New Caledonia

Sui generis collectivity of ‌France
Flag of France Emblem of New Caledonia
La Marseillaise
Map of New Caledonia
Status Sui generis collectivity
President of France
- From 2007Nicolas Sarkozy
High Commissioner
- From 2010Albert Dupuy
President of Government
- From 2011Harold Martin
Legislature Congress
September 24, 1853Annexed by France
October 27, 1946Overseas territory
July 20, 1998Sui generis collectivity
Area18,575 km²
- 2009249,000
CurrencyCFP franc

New Caledonia is a sui generis collectivity of France, located in Melanesia.


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 a referendum between 2014 and 2019 to decide whether New Caledonia should assume full sovereignty and independence.[1]


New Caledonia has about 25% of the world's known nickel resources. 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. Substantial new investment in the nickel industry, combined with the recovery of global nickel prices, brightens the economic outlook for the next several years.[2]

President of France

  • Nicolas Sarkozy () (January 1, 2007 - )

High Commissioner

  • Albert Dupuy () (November 2, 2010 - )

President of Government

  • Harold Martin () (March 3, 2011 - )


French Overseas Collectivities


  1. The CIA World Factbook: Introduction - Background
  2. The CIA World Factbook: Economy - Overview

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