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  New Caledonia   
Introduction
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Transnational
Issues
  Introduction Back To Top

Background:
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 Back To Top

Land boundaries:
0 km

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

Map references:
Australia/Oceania

Geographic coordinates:
21 30 S, 165 30 E

Natural resources:
nickel, chrome, iron, cobalt, manganese, silver, gold, lead, copper

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Panie 1,628 m

Terrain:
coastal plains with interior mountains

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

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

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

Coastline:
2,254 km

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than New Jersey

Irrigated land:
100 sq km (2003)

Environment - current issues:
erosion caused by mining exploitation and forest fires

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

Natural hazards:
cyclones, most frequent from November to March

Land use:
arable land: 0.32%
permanent crops: 0.22%
other: 99.46% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
2.21 children born/woman (2008 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: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 74.75 years
male: 71.76 years
female: 77.88 years (2008 est.)

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.2%
male: 96.8%
female: 95.5% (1996 census)

Net migration rate:
NA
note: there has been steady emigration from Wallis and Futuna to New Caledonia (2008 est.)

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)

Median age:
total: 28.4 years
male: 28 years
female: 28.8 years (2008 est.)

Population:
224,824 (July 2008 est.)

Population growth rate:
1.175% (2008 est.)

Languages:
French (official), 33 Melanesian-Polynesian dialects

Death rate:
5.64 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 7.19 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 7.85 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA

Age structure:
0-14 years: 27.3% (male 31,376/female 30,064)
15-64 years: 65.6% (male 74,064/female 73,369)
65 years and over: 7.1% (male 7,377/female 8,574) (2008 est.)

Birth rate:
17.39 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

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

Nationality:
noun: New Caledonian(s)
adjective: New Caledonian

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
none (overseas territory of France)

National holiday:
Bastille Day, 14 July (1789)

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal

Government type:
NA

Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA

Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (overseas territory of France)

Dependency status:
territorial collectivity of France since 1998

International organization participation:
ITUC, PIF (associate member), SPC, UPU, WFTU, WMO

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 9 May 2004 (next to be held in 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - RPCR-UMP 16, AE 16, UNI-FLNKS 8, UC 7, FN 4, others 3
note: New Caledonia currently 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

Legal system:
based on French civil law; the 1988 Matignon Accords grant substantial autonomy to the islands

Flag description:
the flag of France is used

Independence:
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

Country name (Goverment):
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

Political parties and leaders:
Alliance pour la Caledonie or APLC [Didier LE ROUX]; Caledonian Union or UC; Federation des Comites de Coordination des Independantistes or FCCI [Francois BURCK]; Front National or FN [Guy GEORGE]; Front Uni de Liberation Kanak or FULK [Ernest UNE]; Kanak Socialist Front for National Liberation or FLNKS (includes PALIKA, UNI, UC, and UPM); Parti de Liberation Kanak or PALIKA [Paul NEAOUTYINE and Elie POIGOUNE]; Rally for Caledonia in the Republic (anti independence) or RPCR-UMP [Jacques LAFLEUR]; The Future Together or AE [Harold MARTIN]; 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]

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

Constitution:
4 October 1958 (French Constitution)

Executive branch:
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 Harold MARTIN (since 7 August 2007)
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)

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

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

  Economy Back To Top

Exports - partners:
Japan 20.1%, China 14.5%, Taiwan 14.2%, France 11.6%, Belgium 10.4%, Spain 8.6%, South Africa 6.9% (2007)

Electricity - consumption:
1.49 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

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

Unemployment rate:
17.1% (2004)

Oil - exports:
356.2 bbl/day (2005)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$15,000 (2003 est.)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$3.158 billion (2003 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$3.3 billion (2003 est.)

Exchange rates:
Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (XPF) per US dollar - 87.59 (2007), 95.025 (2006), 95.89 (2005), 96.04 (2004), 105.66 (2003)

GDP - real growth rate:
NA%

Labor force:
78,990 (2004)

Imports - partners:
France 36.7%, Singapore 14.7%, Australia 12.1%, NZ 5.2%, Germany 4.6% (2007)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.4% (2000 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 15%
industry: 8.8%
services: 76.2% (2003)

Oil - imports:
11,780 bbl/day (2005)

Exports:
$1.341 billion f.o.b. (2006)

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Currency (code):
Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique franc (XPF)

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.

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals, foodstuffs

Industries:
nickel mining and smelting

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line:
NA%

Electricity - production:
1.602 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Imports:
$1.998 billion f.o.b. (2006)

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 20%
industry: 20%
services: 60% (2002)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Oil - consumption:
11,560 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA

Currency code:
XPF

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Exports - commodities:
ferronickels, nickel ore, fish

Economic aid - recipient:
$524.3 million annual subsidy from France (2004)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 76.3%
hydro: 23.7%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $996 million
expenditures: $1.072 billion (2001 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
80,000 (2006)

Telephones - main lines in use:
60,200 (2007)

Televisions:
52,000 (1997)

Internet country code:
.nc

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

Radios:
107,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
176,400 (2007)

Television broadcast stations:
6 (plus 25 repeaters) (1997)

Telephone system:
general assessment: NA
domestic: 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
international: country code - 687; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2007)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)

Internet hosts:
15,487 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

Ports and terminals:
Noumea

Heliports:
6 (2007)

Merchant marine:
total: 2
by type: cargo 1, passenger/cargo 1 (2008)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 12
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 2 (2007)

Roadways:
total: 5,622 km (2006)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 6 (2007)

Airports:
25 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 57,738 (2008 est.)

Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of France

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 47,342 (2008 est.)

Military branches:
no regular indigenous military forces; French Armed Forces (includes Army, Navy, Air Force, Gendarmerie); Police Force

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 2,202
female: 2,121 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures:
NA

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

Disputes - international:
Matthew and Hunter Islands east of New Caledonia claimed by France and Vanuatu

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Quiz #2
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  Atlantic-Pacific Canal
  Transcontinental Canal
  Panama Canal
  Erie Canal
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