According to Countryaah, almost 25 percent of the Solomon Islands population lives in cities, among which Honiara (66,200 residents, 2012) is the largest.
The Solomon Islands population is just over 95 percent of Melanesians, 3 percent of Polynesians and 1.2 percent of Micronesia. In addition, there are minorities of immigrant Chinese and Europeans. Since 1998, there has been an ethnically characterized conflict that has destabilized the relationship between the ethnic groups.
The indigenous people mainly feed on bonito fishing and cultivation of taro, banana and coconut palm. Their traditional way of life was largely unchanged until the Pacific War, but the war and contact with Western civilization gave, among other things, the rise of cargo cults, of which the so-called “cult” gradually developed into a significant political-economic movement (Moro Custom Company).
English is the official language. There are over sixty native languages, all of which belong to the oceanic branch of the Austronesian languages. An English-based pidgin (“pijin”) is used as a lingua franca. See also Population and Ethnography above.
Solomon Islands is dominated by Christianity, which comprises about 97% of the population. However, indigenous Melanesian religions are actively practiced in a few mountain areas. Christianity was introduced in 1849 by the Anglican Church in New Zealand, which trained young men for missionary work among their own. In 1926, a native missionary order, the Melanesian Brotherhood, was developed, which expanded the Church and still has missionaries in several countries.
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The eastern and central parts of the Solomon Islands are dominated by the Anglican Church of Melanesia, which comprises more than 1/3 of the population. Roman Catholics and Baptists also have Malaita and Guadalcanal. The islands to the west are dominated by Seventh-day Adventists and the Methodist United Church.
The churches coordinate much of their work through the Solomon Islands Christian Association (SICA).