The population of Vanuatu in 2003 was estimated by the United Nations at 212,000, which placed it as number 172 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In that year approximately 3% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 42% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 105 males for every 100 females in the country in 2003. According to the UN, the annual population growth rate for 2000–2005 is 2.43%, with the projected population for the year 2015 at 275,000. The population density in 2002 was 17 per sq km (45 per sq mi). The population is unevenly distributed, with the vast majority of Vanuatuans living in some 2,000 small villages. The most populous islands are Efate, Espiritu Santo, and Malekula.
It was estimated by the Population Reference Bureau that 20% of the population lived in urban areas in 2001. The capital city, Port-Vila, on Efate had a population of 26,000 in that year. Luganville on Espiritu Santo, the only other large town, had a population of 6,983. According to the United Nations, the urban population growth rate for 2000–2005 was 4.0%.