The islands of the Pacific are in some cases prsoperous with good economies and education systems while others experience widespread illiteracy and some of the highest population growth rates in the world.The Pacific is bipolar, on almost every available indicator, the Pacific’s development path is split in two. One group of Pacific islands, including Samoa, Tonga, New Caledonia, the Cook Islands, and French Polynesia, is growing at a speed similar to the economies in East Asia. These countries have good education systems and useful healthcare facilities, and consequently provide better social and economic outcomes for their people.
A second group of islands, including Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu, and Kiribati, are stagnant and some are even becoming poorer. Their governments fail to provide electricity, running water, sanitation, and healthcare.
The Pacific’s two groups of islands display different demographic characteristics, and different outcomes in employment, education, and other social indicators. Whereas one group of islands has moderate population growth and good education systems, the other experiences widespread illiteracy and some of the highest population growth rates in the world.