New Caledonia - Economic Indicators

Economic Overview

New Caledonia has 11% of the world's nickel reserves, representing the second largest reserves on the planet. 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. During 2009-10, France sent more development assistance to New Caledonia than to any of its other overseas territories. In October 2014, French Prime Minister Manuel VALLS confirmed financial support to New Caledonia...

Continue reading View Factbook for New Caledonia

GDP Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Nominal Gross Domestic Product 2000 347,203,010,560 342,170,009,600 NCU Annual
Real Gross Domestic Product 2000 294,809,993,216 288,746,012,672 NCU Annual
Investment 1990 78,634,074,112 NCU Annual
Nominal Fixed Investment (gross fixed capital formation) 1990 82,390,482,944 NCU Annual
Government Consumption 1990 23,540,137,984 NCU Annual
Labor Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Agriculture Employment 2017 4,102 4,051 # Annual
Labor Force 2017 136,753 135,047 # Annual
Trade Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Exports of Goods 2014 1,586,444,951 1,231,919,674 USD Annual
Imports of Goods 2014 3,094,195,952 3,082,648,179 USD Annual
Exports of Goods and Services 1999 44,764,000,256 40,620,998,656 NCU Annual
Imports of Goods and Services 1999 112,887,996,416 99,530,997,760 NCU Annual
Business Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Change in Inventories 1990 -3,756,404,992 NCU Annual
Demographics Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Population 2017 281,000 278,000 # Annual
Birth Rate 2015 16.4 16.6 # per Ths. pop. Annual
Death Rate 2015 5.3 5.3 # per Ths. pop. Annual
Net Migration 2012 5,660 # Annual

Factbook

Background

Background:
Settled by both Britain and France during the first half of the 19th century, the island became 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 20 years will transfer an increasing amount of governing responsibility from France to New Caledonia. The agreement also commits France to conduct a referendum by November 2018 to decide whether New Caledonia should assume full sovereignty and independence.

Geography

Location:
Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Australia
Geographic coordinates:
21 30 S, 165 30 E
Map references:
Oceania
Area:
total: 18,575 sq km
land: 18,275 sq km
water: 300 sq km
country comparison to the world: 156
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than New Jersey
Land boundaries:
0 km
Coastline:
2,254 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
tropical; modified by southeast trade winds; hot, humid
Terrain:
coastal plains with interior mountains
Elevation:
mean elevation: NA
elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Panie 1,628 m
Natural resources:
nickel, chrome, iron, cobalt, manganese, silver, gold, lead, copper
Land use:
agricultural land: 10.4%
arable land 0.4%; permanent crops 0.2%; permanent pasture 9.8%
forest: 45.9%
other: 43.7% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land:
100 sq km (2012)
Population - distribution:
most of the populace lives in the southern part of the main island, in and around the capital of Noumea
Natural hazards:
cyclones, most frequent from November to March
volcanism: Matthew and Hunter Islands are historically active
Environment - current issues:
erosion caused by mining exploitation and forest fires
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

People & Society

Population:
279,070 (July 2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 183
Nationality:
noun: New Caledonian(s)
adjective: New Caledonian
Ethnic groups:
Kanak 40.3%, European 29.2%, Wallisian, Futunian 8.7%, Tahitian 2%, Indonesian 1.6%, Vietnamese 1%, Ni-Vanuatu 0.9%, other 16.2% (2009 est.)
Languages:
French (official), 33 Melanesian-Polynesian dialects
Religions:
Roman Catholic 60%, Protestant 30%, other 10%
Age structure:
0-14 years: 22.46% (male 32,025/female 30,648)
15-24 years: 16.44% (male 23,438/female 22,438)
25-54 years: 43.5% (male 61,169/female 60,232)
55-64 years: 8.4% (male 11,352/female 12,097)
65 years and over: 9.2% (male 11,396/female 14,275) (2017 est.)
population pyramid:
Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio: 48.3
youth dependency ratio: 33.9
elderly dependency ratio: 14.4
potential support ratio: 6.9 (2015 est.)
Median age:
total: 32 years
male: 31.2 years
female: 32.7 years (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101
Population growth rate:
1.33% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
Birth rate:
15 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
Death rate:
5.7 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174
Net migration rate:
3.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population
note: there has been steady emigration from Wallis and Futuna to New Caledonia (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 30
Population distribution:
most of the populace lives in the southern part of the main island, in and around the capital of Noumea
Urbanization:
urban population: 71.2% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 1.91% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population:
NOUMEA (capital) 181,000 (2014)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 5.2 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 6.1 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 77.9 years
male: 73.9 years
female: 82 years (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65
Total fertility rate:
1.93 children born/woman (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130
Physicians density:
2.22 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
Drinking water source:
improved:
urban: 98.5% of population
rural: 98.5% of population
total: 98.5% of population
unimproved:
urban: 1.5% of population
rural: 1.5% of population
total: 1.5% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access:
improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA
Major infectious diseases:
note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.9%
male: 97.3%
female: 96.5% (2015 est.)

Government

Country name:
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
etymology: British explorer Captain James COOK discovered and named New Caledonia in 1774; he used the appellation because the northeast of the island reminded him of Scotland (Caledonia is the Latin designation for Scotland)
Dependency status:
territorial collectivity (or a sui generis collectivity) of France since 1998; an independence referendum is to take place by November 2018
Government type:
parliamentary democracy (Territorial Congress); an overseas collectivity of France
Capital:
name: Noumea
geographic coordinates: 22 16 S, 166 27 E
time difference: UTC+11 (16 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
3 provinces; Province Iles (Islands Province), Province Nord (North Province), and Province Sud (South Province)
Independence:
none (special collectivity of France); note - a referendum on independence was held in 1998 but was rejected; a new referendum must be held before 2019
National holiday:
Fete de la Federation, 14 July (1790); note - the local holiday is New Caledonia Day, 24 September (1853)
Constitution:
4 October 1958 (French Constitution with changes as reflected in Noumea Accord of 5 May 1998) (2016)
Legal system:
civil law system based on French law; the 1988 Matignon Accords (signed in the Matignon Hotel) set up a 10-year period of development during which the Kanak community received substantial autonomy but agreed not to raise the independence issue
Citizenship:
see France
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Emmanuel MACRON (since 14 May 2017); represented by High Commissioner Thierry LATASTE (since 20 June 2016)
head of government: President of the Government (vacant); Vice President Jean-Louis D'ANGLEBERME (since 1 April 2015)
cabinet: Cabinet elected from and by the Territorial Congress
elections/appointments: French president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); high commissioner appointed by the French president on the advice of the French Ministry of Interior; president of New Caledonia elected by Territorial Congress for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 10 June 2011 (next to be held in June 2016)
election results: Philippe GERMAINE (Caledonia Together) elected president by Territorial Congress; vote NA
Legislative branch:
unicameral Territorial Congress or Congres du Territoire (54 seats; members indirectly selected proportionally by the partisan makeup of the 3 Provincial Assemblies or Assemblees Provinciales; members of the 3 Provincial Assemblies directly elected by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)
note: the Customary Senate is the assembly of the various traditional councils of the Kanaks, the indigenous population, which rules on laws affecting the indigenous population; New Caledonia holds 2 seats in the French Senate; elections last held on 28 September 2014 (next to be held not later than September 2017); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 2; New Caledonia also elects 2 seats to the French National Assembly; elections last held on 11 and 18 June 2017 (next to be held by June 2022); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CE 2
elections: last held on 11 May 2014 (next to be held in May 2019); note - the government that was elected on 11 May 2014 collapsed within 6 months leading to a new election on 31 December 2014 which reelected the same government
election results: percent of vote by party - N/A; seats by party - N/A
note: as of May 2014, seats by party - CE 13, FLNKS 9, UMP 7, Union for Caledonia in France 6, Build Our Rainbow Nation 6, UNI 6, other 7
Judicial branch:
highest resident court(s): Court of Appeal in Noumea or Cour d'Appel; organized into civil, commercial, social, and pre-trial investigation chambers; court bench normally includes the court president and 2 counsilors); Administrative Court (number of judges NA); note - final appeals beyond the Court of Appeal are referred to the Court of Cassation or Cour de Cassation in Paris; final appeals beyond the Administrative Court are referred to the Administrative Court of Appeal (in Paris)
judge selection and term of office: judge appointment and tenure based on France's judicial system
subordinate courts: Courts of First Instance include: civil, juvenile, commercial, labor, police, criminal, assizes, and also a pre-trial investigation chamber; Joint Commerce Tribunal; administrative courts
Political parties and leaders:
Build Our Rainbow Nation
Caledonia Together or CE [Philippe GERMAIN]
Caledonian Union or UC [Daniel GOA]
Future Together (l'Avenir Ensemble) [Harold MARTIN]
Kanak Socialist Front for National Liberation or FLNKS (alliance includes PALIKA, UNI, UC, and UPM) [Roch WAMYTAN]
Labor Party (Parti Travailliste) or PT [Louis Kotra UREGEI]
National Union for Independence (Union Nationale pour l'Independance) or UNI
Party of Kanak Liberation (Parti de Liberation Kanak) or PALIKA [Paul NEAOUTYINE]
Socialist Kanak Liberation or LKS [Nidoish NAISSELINE]
The Republicans (formerly The Rally or UMP) [Pierre FROGIER]
Union for Caledonia in France
Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA
International organization participation:
ITUC (NGOs), PIF (associate member), SPC, UPU, WFTU (NGOs), WMO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (overseas territory of France)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
none (overseas territory of France)
Flag description:
New Caledonia has two official flags; alongside the flag of France, the Kanak (indigenous Melanesian) flag has equal status; the latter consists of three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), red, and green; a large yellow disk - diameter two-thirds the height of the flag - shifted slightly to the hoist side is edged in black and displays a black fleche faitiere symbol, a native rooftop adornment
National symbol(s):
fleche faitiere (native rooftop adornment), kagu bird; national colors: blue, red, green, yellow, black
National anthem:
name: "Soyons unis, devenons freres" (Let Us Be United, Let Us Become Brothers)
lyrics/music: Chorale Melodia (a local choir)
note: adopted 2008; contains a mixture of lyrics in both French and Nengone (an indigenous language); as a self-governing territory of France, in addition to the local anthem, "La Marseillaise" is official (see France)

Economy

Economy - overview:
New Caledonia has 11% of the world's nickel reserves, representing the second largest reserves on the planet. 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.
During 2009-10, France sent more development assistance to New Caledonia than to any of its other overseas territories. In October 2014, French Prime Minister Manuel VALLS confirmed financial support to New Caledonia totaling $500 million for the period 2016-20. The new government, which inherited a $112 million deficit in 2013, is expected to focus on bringing the territory’s budget back into balance.
With the gradual increase in the production of two new nickel plants in 2015, average production of metallurgical goods stood at a record level of 94 thousand tons. However, the sector is exposed to the high volatility of nickel prices. In April 2016, PM VALLS committed $180 million to support New Caledonia’s main nickel company, Societe Le Nickel.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$10.77 billion (2015 est.)
$10.62 billion (2014 est.)
$10.33 billion (2013 est.)
note: data are in 2015 dollars
country comparison to the world: 156
GDP (official exchange rate):
$15.54 billion (2014 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
1.4% (2015 est.)
1.3% (2014 est.)
2.2% (2013)
country comparison to the world: 163
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$31,100 (2015 est.)
$32,100 (2014 est.)
$29,800 (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61
GDP - composition, by end use:
household consumption: 64.4%
government consumption: 24.3%
investment in fixed capital: 38.1%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 17.2%
imports of goods and services: -44.1% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 1.4%
industry: 26.1%
services: 72.4% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - products:
vegetables; beef, venison, other livestock products; fish
Industries:
nickel mining and smelting
Industrial production growth rate:
1.6% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123
Labor force:
119,500 (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 182
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 2.7%
industry: 22.4%
services: 74.9% (2010)
Unemployment rate:
14.7% (2014)
14% (2009)
country comparison to the world: 167
Population below poverty line:
17% (2008)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budget:
revenues: $1.995 billion
expenditures: $1.993 billion (2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues:
12.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 201
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
0% of GDP (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45
Public debt:
6.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
6.5% of GDP (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 201
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
0.6% (2016 est.)
0.6% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73
Stock of domestic credit:
$9.522 billion (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 108
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA
Current account balance:
$-1.469 billion (2014 est.)
$-1.861 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 141
Exports:
$2.207 billion (2014 est.)
$1.314 billion (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135
Exports - commodities:
ferronickels, nickel ore, fish
Exports - partners:
China 30.4%, Japan 15.7%, South Korea 14.7%, France 5%, Belgium 4.5% (2016)
Imports:
$4.4 billion (2014 est.)
$4.47 billion (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 127
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals, foodstuffs
Imports - partners:
France 25.1%, Singapore 10.1%, China 9.8%, Australia 6.2%, Malaysia 5.9%, South Korea 5.8%, NZ 4.6%, US 4.3% (2016)
Debt - external:
$112 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$79 million (31 December 1998 est.)
country comparison to the world: 193
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$16.43 billion (2015 est.)
$14.55 billion (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$658.2 million (2015 est.)
$593.8 million (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88
Exchange rates:
Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (XPF) per US dollar -
110.2 (2016 est.)
107.84 (2015 est.)
89.85 (2013 est.)
90.56 (2012 est.)
85.74 (2011 est.)

Energy

Electricity access:
population without electricity: 112,895
electrification - total population: 59%
electrification - urban areas: 68%
electrification - rural areas: 45% (2012)
Electricity - production:
2.807 billion kWh (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135
Electricity - consumption:
2.611 billion kWh (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 178
Electricity - installed generating capacity:
557,200 kW (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142
Electricity - from fossil fuels:
78.4% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 91
Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 150
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
14% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
Electricity - from other renewable sources:
7.8% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79
Crude oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 175
Crude oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
Crude oil - imports:
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
Crude oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2017 es)
country comparison to the world: 173
Refined petroleum products - production:
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 180
Refined petroleum products - consumption:
17,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 145
Refined petroleum products - exports:
116.8 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
Refined petroleum products - imports:
17,370 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 213
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161
Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
country comparison to the world: 176
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
2.5 million Mt (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 145

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines:
total subscriptions: 92,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 34 (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146
Telephones - mobile cellular:
total: 246,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 91 (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 179
Telephone system:
general assessment: a submarine cable network connection between New Caledonia and Australia, completed in 2007, increased network capacity and improved high-speed connectivity and access to international networks
domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular telephone subscribership exceeds 120 per 100 persons
international: country code - 687; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2015)
Broadcast media:
the publicly owned French Overseas Network (RFO), which operates in France's overseas departments and territories, broadcasts over the RFO Nouvelle Caledonie TV and radio stations; a small number of privately owned radio stations also broadcast (2008)
Internet country code:
.nc
Internet users:
total: 201,000
percent of population: 74% (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 159

Transportation

National air transport system:
number of registered air carriers: 2 (registered in France)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 10 (registered in France) (2015)
Airports:
25 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 128
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 12
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 10
under 914 m: 1 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 8 (2013)
Heliports:
8 (2013)
Roadways:
total: 5,622 km (2006)
country comparison to the world: 151
Merchant marine:
registered in other countries: 3 (France 3) (2010)
country comparison to the world: 138
Ports and terminals:
major seaport(s): Noumea

Military & Security

Military branches:
no regular military forces; French military, police, and gendarmerie (2012)
Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of France

Transnational Issues

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

Economic Indicators for New Caledonia including actual values, historical data, and latest data updates for the New Caledonia economy.