New Caledonia

Official Country Name
New Caledonia

New Caledonia Overview
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.

New Caledonia Economy
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.

New Caledonia Location
New Caledonia is located in Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Australia

New Caledonia is located in Oceania

New Caledonia Population
New Caledonia has population of 219,246 (July 2006 est.)

New Caledonia Climate
New Caledonia has tropical; modified by southeast trade winds; hot, humid

New Caledonia Terrain
coastal plains with interior mountains

New Caledonia Natural Resources
nickel, chrome, iron, cobalt, manganese, silver, gold, lead, copper

Ethnic Groups in New Caledonia
New Caledonia has the following ethnic groups - Melanesian 42.5%, European 37.1%, Wallisian 8.4%, Polynesian 3.8%, Indonesian 3.6%, Vietnamese 1.6%, other 3%

New Caledonia Religions
Roman Catholic 60%, Protestant 30%, other 10%

New Caledonia Languages
French (official), 33 Melanesian-Polynesian dialects

New Caledonia Capital
New Caledonia capital is Noumea

New Caledonia Currency
New Caledonia currency is Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique franc

Map of New Caledonia