World Facts And Stats: Where Is New Caledonia?

Facts and information about New Caledonia.


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% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

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: 197,361 (July 1999 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 29% (male 29,610; female 28,485)

15-64 years: 65% (male 64,552; female 63,229)

65 years and over: 6% (male 5,443; female 6,042) (1999 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.59% (1999 est.)

Birth rate: 20.68 births/1,000 population (1999 est.)

Death rate: 4.82 deaths/1,000 population (1999 est.)

Net migration rate: 0.08 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1999 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.9 male(s)/female

total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (1999 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 12.15 deaths/1,000 live births (1999 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 75.35 years

male: 72.1 years

female: 78.77 years (1999 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.43 children born/woman (1999 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

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); note""a referendum on independence was held in 1998 but did not pass

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 Jacques CHIRAC of France (since 17 May 1995), represented by High Commissioner and President of the Council of Government Dominque BUR (since NA August 1995)

head of government: President of the Territorial Congress Simon LOUECKHOTE (since NA 1998)

cabinet: Consultative Committee

elections: French president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term; high commissioner appointed by the French president on the advice of the French Ministry of Interior; president of the Territorial Congress elected by the members of the 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 six-year terms)

elections: last held 9 July 1995 (next to be held NA July 2001)

election results: percent of vote by party""NA; seats by party""RPR 22, FLNKS 12, UNCT 9, UNI 5, DEPCA 2, FN 2, RCF 2, and other 2

note: New Caledonia elects 1 seat to the French Senate; elections last held 27 September 1992 (next to be held NA September 2001); results""percent of vote by party""NA; seats by party""RPR 1; New Caledonia also elects 2 seats to the French National Assembly; elections last held 25 May-1 June 1997 (next to be held NA 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: Progressive Melanesian Union or UPM [Edmond NEKIRIAI]; Melanesian proindependence Kanaka Socialist National Liberation Front or FLNKS [Rock WAMYTAN]; Melanesian moderate Kanak Socialist Liberation or LKS [Nidoish NAISSELINE]; National Front or FN (extreme right) [Guy GEORGE]; Socialist Party of Kanaky or PSK [Jacques VIOLETTE]; Union Oceanienne or UO (conservative) [Michel HEMA]; Front de Developpement des Iles Loyautes or FDIL [Cono HAMU]; Union Caledonian or UC [Bernard LEPEU, president]; A New Caledonia for All or UNCT [Didier LEROUX]; Kanaque Liberation Party or PALIKA [Paul NEAOUTYINE and Elie POIGOUNE]; New Caledonia National Party [Georges CHATENEY]; Oceanic Democratic Rally or RDO [Alois SAKO]; Kanaque Federal Party of OPAO [Gabrielle PAITA and Auguste SIAPO]; Caledonian Generation [Jean-Raymond POSTIC]; Union des Synicates de Travailleurs Kanaks Exploites or USTKE [Louis Kotra UREGEY]; Federation for a New Caledonian Society or FNSC [Jean-Pierre AIFA]; Union to Construct Independence [Frances POADOUY]; Movement for France or MPF [Claude SARAAN]; Rally for Caledonia in the Republic or RPCR is a coalition of 5 parties: Union for the Rebirth of Caledonia [Jean-Louis MIR]; Christian Social Democrats""All Ethnic Group Accord [Raymond MURA]; Rally for Caledonia [Jacques LAFLEUR]; Rally of the Republic [Dick UKEIWE]; Liberal Caledonian Movement [Jean LEQUES]; Union Nationale pour l'Independance or UNI [leader NA]; Developper Ensemble pour Construire l'Avenir or DEPCA [leader NA]; Rassemblement pour une Caledonie dans la France or RCF [leader NA]

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: three horizontal bands, blue (top), red, and green, with a yellow disk enclosing a black symbol centered to the hoist side; the flag of France is used for official occasions


Economy""overview: New Caledonia has more than 20% 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 negligible amount of the land is suitable for cultivation, and food accounts for about 25% of imports. In addition to nickel, financial support from France and tourism are key to the health of the economy. Performance in 1998 was hampered by the spillover of financial problems in East Asia and by lower expected prices for nickel.

GDP: purchasing power parity""$2.1 billion (1996 est.)

GDP""real growth rate: NA%

GDP""per capita: purchasing power parity""$11,400 (1996 est.)

GDP""composition by sector:

agriculture: 3%

industry: 25%

services: 72% (1996)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.7% (1996 est.)

Labor force: 70,044 (1988)

Labor force""by occupation: agriculture 20%, industry 16%, services 60%, mining 4% (1996)

Unemployment rate: 15% (1994)


revenues: $755.6 million

expenditures: $755.6 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1995 est.)

Industries: nickel mining and smelting

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity""production: 1.145 billion kWh (1996)

Electricity""production by source:

fossil fuel: 69.87%

hydro: 30.13%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0% (1996)

Electricity""consumption: 1.145 billion kWh (1996)

Electricity""exports: 0 kWh (1996)

Electricity""imports: 0 kWh (1996)

Agriculture""products: vegetables; beef, other livestock products

Exports: $500 million (f.o.b., 1996)

Exports""commodities: ferronickels, nickel ore

Exports""partners: Japan 31%, France 29%, US 12%, Australia 7%, Taiwan 6% (1996 est.)

Imports: $845 million (c.i.f., 1996)

Imports""commodities: foods, transport equipment, machinery and electrical equipment, fuels, minerals

Imports""partners: France 45%, Australia 18%, Singapore 7%, New Zealand 6%, Japan 4% (1996 est.)

Debt""external: $NA

Economic aid""recipient: $446.3 million (1995); note""about $50 million yearly support from France for government operations

Currency: 1 Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique franc (CFPF) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (CFPF) per US$1""102.72 (January 1999), 107.25 (1998), 106.11 (1997), 93.00 (1996), 90.75 (1995), 100.93 (1994); note""linked at the rate of 18.18 to the French franc

Fiscal year: calendar year


Telephones: 38,748 (1993 est.)

Telephone system:

domestic: NA

international: satellite earth station""1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 5, FM 3, shortwave 0

Radios: 97,000 (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 6 (in addition, there are 25 low-power repeaters) (1997)

Televisions: 47,000 (1992 est.)


Railways: 0 km


total: 5,562 km

paved: 975 km

unpaved: 4,587 km (1993)

Ports and harbors: Mueo, Noumea, Thio

Merchant marine: none

Airports: 27 (1998 est.)

Airports""with paved runways:

total: 5

over 3,047 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 3

under 914 m: 1 (1998 est.)

Airports""with unpaved runways:

total: 22

914 to 1,523 m: 11

under 914 m: 11 (1998 est.)

Heliports: 7 (1998 est.)


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

Military expenditures""dollar figure: $NA

Military expenditures""percent of GDP: NA%

Military""note: defense is the responsibility of France

Transnational Issues

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

*Information obtained from the Central Intelligence Agency's World Fact Book.

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