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 Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Australia

Geographic Coordinates:

 21 30 S, 165 30 E


 Total: 18,575 sq km
Land: 18,275 sq km
Water: 300 sq km

Area - Comparative:

 Slightly smaller than New Jersey

Land Boundaries:

 0 km


 2,254 km (Rank: 55)

Maritime Claims:

 Territorial sea: 12 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


 Tropical; modified by southeast trade winds; hot, humid


 Coastal plains with interior mountains

Elevation Extremes:

 Lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Highest point: Mont Panie 1,628 m

Natural Resources:

 Nickel, chrome, iron, cobalt, manganese, silver, gold, lead, copper

Land Use:

 Arable land: 0.32%
Permanent crops: 0.22%
Other: 99.46% (2005)

Irrigated Land:

 100 sq km (2008)

Natural Hazards:

 Cyclones, most frequent from November to March

Volcanism: Matthew and Hunter Islands are historically active

Environment - Current Issues:

 Erosion caused by mining exploitation and forest fires

Geography - Note:

 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

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 Noun: New Caledonian(s)
Adjective: New Caledonian

Ethnic Groups:

 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% (1996 census)


 French (official), 33 Melanesian-Polynesian dialects


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


 256,275 (July 2011 est.)

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 24.9% (male 32,653/female 31,236)
15-64 years: 67.3% (male 86,865/female 85,578)
65 years and over: 7.8% (male 8,954/female 10,989) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 30.1 years
Male: 29.6 years
Female: 30.7 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 1.524% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 16.28 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 5.28 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 4.25 migrant(s)/1,000 population

Note: there has been steady emigration from Wallis and Futuna to New Caledonia (2011 est.)


 Urban population: 57% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 1.4% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 NOUMEA (capital) 144,000 (2009)

Sex Ratio:

 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: 0.86 male(s)/female
Total population: 1 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 5.71 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 6.75 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 4.62 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 76.75 years
Male: 72.67 years
Female: 81.03 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 2.07 children born/woman (2011 est.)


 Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 96.2%
Male: 96.8%
Female: 95.5% (1996 census)

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Country Name:

 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


 Name: Noumea
Geographic coordinates: 22 16 S, 166 27 E
Time difference: UTC+11 (16 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative Divisions:

 None (overseas territory of France); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 3 provinces named Province des Iles, Province Nord, and Province Sud

Dependency Status:

 Territorial collectivity (or a sui generis collectivity) of France since 1998


 None (overseas territory of France); note - a referendum on independence was held in 1998 but did not pass; a new referendum is scheduled to take place between 2014 and 2019

National Holiday:

 Bastille Day, 14 July (1789); note - the local holiday is New Caledonia Day, 24 September (1853)


 4 October 1958 (French Constitution)

Legal System:

 Civil law system based on French law; the 1988 Matignon Accords grant substantial autonomy to the islands


 18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: President Nicolas SARKOZY (since 16 May 2007); represented by High Commissioner Albert DUPUY (since 6 October 2010)

Head of government: President of the Government Harold MARTIN (since 3 March 2011); note - since 3 March 2011, three different governments of Harold MARTIN have collapsed over the choice of a flag that will be used while it is being decolonized; President MARTIN is head of a caretaker government

Cabinet: Cabinet consisting of 11 members elected from and by the Territorial Congress

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 on 10 June 2011 (next to be held June 2016)

Legislative Branch:

 Elections: unicameral Territorial Congress or Congres du territoire (54 seats; members belong to the three Provincial Assemblies or Assemblees Provinciales elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) last held on 9 May 2009 (next to be held on 10 May 2014)

Election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 13, Caledonia Together 10, UC 8, UNI 8, AE 6, FLNKS 3, Labor Party 3, other 3

Note: New Caledonia holds two seats in the French Senate; elections last held on 21 September 2008 (next to be held not later than September 2014); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 2; New Caledonia also elects two seats to the French National Assembly; elections last held on 10 and 17 June 2007 (next to be held in June 2012); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 2

Judicial Branch:

 Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel; County Courts; Joint Commerce Tribunal Court; Children's Court

Political Parties and Leaders:

 Caledonia My Country; Caledonia Together [Philippe GOMES]; Caledonian Union or UC [Nicholas ABOUT]; Communist Republican and Left Party or CRC-SPG [Nichole BORVO COHEN-SEAT]; Democratic and European Social Rally or R.D.S.E. [Yvon COLLIN]; Front National or FN [Jean-Marie LE PEN]; Kanak Socialist Front for National Liberation or FLNKS (includes PALIKA, UNI, UC, and UPM); Labor Party [Louis Kotra UREGEI]; National Union for Independence or UNI; Parti de Liberation Kanak or PALIKA [Paul NEAOUTYINE]; Renewed Caledonian Union; Socialist Group [Jean Pierre BEL]; Socialist Kanak Liberation or LKS [Nidoish NAISSELINE]; The Future Together or AE [Didier LEROUX]; The Rally or UMP [Gerard LONGUET]; Union Nationale pour l'Independance or UNI; Union of Pro-Independence Co-operation Committees [Francois BURCK]

International Organization Participation:

 PIF (associate member), SPC, UPU, WFTU

Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 None (overseas territory of France)

Diplomatic Representation From the US:

 None (overseas territory of France)

Flag Description:

 The flag of France is used

National Symbols:

 Kagu bird

National Anthem:

 Name: "Soyons unis, devenons freres" (Let Us Be United, Let Us Become Brothers)
Lyrics/music: Chorale Melodia (a local choir)

Note: adopted 2008; the anthem contains a mixture of lyrics in both French and Nengone (an indigenous language); as a self-governing territory of France, in addition to the local anthem, "La Marseillaise" is official (see France)


 (self-governing territory of France)

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Economy - Overview:

 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. 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):

 $3.158 billion (2003 est.)

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $3.3 billion (2003 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:


GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $15,000 (2003 est.)

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 2%
Industry: 26.5%
Services: 71.4% (2010 est.)

Labor Force:

 102,600 (2007)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: 20%
Industry: 20%
Services: 60% (2002)

Unemployment Rate:

 17.1% (2004)

Population Below Poverty Line:


Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: NA%
Highest 10%: NA%

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 27.6% of GDP (2010 est.)


 Revenues: $996 million
Expenditures: $1.072 billion (2001 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 30.2% of GDP (2001 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 -2.3% of GDP (2001 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 2.7% (2010 est.)
0.9% (2009 est.)

Agriculture - Products:

 Vegetables; beef, deer, other livestock products; fish


 Nickel mining and smelting

Electricity - Production:

 1.8 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 76.3%
Hydro: 23.7%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 1.674 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - Production:

 0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 14,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 648 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 14,330 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)


 $969.4 million (2009 est.)
$969.4 million (2006)

Exports - Commodities:

 Ferronickels, nickel ore, fish

Exports - Partners:

 Japan 19.8%, France 16.7%, South Korea 10.5%, Australia 8.1%, Spain 6.7%, US 4.9% (2010)


 $2.58 billion (2009 est.)
$2.58 billion (2006)

Imports - Commodities:

 Machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals, foodstuffs

Imports - Partners:

 France 31.8%, China 14.1%, Singapore 13.8%, Australia 11.4%, NZ 4.3% (2010)

Debt - External:

 $79 million (1998 est.)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert Pacific Franc to Any Currency

Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (XPF) per US dollar -
87.59 (2007)
94.97 (2006)
95.89 (2005)
96.04 (2004)
105.66 (2003)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 72,200 (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 220,800 (2010)

Telephone System:

 General assessment: a submarine cable network connection between New Caledonia and Australia, completed in 2007, is expected to significantly increase network capacity and improve high-speed connectivity and access to international networks

Domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular telephone subscribership exceeds 100 per 100 persons

International: country code - 687; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2008)

Broadcast Media:

 The publicly-owned French Overseas Network (RFO), which operates in France's overseas departments and territories, broadcasts over the RFO Nouvelle Caledonie television and radio stations; a small number of privately-owned radio stations also broadcast (2008)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 1, FM 5, shortwave 0 (1998)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 6 (plus 25 repeaters) (1997)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 22,456 (2010)

Internet Users:

 85,000 (2009)

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 25 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 12
Over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 10
Under 914 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - With Unpaved Runways:

 Total: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 5
Under 914 m: 8 (2010)


 8 (2010)


 Total: 5,622 km (2006)

Merchant Marine:

 Registered in other countries: 3 (France 3) (2010)

Ports and Terminals:


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Military Branches:

 No regular military forces; French military, police, and gendarmerie (2009)

Manpower Available For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 68,219 (2010 est.)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 56,233
Females age 16-49: 55,983 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 2,272
Female: 2,167 (2010 est.)

Military - Note:

 Defense is the responsibility of France

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Disputes - International:

 Matthew and Hunter Islands east of New Caledonia claimed by France and Vanuatu

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Last Updated: December 2011

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