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Countries > New Caledonia New Caledonia Flag

Languages   One language is spoken in New Caledonia. We have 315 products available for that language.

Capital: Noumea
Population: 200,000
New Caledonia Map

(overseas territory of France)


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

Geographic coordinates: 21 30 S, 165 30 E

Map references: Oceania

total : 19,060 sq km
land: 18,575 sq km
water: 485 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than New Jersey

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 2,254 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical; modified by southeast trade winds; hot, humid

Terrain: 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%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 12%
forests and woodland: 39%
other: 49% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: 160 sq km (1991)

Natural hazards: typhoons most frequent from November to March

Environment - current issues: NA

Environment - international agreements:
party to : NA
signed, but not ratified: NA


Population: 207,858 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years : 30% (male 31,862; female 30,577)
15-64 years: 64.1% (male 67,043; female 66,102)
65 years and over: 5.9% (male 5,777; female 6,497) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.43% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 19.91 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate: 5.62 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

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:0.89 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 8.23 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 73.27 years
male: 70.32 years
female:76.36 years (2002 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.44 children born/woman (2002 est.)

noun: New Caledonian(s)
adjective: New Caledonian

Ethnic groups: Melanesian 42.5%, European 37.1%, Wallisian 8.4%, Polynesian 3.8%, Indonesian 3.6%, Vietnamese 1.6%, other 3%

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

Languages: French, 28 Melanesian-Polynesian dialects

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91%
male: 92%
female: 90% (1976 est.)


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

Data code: NC

Dependency status: overseas territory of France since 1956

Government type: NA

National capital: Noumea

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 Iles Loyaute, Nord, and Sud

Independence: none (overseas territory of France; a referendum on independence will be held in 1998)

National holiday: National Day, Taking of the Bastille, 14 July (1789)

Constitution: 28 September 1958 (French Constitution)

Legal system: the 1988 Matignon Accords grant substantial autonomy to the islands; formerly under French law

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President of France Jacques CHIRAC (since 17 May 1995), represented by High Commissioner Thierry LATASTE (since 19 July 1999)
head of government:President of the Government Pierre FROGIER (since 5 April 2001)
cabinet: Consultative Committee
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

Legislative branch:unicameral Territorial Congress or Congres Territorial (54 seats; members are members of the three Provincial Assemblies or Assemblees Provinciales elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 9 May 1999 (next to be held NA 2004)
election results:percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - RPCR 24, FLNKS 12, UNI 6, FCCI 4, FN 4, Alliance pour la Caledonie 3, LKS 1
note :New Caledonia elects 1 seat to the French Senate; elections last held 24 September 2001 (next to be held NA September 2007); results - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NA; New Caledonia also elects 2 seats to the French National Assembly; elections last held 25 May-1 June 1997 (next to be held: first round - 9 June 2002; second round 16 June 2002); results - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - RPR 2

Judicial branch: Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel

Political parties and leaders:Alliance pour la Caledonie or APLC [Didier LE ROUX]; Federation des Comites de Coordination des Independantistes or FCCI [Raphael MAPOU]; Front National or FN [Guy GEORGE]; Front Uni de Liberation Kanak or FULK [Ernest UNE]; Kanak Socialist Front for National Liberation or FLNKS [Rock WAMYTAN] (includes PALIKA, UNI, UC, and UPM); Parti de Liberation Kanak or PALIKA [Paul NEAOUTYINE and Elie POIGOUNE]; Rally for Caledonia in the Republic or RPCR [Jacques LAFLEUR]; 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]

International organization participation: ESCAP (associate), FZ, ICFTU, SPC, WFTU, WMO

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


Economy - overview: New Caledonia has about 25% of the world's known nickel resources. In recent years, the economy has suffered because of depressed international demand for nickel, the principal source of export earnings. Only a small amount of the land is suitable for cultivation, and food accounts for about 20% of imports. In addition to nickel, the substantial financial support from France and tourism are keys to the health of the economy. The situation in 1998 was clouded by the spillover of financial problems in East Asia and by lower prices for nickel. Nickel prices jumped in 1999-2000, and large additions were made to capacity. Strikes in the building industry in 2001, which lasted four months, adversely affected many other sectors of the economy. French Government interests in the New Caledonian nickel industry are being transferred to local ownership.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $3.1 billion (2000 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 2.1% (2000 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $15,000 (2000 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture : 5%
industry: 30%
services: 65% (1997 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index:2.3% (2000 est.)

Labor force:
total : 79,395 (including 15,018 unemployed, 1996)
by occupation: agriculture 7%, industry 23%, services 70% (1999 est.)

Unemployment rate: 19% (1996)

revenues: $861.3 million
expenditures: $735.3 million, including capital expenditures of $52 million (1996 est.)

Industries: nickel mining and smelting

Industrial production growth rate:-0.6% (1996)

Electricity - capacity: NA kW

Electricity - production: 1.565 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 1.455 billion kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products: vegetables; beef, other livestock products

total value: $400 million (f.o.b., 2000)
commodities: nickel metal 24.5%, nickel ore
partners: Japan 25.8%, France 18.8%, Taiwan 12%, Australia 8.2%, US 3.0% (1999)

total value : $1 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
commodities: transport equipment, machinery and electrical equipment, fuels, minerals, wine, sugar, rice
partners: France 50.2%, Australia 15.1%, Singapore 5.9%, New Zealand 5.2%, Japan 3.7% (1999)

Debt - external: $79 million (1998 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: $880 million annual subsidy from France

Currency: 1 CFP franc (XPF) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates:Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (XPF) per US dollar - 135.04 (January 2002), 133.26 (2001), 129.44 (2000), 111.93 (1999), 107.25 (1998), 106.11 (1997); note - linked at the rate of 119.25 XPF to the euro

Fiscal year: calendar year


Telephones: 47,000 (1997)

Telephone system:
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 5, shortwave 0 (1998)

Radios: 107,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 6 (plus 25 low-power repeaters) (1997)

Televisions:52,000 (1997)


Railways: 0 km (2002)

total: 4,825 km
paved: 2,287 km
unpaved: 2,538 km (1999)

Ports and harbors: Mueo, Noumea, Thio

Merchant marine:
total: 1 1 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,261 GRT/1,600 DWT (2002 est.)

Airports: 29 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 6
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m:4
under 914 m: 1 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total : 23
914 to 1,523 m: 12
under 914 m:11 (2001)

Heliports:6 (2001)


Military branches: French Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Gendarmerie); Police Force

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $192.3 million (FY96)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 5.3% (FY96)

Military - note: defense is the responsibility of France

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: Matthew and Hunter Islands claimed by France and Vanuatu

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