New Caledonia Population 2021

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New Caledonia is a special collectivity of France located in the southwest Pacific Ocean about 750 miles east of Australia and more than 10,000 miles east of Metropolitan France. New Caledonia is an archipelago that includes the main island of Grande Terre (aka Le Caillou), the Isle of Pines, the Belep archipelago, the Chesterfield Islands, the Loyalty Islands and islets. New Caledonia has just 18,500 square kilometers of land, which ranks 154th in the world, and the population has grown slowly but steadily. New Caledonia has a very low population density of just 13 people per square kilometer (35/sq mi), which ranks 200th in the world. About 17,400 people live in the Loyalty Islands Province, 45,000 in the North Province and 183,000 in the South Province. The indigenous Kanak make up 94% of the population in the Loyalty Islands Province, 74% in the North Province and 27% in the South Province.

New Caledonia Demographics

About 40% of the New Caledonia population belongs to the indigenous Kanak community, while 29% are European and 8.7% originated from Futuna or Wallis. The rest of the population includes Tahitians (2%), Javanese Indonesian (1.6%), Vietnamese (1%), Ni-Vanuatu (0.9%), other Asian (0.8%), and other (1%). The Kanak are indigenous to New Caledonia and part of the Melanesian group.

New Caledonia History

New Caledonia was first discovered toward the end of the 18th century and was originally of interest for sandalwood. After this trade declined, the people of New Caledonia -- who were called the Kanakas after the Hawaiian word for "men" -- were kidnapped and enslaved. Through the 19th century, cannibalism was widespread in the area.

The area eventually came under French rule and it became a penal colony through the end of the 19th century with about 22,000 political prisoners and criminals sent to the island. The indigenous people were confined to reservations, which eventually led to an uprising that united many tribes to launch a war against the French. From 1878 to 1921, the Kanak population fell from 60,000 to 27,000 due to disease brought by the French.

While population growth has slowed in New Caledonia since the 1990's, it has remained strong at about 1.5% per year. About 85% of this growth is natural growth, while 15% is due to migration. Population growth remains the strongest in the Southern providence at more than 2% while it is negative in the Loyalty Islands.

The current population of New Caledonia is 288,218 based on projections of the latest available data.

New Caledonia Growth Rate

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Name Population
La Foa2,947

New Caledonia Cities

New Caledonia Population Pyramid 2021


New Caledonia Population by Age

There are 212,714 people over age 18 in New Caledonia.

Census Years

Year Date
19894 April 1989
199616 April 1996
200431 August 2004
200927 July 2009
201426 August 2014

New Caledonia Population Pyramid

Year Population Growth Rate Density (km²)

New Caledonia Population by Year (Historical)

Year Population Growth Rate Density (km²)

New Caledonia Population by Year (Future)

New Caledonia is a country belonging to France. In essence, New Caledonia is an offshore extension of France. Positioned in the southwestern part of the Pacific Ocean, New Caledonia is to the east of Australia and south of Vanuatu. New Caledonia is what you would call an archipelago, meaning it is comprised of numerous smaller islands: the Isle of Pines, Grande Terre, the Chesterfield Islands, the Loyalty Islands, and the archipelago of Belep. This country is located in the Melanesia Subregion of the world. As an island country, New Caledonia does not physically touch any other landforms.

Location of New Caledonia on a Map

New Caledonia is found at the GPS coordinates of 20.9043° S and 165.6180° E. The first point is the country's latitude, which indicates that New Caledonia is part of the southern hemisphere. As such, this country lies beneath the equator. The second point is the longitudinal coordinate of New Caledonia. It shows that the country is situated in the eastern hemisphere.

Levels of Elevation in New Caledonia

New Caledonia’s mean level of elevation is 0 feet above sea level due to the nature of the island country. As an archipelago, most of New Caledonia’s area exists at sea level. Therefore, the lowest point of elevation in the country is also at sea level. This point is situated along the coastline of New Caledonia on the shore of the Coral Sea. The country's tallest point is atop the mountain of Mont Panie. With an elevation of 5,341 miles above sea level, Mont Panie is part of the Chaîne Centrale Mountain Range, which is located on the Grande Terre Island of New Caledonia.

New Caledonia's Total Area and Population

New Caledonia has a total area of approximately 104,154 square miles. There are about 103,737 square miles of land in the country of New Caledonia.

These land areas are divided into sixteen different regions. New Caledonia’s land is spread across Stewert Island, Kermadec Island, Aukland Island, Antipodes Island, Bounty Island, Chatham Island, and Campbell Island. The remaining 416 square miles are strictly water regions.

About 281,645 people currently live in New Caledonia, and though over two-hundred-thousand people sounds like a hefty population, New Caledonia's population accounts for even less than 1% of the global population.

New Caledonia - Location and Highlights

  1. UN World Population Prospects (2019 Revision) - United Nations population estimates and projections.
  2. City Population - Population Statistics in Maps and Charts for Cities - City Population - Population Statistics in Maps and Charts for Cities, Agglomerations and Administrative Divisions of all Countries of the World
  3. GeoNames Gazetteer