Where is New Caledonia?

Located in Oceania, New Caledonia is an island nation. It has a 2,254.00 km coastline. The Matthew and Hunter Islands, east of New Caledonia, are claimed by France and Vanuatu.

The capital and largest city of the Pacific Ocean territory of New Caledonia is Nouméa which is located in the southern portion of the main island of Grande Terre. It was first settled in 1851 by a British trader. Throughout its long history the city has served as a penal colony as well as the headquarters for the U.S. military’s Pacific forces during World War II. With an area of 17.6 square miles Nouméa has a total population of 100,237 residents. Greater Nouméa is divided into four communes including Nouméa, Dumbéa, Le Mont-Dore, and the suburban area of Païta. Among the most popular tourist attractions in the city is the Aquarium des Lagons Nouvelle Caledonie as well as the Tjibaou Cultural Center. Characteristic of most regions in the south Pacific, Nouméa has a tropical climate complete with warm winters and hot summer months.

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New Caledonia is an Oceanian country covering 18,575.00 km2 of which 1.62% is water and 18,275.00 km2 is land. and slightly smaller than New Jersey. Its geographic coordinates are 21 30 S, 165 30 E and Noumea is the capital city.

Its ISO code is NC.

Geography

New Caledonia has a mean elevation of 0 m above sea level.

It has a tropical climate that is modified by southeast trade winds. Its terrain consists mainly of coastal plains with some interior mountains.

Population

New Caledonia has a population of 275,355 making it the 182nd largest in the world.

French is the official language, and 33 Melanesian-Polynesian dialects are also widely spoken. Major ethnic groups include Kanak, European, and Wallisian. The majority of the country is either Roman Catholic or Protestant.

Because of New Caledonia’s political status as a French overseas territory it stands to reason that the island’s official language is French. This Romance language, which is part of the Indo- European linguistic family, is descended from Vulgar Latin. Its alphabet contains twenty six basic letters, four vowel diacritics, and two ligatures. In New Caledonia the specific dialect spoken by locals is known as Caldoche. Over 97% of the populous aged fifteen and up are able to speak, read and, write French. Useful words in this language include the casual greeting of “Salut” as well as a welcome wish of, “Bienvenue”. Commonly used questions such as inquiring as to the time of day can be translated to, “Quelle heure est-il?” The Pacific island nation is also home to a large number of minority languages including Drehu, Nengone, Paicî, Iaai, Ajië, and Xârâcùù

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The dialing code for the country is 687.

Government

It is an overseas territory of France. Its constitution was last ratified in 1958.

New Caledonia has the distinction of being an overseas collective and dependent French territory. The legislative branch of the government is known as the Territorial Congress which includes 54 members elected from the island’s three regional councils. The current President of New Caledonia is Philippe Germain, a member of the anti-independence party Caledonia Together. The position of French President is currently occupied by Emmanuel Macron. The administrative business of the Territorial Congress takes place in Nouméa, South Province which is also home to the president’s official residence. Electors in New Caledonia have many options to choose from in terms of political parties including both pro and anti-independence parties, a socialist party, as well as a party backed by trade unions.

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Economy

Factoring in Purchasing Power Parity, New Caledonia's GDP is $10,770,000,000.00 (USD) with $31,100.00 (USD) per capita. This makes it the 155th largest economy and its citizens the 58th richest in the world. The currency of New Caledonia is the Franc (XPF).

Its major export partners are China, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Its main exports are feronickels, nickel ore, and fish. Its major import partners are France, Australia, and South Korea. Its major imports include machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals, and foodstuffs.

Flag

The Pacific island of New Caledonia has two official flags; the French Tricolour and the local Kanuk design. After much debate and controversy this new flag was adopted on July 13, 2010. The design features three horizontal bands of color; blue on top, red in the center, and green at the bottom. Near the hoist side of the flag is a yellow disc depicting the national symbol, a flèche faitière or rooftop totem, in its center. The Kanuk flag features symbols of the sacrifice of its citizens throughout the years as well as references to the sky, ocean, and sun. The Kanuk flag’s design was taken from the flag used to represent the local political party known as the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front. It was first flown alongside the French national flag during an official ceremony on July 17, 2010.

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This page was last modified on January 17th, 2018