Australia-Oceania :: New Caledonia
(self-governing territory of France)
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of New Caledonia
Location of New Caledonia
 
Map of New Caledonia
Introduction ::New Caledonia
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
Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Australia
21 30 S, 165 30 E
total: 18,575 sq km
country comparison to the world: 155
land: 18,275 sq km
water: 300 sq km
slightly smaller than New Jersey
0 km
2,254 km
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
tropical; modified by southeast trade winds; hot, humid
coastal plains with interior mountains
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Panie 1,628 m
nickel, chrome, iron, cobalt, manganese, silver, gold, lead, copper
arable land: 0.32%
permanent crops: 0.22%
other: 99.46% (2005)
100 sq km (2003)
cyclones, most frequent from November to March
erosion caused by mining exploitation and forest fires
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
227,436 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 181
0-14 years: 26.8% (male 31,191/female 29,870)
15-64 years: 65.8% (male 75,189/female 74,552)
65 years and over: 7.3% (male 7,681/female 8,953) (2009 est.)
total: 28.7 years
male: 28.2 years
female: 29.2 years (2009 est.)
1.136% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
17.04 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
5.68 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 172
NA
note: there has been steady emigration from Wallis and Futuna to New Caledonia (2009 est.)
urban population: 65% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 2.1% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
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: 1.01 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
total: 7.05 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 168
male: 7.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.36 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
total population: 74.98 years
country comparison to the world: 85
male: 71.99 years
female: 78.12 years (2009 est.)
2.18 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119
NA
NA
NA
noun: New Caledonian(s)
adjective: New Caledonian
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)
Roman Catholic 60%, Protestant 30%, other 10%
French (official), 33 Melanesian-Polynesian dialects
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.2%
male: 96.8%
female: 95.5% (1996 census)
Government ::New Caledonia
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
territorial collectivity of France since 1998
NA
name: Noumea
geographic coordinates: 22 16 S, 166 27 E
time difference: UTC+11 (16 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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
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
Bastille Day, 14 July (1789)
4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
based on French civil law; the 1988 Matignon Accords grant substantial autonomy to the islands
18 years of age; universal
chief of state: President Nicolas SARKOZY (since 16 May 2007); represented by High Commissioner Yves DASSONVILLE (since 9 November 2007)
head of government: President of the Government Philippe GOMES (since 5 June 2009)
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 7 August 2007 when Harold MARTIN was elected following the resignation of Marie-Noelle THEMEREAU as president on 24 July 2007 (next to be held in 2012)
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 9 May 2009 (next to be held in 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 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 10 and 17 June 2007 (next to be held on June 2012); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 2
Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel; County Courts; Joint Commerce Tribunal Court; Children's Court
Alliance pour la Caledonie or APLC [Didier LE ROUX]; Caledonia Together [Philippe GOMES]; Caledonian Union or UC [Charles PIDJOT]; Federation des Comites de Coordination des Independantistes or FCCI [Francois BURCK]; Front National or FN [Jean-Marie LE PEN]; Front Uni de Liberation Kanak or FULK [Ernest UNE]; Labor Party or PT [Louis Kora UREGEI]; Kanak Socialist Front for National Liberation or FLNKS (includes PALIKA, UNI, UC, and UPM); Parti de Liberation Kanak or PALIKA [Paul NEAOUTYINE]; Rally for Caledonia or RPC [Jacques LAFLEUR]; The Future Together or AE [Didier LEROUX]; The Rally or UMP [Pierre FROGIER]; Union Nationale pour l'Independance or UNI; Union Progressiste Melanesienne or UPM [Victor TUTUGORO]
NA
ITUC, PIF (associate member), SPC, UPU, WFTU, WMO
none (overseas territory of France)
none (overseas territory of France)
the flag of France is used
Economy ::New Caledonia
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.
$3.158 billion (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 172
$3.3 billion (2003 est.)
NA%
$15,000 (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76
agriculture: 15%
industry: 8.8%
services: 76.2% (2003)
102,600 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 176
agriculture: 20%
industry: 20%
services: 60% (2002)
17.1% (2004)
country comparison to the world: 159
NA%
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
revenues: $996 million
expenditures: $1.072 billion (2001 est.)
1.4% (2000 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11
$NA
vegetables; beef, deer, other livestock products; fish
nickel mining and smelting
1.825 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136
1.697 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137
0 kWh (2008 est.)
0 kWh (2008 est.)
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158
13,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142
645.3 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123
14,430 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 126
0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149
0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 146
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 151
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 156
$1.341 billion (2006)
country comparison to the world: 144
ferronickels, nickel ore, fish
France 16.9%, Japan 16.4%, China 10.5%, South Africa 9.8%, Spain 6.5%, Belgium 4.9%, Australia 4.2% (2008)
$1.998 billion (2006)
country comparison to the world: 149
machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals, foodstuffs
France 35.5%, Singapore 17.2%, Australia 11.2%, NZ 4.6% (2008)
$79 million (1998 est.)
country comparison to the world: 190
Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (XPF) per US dollar - 87.59 (2007), 94.97 (2006), 95.89 (2005), 96.04 (2004), 105.66 (2003)
Communications ::New Caledonia
63,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 157
196,500 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 172
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 and mobile-cellular telephone subscribership exceeds 100 per 100 persons
international: country code - 687; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2008)
AM 1, FM 5, shortwave 0 (1998)
6 (plus 25 repeaters) (1997)
.nc
22,448 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 101
85,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 159
Transportation ::New Caledonia
25 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 130
total: 12
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 10
under 914 m: 1 (2009)
total: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 8 (2009)
8 (2009)
total: 5,622 km (2006)
country comparison to the world: 151
total: 2
country comparison to the world: 146
by type: cargo 1, passenger/cargo 1 (2008)
Noumea
Military ::New Caledonia
no regular military forces; French police and gendarmerie (2009)
males age 16-49: 57,738 (2008 est.)
males age 16-49: 48,288
females age 16-49: 48,959 (2009 est.)
male: 2,160
female: 2,087 (2009 est.)
NA
defense is the responsibility of France
Transnational Issues ::New Caledonia
Matthew and Hunter Islands east of New Caledonia claimed by France and Vanuatu