New Caledonia Population: 264,022

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 History
Settled by both Britain and France during the first half of the 19th century, the island became 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 a referendum between 2014 and 2018 to decide whether New Caledonia should assume full sovereignty and independence.

 Geography
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
Location: Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Australia
Geographic coordinates: 21 30 S, 165 30 E
Area: total: 18,575 sq km
land: 18,275 sq km
water: 300 sq km

Size comparison: slightly smaller than New Jersey
Land Boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 2,254 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 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: 0.38%
permanent crops: 0.27%
other: 99.34% (2011)
Irrigated land: 100 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards: cyclones, most frequent from November to March volcanism: Matthew and Hunter Islands are historically active
Current Environment Issues: erosion caused by mining exploitation and forest fires
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 People
Nationality: 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)
Languages: French (official), 33 Melanesian-Polynesian dialects
Religions: Roman Catholic 60%, Protestant 30%, other 10%
Population: 264,022 (July 2013 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 24% (male 32,390/female 30,996)
15-24 years: 17.1% (male 23,000/female 22,060)
25-54 years: 42.6% (male 56,533/female 55,907)
55-64 years: 8.1% (male 10,526/female 10,842)
65 years and over: 8.2% (male 9,732/female 12,036) (2013 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 48.3 %
youth dependency ratio: 33.6 %
elderly dependency ratio: 14.7 %
potential support ratio: 6.8 (2013)
Median age: total: 30.7 years
male: 30.1 years
female: 31.3 years (2013 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.45% (2013 est.)
Birth rate: 15.81 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Death rate: 5.39 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Net migration rate: 4.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population note: there has been steady emigration from Wallis and Futuna to New Caledonia (2013 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 57% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 1.4% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: NOUMEA (capital) 144,000 (2009)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 5.54 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 6.54 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.49 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 77.13 years
male: 73.08 years
female: 81.37 years (2013 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.02 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Education expenditures: NA
Literacy: 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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 Government
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
Government type: parliamentary representative democracy
Capital: 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 three provinces named Province des Iles, Province Nord, and Province Sud
Independence: 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 2018
National holiday: Fete de la Federation, 14 July (1789); note - the local holiday is New Caledonia Day, 24 September (1853)
Constitution: 4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
Legal system: civil law system based on French law; the 1988 Matignon Accords (signed in the Matignon Hotel) set up a ten-year period of development during which the Kanak community received substantial autonomy but agreed not to raise the independece issue
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Francois HOLLANDE (since 15 May 2012); represented by High Commissioner Jean-Jacques BROT (since 2 February 2013); note - he was nominated on 23 January 2013

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 Harold MARTIN is head of a caretaker government

cabinet: Cabinet consisting of 11 members elected from and by the Territorial Congress (For more information visit the World Leaders website )

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 in June 2016)
Legislative branch: 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)

elections: 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: the Customary Senate is the assembly of the various traditional councils of the Kanaks, the indigenous population, which rules on laws affecting the indigenous population; 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 17 June 2012 (next to be held by June 2017); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 2
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Court of Appeal in Noumea or Cour d'Appel (the highest local judicial court; organized into civil, commercial, social, and pre-trial investigation chambers; number of judges NA); Conseil d'Etat (the highest local administrative court; number of judges NA) note - final appeals are heard before the Court of Cassation or Cour de Cassation, in Paris judge selection and term of office: NA

subordinate courts: Courts of First Instance include: civil, juvenile, commercial, labor, police, criminal, Assizes, and also a pre-trial investigation chamber; Joint Commerce Tribunal; administrative courts
Political parties and leaders: Caledonia Together [Philippe GOMES] Caledonian Union or UC [Daniel GOA] Front National or FN [Marine 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 (Union Nationale pour l'Independance) or UNI Parti de Liberation Kanak or PALIKA [Paul NEAOUTYINE] Socialist Group [Jean Pierre BEL] Socialist Kanak Liberation or LKS [Nidoish NAISSELINE] The Future Together or AE [Harold MARTIN] The Rally or UMP [Pierre GROGIER] Union of Pro-Independence Co-operation Committees [Francois BURCK]
International organization participation: PIF (associate member), SPC, UPU, WFTU (NGOs)
National symbol(s): 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)
Diplomatic representation in the US: none (overseas territory of France)
Diplomatic representation from the US: none (overseas territory of France)
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 Economy
New Caledonia has about 25% of the world's known nickel reserves. 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; during 2009-10, France sent more development assistance to New Caledonia than to any of its other overseas territories. 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): GDP (purchasing power parity): $9.28 billion (2008 est.) $3.158 billion (2003 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $9.28 billion (2008 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 0.6% (2008 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $37,700 (2008 est.) $15,000 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 65.4%
government consumption: 28%
investment in fixed capital: 28.2%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 27%
imports of goods and services: -48.7% (2012 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 65.4%
government consumption: 28%
investment in fixed capital: 28.2%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 27%
imports of goods and services: -48.7% (2012 est.)
Agriculture - products: vegetables; beef, deer, other livestock products; fish
Industries: nickel mining and smelting
Industrial production growth rate: 7% (2012 est.)
Labor force: 106,400 (2010)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 20%
industry: 20%
services: 60% (2002)
Unemployment rate: 17.1% (2004)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budget: revenues: $996 million
expenditures: $1.072 billion (2001 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.7% (2012 est.) 2.4% (2011 est.)
Exports: $969.4 million (2012 est.) $1.717 billion (2011 est.)
Exports - commodities: ferronickels, nickel ore, fish
Exports - partners: Japan 17.2%, France 16.2%, South Korea 12.2%, China 9.6%, Australia 8.3%, Belgium 4.9% (2012)
Imports: $3.313 billion (2010 est.) $3.699 billion (2010 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals, foodstuffs
Imports - partners: France 33.4%, Singapore 22.4%, Australia 11.7%, NZ 5% (2012)
Debt - external: $79 million (1998 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA
Exchange rates: Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (XPF) per US dollar - 85.74 (2011 est.) 90.01 (2010 est.)
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 Energy
Electricity - production: 1.675 billion kWh (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 137
Electricity - consumption: 1.558 billion kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 421,000 kW (2009 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 79.1% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 18.5% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 2.4% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 13,640 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 730 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 14,550 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 3.027 million Mt (2010 est.)
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 Communications
Telephones in use: 76,200 (2011)
country comparison to the world: 152
Cellular Phones in use: 227,300 (2011)
Telephone system: general assessment: a submarine cable network connection between New Caledonia and Australia, completed in 2007, increased network capacity and improved 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) (2010)
Broadcast media: the publicly owned French Overseas Network (RFO), which operates in France's overseas departments and territories, broadcasts over the RFO Nouvelle Caledonie TV and radio stations; a small number of privately owned radio stations also broadcast (2008)
Internet country code: .nc
Internet hosts: 34,231 (2012)
Internet users: 85,000 (2009)
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 Transportation
Airports: 25 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 128
Airports (paved runways): total 12
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 10
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 13

914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 8 (2013)
Heliports: 8 (2013)
Roadways: total 5,622 km
(2006)
Merchant marine:

registered in other countries: 3 (France 3) (2010)
Ports and terminals: Noumea
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 Military
Defense is the responsibility of France
Military branches: no regular military forces; French military, police, and gendarmerie (2012)
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.)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: Matthew and Hunter Islands east of New Caledonia claimed by France and Vanuatu
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Source: CIA - The World Factbook
 

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