French overseas territory
- Capital: Noumea
- Population: 259,000
- Major languages: French (official), Melanesian and Polynesian dialects
- Major religions: Christianity, indigenous beliefs
- Life expectancy: 74 years (men), 80 years (women)
- Currency: Pacific franc
- Area: 18,575 sq km (7,172 sq miles)
- A French territory comprising dozens of islands in the South Pacific.
- Main island Grande Terre
- In November 2018, voters rejected a bid for independence from France by 56.4% to 43.6%, on a turnout of about 81%. (BBC)
- One of the region’s highest average incomes per capita
- Has about a quarter of the world’s nickel deposits
- Not much chance of that here without added buoyancy and flotation devices fitted.