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New Caledonia
(overseas territory of France)

 
Flag of New Caledonia
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Coordinates:
21.50 S  165.50 E

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

Map of New Caledonia

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Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    New Caledonia Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
Settled by both Britain and France during the first half of the 19th century, the island was made a French possession in 1853. It served as a penal colony for four decades after 1864. Agitation for independence during the 1980s and early 1990s ended in the 1998 Noumea Accord, which over a period of 15 to 20 years will transfer an increasing amount of governing responsibility from France to New Caledonia. The agreement also commits France to conduct as many as three referenda between 2013 and 2018, to decide whether New Caledonia should assume full sovereignty and independence.
   Geography    New Caledonia Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Australia
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
21 30 S, 165 30 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Oceania
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 19,060 sq km
land: 18,575 sq km
water: 485 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than New Jersey
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
2,254 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical; modified by southeast trade winds; hot, humid
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
coastal plains with interior mountains
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Panie 1,628 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
nickel, chrome, iron, cobalt, manganese, silver, gold, lead, copper
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 0.32%
permanent crops: 0.22%
other: 99.46% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
100 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
cyclones, most frequent from November to March
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
erosion caused by mining exploitation and forest fires
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
consists of the main island of New Caledonia (one of the largest in the Pacific Ocean), the archipelago of Iles Loyaute, and numerous small, sparsely populated islands and atolls
   People    New Caledonia Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
219,246 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 28.4% (male 31,818/female 30,503)
15-64 years: 64.9% (male 71,565/female 70,815)
65 years and over: 6.6% (male 6,773/female 7,772) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 27.8 years
male: 27.4 years
female: 28.2 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.24% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
18.11 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.69 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population
note: there has been steady emigration from Wallis and Futuna to New Caledonia (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 7.57 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 8.27 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.83 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 74.27 years
male: 71.29 years
female: 77.39 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.28 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: New Caledonian(s)
adjective: New Caledonian
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Melanesian 42.5%, European 37.1%, Wallisian 8.4%, Polynesian 3.8%, Indonesian 3.6%, Vietnamese 1.6%, other 3%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Roman Catholic 60%, Protestant 30%, other 10%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
French (official), 33 Melanesian-Polynesian dialects
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91%
male: 92%
female: 90% (1976 est.)
   Government    New Caledonia Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Territory of New Caledonia and Dependencies
conventional short form: New Caledonia
local long form: Territoire des Nouvelle-Caledonie et Dependances
local short form: Nouvelle-Caledonie
Dependency status:
Definition Field Listing
overseas territory of France since 1956
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Noumea
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
none (overseas territory of France); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 3 provinces named Iles Loyaute, Nord, and Sud
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
none (overseas territory of France); note - a referendum on independence was held in 1998 but did not pass; a new referendum is scheduled for 2014
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Bastille Day, 14 July (1789)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
the 1988 Matignon Accords grant substantial autonomy to the islands; formerly under French law
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President of France Jacques CHIRAC (since 17 May 1995), represented by High Commissioner Michel MATHIEU (since 15 July 2005)
head of government: President of the Government Marie-Noelle THEMEREAU (since 10 June 2004)
cabinet: Consultative Committee consists of eight members chosen from leading figures on the island to advise the High Commissioner
elections: French president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; high commissioner appointed by the French president on the advice of the French Ministry of Interior; president of the government elected by the members of the Territorial Congress for a five-year term (no term limits); note - last election held 29 June 2004 when Marie-Noelle THEMEREAU was elected on the third vote with 8 votes for and 3 abstentions
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral Territorial Congress or Congres Territorial (54 seats; members belong to the three Provincial Assemblies or Assemblees Provinciales elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 9 May 2004 (next to be held NA 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - RPCR-UMP 16, AE 16, UNI-FLNKS 8, UC 7, FN 4, others 3
note: New Caledonia currently holds 1 seat in the French Senate; by 2010, New Caledonia will gain a second seat in the French Senate; elections last held 24 September 2001 (next to be held not later than September 2007); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 1; New Caledonia also elects 2 seats to the French National Assembly; elections last held 9 and 16 June 2002 (next to be held by June 2007); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 2
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel; County Courts; Joint Commerce Tribunal Court; Children's Court
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Alliance pour la Caledonie or APLC [Didier LE ROUX]; Caledonian Union or UC; Federation des Comites de Coordination des Independantistes or FCCI [Francois BURCK]; Front National or FN [Guy GEORGE]; Front Uni de Liberation Kanak or FULK [Ernest UNE]; Kanak Socialist Front for National Liberation or FLNKS [leader NA] (includes PALIKA, UNI, UC, and UPM); Parti de Liberation Kanak or PALIKA [Paul NEAOUTYINE and Elie POIGOUNE]; Rally for Caledonia in the Republic (anti independent) or RPCR-UMP [Jacques LAFLEUR]; The Future Together or AE [Harold MARTIN]; Union Nationale pour l'Independance or UNI [Paul NEAOUTYINE]; note - may no longer exist, but Paul NEAOUTYINE has since become a president of Parti de Liberation Kanak or PALIKA; Union Progressiste Melanesienne or UPM [Victor TUTUGORO]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ICFTU, PIF (observer), SPC, UPU, WFTU, WMO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
none (overseas territory of France)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
none (overseas territory of France)
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
the flag of France is used
   Economy    New Caledonia Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
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 one-fourth of GDP - and tourism are keys to the health of the economy. Substantial new investment in the nickel industry, combined with the recovery of global nickel prices, brightens the economic outlook for the next several years.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$3.158 billion (2003 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
NA
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA%
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$15,000 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 2%
industry: 25.7%
services: 72.6% (1997 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
78,990 (including 11,300 unemployed) (2004)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 20%
industry: 20%
services: 60% (1999 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
17.1% (2004)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-0.6% (2000 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $856.3 million
expenditures: $836.5 million (1996 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
vegetables; beef, deer, other livestock products; fish
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
nickel mining and smelting
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-0.6% (1996)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.581 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.47 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$999 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
ferronickels, nickel ore, fish
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Japan 18.4%, France 13.8%, Taiwan 12.8%, South Korea 12.6%, Spain 7.7%, China 6.3%, Australia 4.7%, South Africa 4.7%, Ukraine 4.1%, Belgium 4.1% (2005)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1.636 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals, foodstuffs
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 40.1%, Singapore 17.8%, Australia 9.6%, NZ 5.1% (2005)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$79 million (1998 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$880 million annual subsidy from France (1998)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique franc (XPF)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (XPF) per US dollar - 95.89 (2005), 96.04 (2004), 105.66 (2003), 126.71 (2002), 133.26 (2001)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    New Caledonia Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
53,300 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
116,400 (2004)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: country code - 687; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 1, FM 5, shortwave 0 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
6 (plus 25 low-power repeaters) (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.nc
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6,764 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
70,000 (2005)
   Transportation    New Caledonia Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
25 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 11
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 8
under 914 m: 2 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 14
914 to 1,523 m: 8
under 914 m: 6 (2005)
Heliports:
Definition Field Listing
6 (2005)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 5,432 km (2000)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 2 ships (1000 GRT or over) 3,566 GRT/2,543 DWT
by type: cargo 1, passenger/cargo 1 (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Noumea
   Military    New Caledonia Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
no regular indigenous military forces; French Armed Forces (includes Army, Navy, Air Force, Gendarmerie); Police Force
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 50,874 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 40,822 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 1,907 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Military - note:
Definition Field Listing
defense is the responsibility of France
   Transnational Issues    New Caledonia Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
Matthew and Hunter Islands east of New Caledonia claimed by France and Vanuatu

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook