New Caledonia and neighboring islands in the South Pacific
World Factbook: "New Caledonia has about 25% of the world's known nickel resources. 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."
Estimated per capita GDP (2010 U.S. dollars)
Infant mortality (deaths before the age of one year per 1,000 live births)
2011: 5.71 deaths
Average life expectancy at birth
2011: 76.75 years
July 2011 est.: 256,275
Living in an urban area
Birth and death rates
2011: births 16.28, 5.28 deaths
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)
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.
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.
Copyright © 2009-2011 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.