macrohistory & world report

Territory of New Caledonia and Dependencies

New Caledonia and neighboring islands in the South Pacific

New Caledonia and neighboring islands in the South Pacific

World Factbook as of November 2014: "New Caledonia has about 25% of the world's known nickel reserves. Only a small amount of the land is suitable for cultivation, and food accounts for about 20% of imports. In addition to nickel, substantial financial support from France - equal to more than 15% of GDP - and tourism are keys to the health of the economy; during 2009-10, France sent more development assistance to New Caledonia than to any of its other overseas territories. Substantial new investment in the nickel industry, combined with the recovery of global nickel prices, brightens the economic outlook for the next several years."

Estimated per capita GDP (2010 US dollars)
2003: $15,000


Infant mortality (deaths before the age of one year per 1,000 live births)
2011: 5.71 deaths
2008: 7.19.

Average life expectancy at birth
2011: 76.75 years
2005: 74.04

July 2011 est.: 256,275

Living in an urban area
2010: 57%

Birth and death rates
2011: births 16.28, 5.28 deaths

Ethnic groups
1996 census:Melanesian 44.1%, European 34.1%, Wallisian & Futunian 9%, Tahitian 2.6%, Indonesian 2.5%, Vietnamese 1.4%, Ni-Vanuatu 1.1%, other 5.2%

Religions: Roman Catholic 60%, Protestant 30%, other 10%

Literacy (age 15 and over)
1996 census:96.2%


Islands in the Pacific, east of Australia, south of the Solomons and west of Fiji. Equivalent in size to 138 by 138 kilometers or roughly 86 by 86 miles.


Chief of state: the president of France. French territory. Factbook: "Agitation for independence during the 1980s and early 1990s has dissipated." Legislative body: unicameral Territorial Congress with 54 members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms.

Capital: Noumea

Recent History

A French possession since 1853. It served as a penal colony for four decades after 1864.

There was agitation for independence during the 1980s and 1990s. This ended in Noumea Accord of 1998: Over 15 to 20 years power will increasingly transfer to New Caledonians and between 2014 and 2019 there is to be a referendum decide whether New Caledonia should assume full sovereignty and independence.

The World Factbook

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.