Solomon Islands, an independent country in the southwest Pacific Ocean. It consists of all the islands in the Solomon Islands chain south of Bougainville. Except for small coral atolls, the islands are mountainous and densely covered by tropical vegetation. Hot, humid weather prevails the year round. Major islands include Choiseul, Guadalcanal, Malaita, New Georgia, San Cristobal, and Santa Isabel. Total area is about 11,500 square miles (29,800 km2).
The islanders live mainly by subsistence farming, growing a variety of tropical crops. Copra, timber, and fish are produced for export. Most of the inhabitants are Melanesians; minorities include Polynesians, Chinese, and Europeans. Honiara, on Guadalcanal, is the capital and chief town and port.
The Solomons were granted independence by Britain in 1978. For earlier history, see preceding article.