Overseas administrative-territorial entity of France with a special status. The former colony of France, where the issue of granting independence in the conditions of the disintegration of the colonial system turned to controversies primarily because of the huge resettlements within the region. It includes a large island of the same name and a group of small islands located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, in Melanesia.
The island’s economy is based on the nickel mining and tourism. The level of GRP per capita is quite high, although it lags behind the average French level. Autonomy receives significant subsidies from the French budget.
Melanesians (Kanaks) comprise about 40% of the population, while natives of France (both descendants of earlier settlers, and those moved to New Caledonia recently) - about 30%. The official language of New Caledonia is French. At the same time on the islands you can find 33 Melanesian and Polynesian dialects.
In the Parliament (Territorial Congress) of New Caledonia, the strength of opponents and supporters of obtaining full independence by the country is almost equal. The regional plebiscite, on which the issue of the independence of New Caledonia will be made, according to the statements of French authorities, should be held no later than the end of 2018.