquaculture and the production of craft items from shell, wood and pearls.
Export commodities consist of fish, garments, bananas, black pepper, sakau and betel nut.
Imports consist of food, manufactured goods, machinery, equipment and beverages.