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.