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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.

Languages & Population

Approximate Population: 221,943 (July 2007 est.)

Nationality (Noun): New Caledonian(s)

Nationality (Adjective): New Caledonian

Official Language(s): French

Major Languages Spoken: Bahasa, French, Bislama

Map of New Caledonia

Country Facts

Country Name (long form): Territory of New Caledonia and Dependencies

Country Name (short form): New Caledonia

Country Name (local long form): Territoire des Nouvelle-Caledonie et Dependances

Country Name (local short form): Nouvelle-Caledonie

Name of Capital: Noumea

UTC Time Difference (from capital): UTC+11 (16 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Countries Near by, and Bordering New Caledonia: Vanuatu

Land Area: 18575 sq km

Water Area: 485 sq km

Comparative Area: slightly smaller than New Jersey

Coastline: 2,254 km

National Holiday: Bastille Day, 14 July (1789)

International Phone Code: 687

Currency Code: Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique franc (XPF)

Internet Country Code: .nc

US Embassy Location: none (overseas territory of France)

US Embassy Mailing Address: none (overseas territory of France)


New Caledonia flag

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