Facts about New-Caledonia
|Population||224,824 (July 2008 est.)|
|Time zone||UTC+11 (16 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)|
Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Australia
General info about 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.
French (official), 33 Melanesian-Polynesian dialects
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)
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
tropical; modified by southeast trade winds; hot, humid
nickel, chrome, iron, cobalt, manganese, silver, gold, lead, copper
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.
erosion caused by mining exploitation and forest fires
Cities in New-Caledonia