Solomon Islands is ranked in the bottom quarter of the medium human development countries (as measured by the Human Development Index). There are a number of socio-economic issues confronting Solomon Islands that have caused this low ranking. Foremost among these is the issue of poverty. Job opportunities are in short supply, with little formal employment outside Honiara. The situation is aggravated by rising unemployment, especially among young people. There are also growing regional disparities, and provincial development lags behind development in the main centres. Transport and communications in rural areas remain limited, and inadequate infrastructure and unrealistic planning pose further challenges to development.
While Solomon Islands has made considerable progress in increasing access to primary and secondary education, disadvantages communities still struggle to access education. Increasing school dropout rates, the quality of education, and poor teacher motivation remain a challenge. Along with shortage of qualified teachers, a lack of resources hinders improvement in the education sector.
Many health indicators for Solomon Islands, such as the availability and performance of health facilities, are poor. Further complicating this is the major shortage of trained medical personnel. This situation is compounded due to the population being spread across numerous islands and a geographically large area, making it even more difficult to provide cost-effective health services to isolated areas and outer islands.
Climate changes, and other environmental issues, are now a major challenge for development in Solomon Islands. Rising sea levels resulting from global warming, illegal logging, increasing solid waste (especially in urban areas), and increased pressure on coastal resources due to commercial activities, are all serious issues facing the country.