The population is more than 95 percent of Melanesians. In
addition, Polynesians, Europeans, Micronesians and Asians.
The islands are mountainous, and the population lives along
the coasts. The country has only a few larger towns; the
largest is the capital Port Vila (51,300 residents, 2012).
Countryaah data, Vanuatu has three official languages: bislama (an
English-based pidgin language), which has the status of
national language, as well as English and French. The
country is probably the most linguistically fragmented
population in the world. More than a hundred indigenous
languages are counted, all belonging to the oceanic branch
of the Austronesian languages.
The country is characterized by more than 80 per cent of
the population being Christian. Christianity's establishment
was begun in 1839 in the southern parts by missionaries from
the Cook Islands and Samoa. This work later formed the
Presbyterian Church. In 1849, the New Zealand Anglican
Church began training young Vanuatu for missionary work
among their own. The Presbyterian Church (2007) makes up 28
percent of the population, while Anglican and Roman Catholic
make up just under 15 percent each. The smaller churches
include Seventh-day Adventists and the Church of Christ. The
churches coordinate much work through the Vanuatu Christian
Council (VCC). About 10 per cent belong to various smaller,
indigenous churches and cargo cults.
Vanuatu - Port Vila
Port Vila, also Vila, capital of Vanuatu, southwest Pacific; 51,300
residents (2012). Port Vila, located on the southwestern coast of the island of
Efate, is the country's main port and commercial center. The city bears traces
of, above all, French influence. The population is of very mixed origin,
including French, British and Vietnamese. In 2015, large parts of the city's
development were destroyed by the tropical cyclone Pam.