Fiji Population: 896,758

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 Background
Fiji became independent in 1970 after nearly a century as a British colony. Democratic rule was interrupted by two military coups in 1987 caused by concern over a government perceived as dominated by the Indian community (descendants of contract laborers brought to the islands by the British in the 19th century). The coups and a 1990 constitution that cemented native Melanesian control of Fiji led to heavy Indian emigration; the population loss resulted in economic difficulties, but ensured that Melanesians became the majority. A new constitution enacted in 1997 was more equitable. Free and peaceful elections in 1999 resulted in a government led by an Indo-Fijian, but a civilian-led coup in May 2000 ushered in a prolonged period of political turmoil. Parliamentary elections held in August 2001 provided Fiji with a democratically elected government led by Prime Minister Laisenia QARASE. Re-elected in May 2006, QARASE was ousted in a December 2006 military coup led by Commodore Voreqe BAINIMARAMA, who initially appointed himself acting president but in January 2007 became interim prime minister. Since taking power BAINIMARAMA has neutralized his opponents, crippled Fiji's democratic institutions, and initially refused to hold elections. In 2012, he promised to hold elections in 2014.

 Geography
Includes 332 islands; approximately 110 are inhabited
Location: Oceania, island group in the South Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand
Geographic coordinates: 18 00 S, 175 00 E
Area: total: 18,274 sq km land: 18,274 sq km water: 0 sq km

Size comparison: slightly smaller than New Jersey
Land Boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 1,129 km
Maritime claims: measured from claimed archipelagic straight baselines territorial sea: 12 nm exclusive economic zone: 200 nm continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation; rectilinear shelf claim added
Climate: tropical marine; only slight seasonal temperature variation
Terrain: mostly mountains of volcanic origin
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m highest point: Tomanivi 1,324 m
Natural resources: timber, fish, gold, copper, offshore oil potential, hydropower
Land use: arable land: 9.17% permanent crops: 4.65% other: 86.17% (2011)
Irrigated land: 30 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards: cyclonic storms can occur from November to January
Current Environment Issues: deforestation; soil erosion
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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 People
Nationality: noun: Fijian(s) adjective: Fijian
Ethnic groups: Fijian 57.3% (predominantly Melanesian with a Polynesian admixture), Indian 37.6%, Rotuman 1.2%, other 3.9% (European, other Pacific Islanders, Chinese) (2007 census)
Languages: English (official), Fijian (official), Hindustani
Religions: Protestant 55.4% (Methodist 34.6%, Assembly of God 5.7%, Seventh-Day Adventist 3.9%, Anglican 0.8%, other 10.4%), Hindu 27.9%, Roman Catholic 9.1%, Muslim 6.3%, Sikh 0.3%, other or unspecified 0.3%, none 0.7% (2007 census)
Population: 896,758 (July 2013 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 28.4% (male 129,938/female 124,374) 15-24 years: 17.4% (male 79,597/female 76,080) 25-54 years: 41.1% (male 188,488/female 179,760) 55-64 years: 7.6% (male 34,251/female 33,753) 65 years and over: 5.6% (male 23,212/female 27,305) (2013 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 52.2 % youth dependency ratio: 43.9 % elderly dependency ratio: 8.3 % potential support ratio: 12.1 (2013)
Median age: total: 27.6 years
male: 27.4 years female: 27.8 years (2013 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.73% (2013 est.)
Birth rate: 20.28 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Death rate: 5.96 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Net migration rate: -6.99 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 52% of total population (2010) rate of urbanization: 1.3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: SUVA (capital) 174,000 (2009)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female 0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 55-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 26 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Infant mortality rate: total: 10.46 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 11.53 deaths/1,000 live births female: 9.33 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 71.87 years
male: 69.26 years female: 74.62 years (2013 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.54 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Health expenditures: 4.9% of GDP (2010)
Physicians density: 0.45 physicians/1,000 population (2003)
Hospital bed density: 2.1 beds/1,000 population (2009)
Drinking water source: improved: urban: 100% of population rural: 95% of population total: 98% of population unimproved: urban: 0% of population rural: 5% of population total: 2% of population (2010 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved: urban: 94% of population rural: 71% of population total: 83% of population unimproved: urban: 6% of population rural: 29% of population total: 17% of population (2010 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: fewer than 1,000 (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: fewer than 100 (2009 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 30.6% (2008)
Education expenditures: 4.1% of GDP (2011)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.7% male: 95.5% female: 91.9% (2003 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 15.7 years (2011)
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 Government
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Fiji conventional short form: Fiji local long form: Republic of Fiji/Matanitu ko Viti local short form: Fiji/Viti
Government type: republic
Capital: name: Suva (on Viti Levu) geographic coordinates: 18 08 S, 178 25 E time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time) daylight saving time: +1hr, begins fourth Sunday in October; ends third Sunday in January
Administrative divisions: 4 divisions and 1 dependency*; Central, Eastern, Northern, Rotuma*, Western
Independence: 10 October 1970 (from the UK)
National holiday: Independence Day, second Monday of October (1970)
Constitution: enacted 25 July 1997; effective 28 July 1998; note - constitution encourages multiculturalism and makes multiparty government mandatory
Legal system: common law system based on the English model
Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Ratu Epeli NAILATIKAU (since 30 July 2009) head of government: Prime Minister Laisenia QARASE (since 10 September 2000); note - although QARASE is still the legal prime minister, he has been confined to his home island; former President ILOILOVATU appointed Commodore Voreqe "Frank" BAINIMARAMA interim prime minister under the military regime cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister from among the members of Parliament and responsible to Parliament; note - coup leader Commodore Voreqe BAINIMARAMA has appointed an interim cabinet (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: under the constitution, president elected by the Great Council of Chiefs for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); in 2007 the Great Council of Chiefs was suspended from its role in electing the president; prime minister appointed by the president election results: Ratu Epeli NAILATIKAU was appointed by Chief Justice Anthony GATES
Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (32 seats; 14 members appointed by the president on the advice of the Great Council of Chiefs, 9 appointed by the president on the advice of the Prime Minister, 8 on the advice of the opposition leader, and 1 appointed on the advice of the council of Rotuma) and the House of Representatives (71 seats; 23 members reserved for ethnic Fijians, 19 reserved for ethnic Indians, 3 reserved for other ethnic groups, 1 reserved for the council of Rotuma constituency encompassing the whole of Fiji, and 25 open seats; members serve five-year terms) elections: House of Representatives - last held on 6-13 May 2006 (long delayed, the next elections reportedly will be held in 2014) election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - SDL 44.6%, FLP 39.2%, UPP 0.8%, independents 4.9%, other 10.5%; seats by party - SDL 36, FLP 31, UPP 2, independents 2
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice, all justices of the Court of Appeal, and judges appointed specifically as Supreme Court judges); Court of Appeal (consists of the court president, all puisne judges of the High Court, and judges specifically appointed to the Court of Appeal); High Court (chaired by the chief justice and includes a minimum of 10 puisne judges; High Court organized into civil, criminal, family, employment, and tax divisions) note - in 1987, the Supreme Court assumed functions formerly performed by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London) judge selection and term of office: chief justice appointed by the president of Fiji on the advice of the prime minister following consultation with the parliamentary leader of the opposition; judges of the Supreme Court, the president of the Court of Appeal, the justices of the Court of Appeal, and puisne judges of the High Court are appointed by the president of Fiji, upon the nomination of the Judicial Service Commission, after consulting with the cabinet minister and the committee of the House of Representatives responsible for the administration of justice; the chief justice, Supreme Court judges, and justices of Appeal generally required to retire at age 70, but may be waived for one or more sessions of the court; puisine judges appointed for not less than 4 years nor more than 7 years with mandatory retirement at age 65 subordinate courts: Magistrates' Court (organized into civil, criminal, juvenile, and small claims divisions)
Political parties and leaders: Dodonu Ni Taukei Party or DNT [Fereti S. DEWA] Fiji Democratic Party or FDP [Filipe BOLE] (a merger of the Christian Democrat Alliance or VLV [Poesci Waqalevu BUNE], Fijian Association Party or FAP, Fijian Political Party or SVT [Sitiveni RABUKA] (primarily Fijian), and New Labor Unity Party or NLUP [Ofa SWANN]) Fiji Labor Party or FLP [Mahendra CHAUDHRY] General Voters Party or GVP (became part of United General Party) Girmit Heritage Party or GHP Justice and Freedom Party or AIM Lio 'On Famor Rotuma Party or LFR National Federation Party or NFP [Pramond RAE] (primarily Indian) Nationalist Vanua Takolavo Party or NVTLP [Saula TELAWA] Party of National Unity or PANU [Ponipate LESAVUA] Party of the Truth or POTT United Fiji Party/Sogosogo Duavata ni Lewenivanua or SDL [Laisenia QARASE] United Peoples Party or UPP [Millis Mick BEDDOES]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Group Against Racial Discrimination or GARD [Dr. Anirudk SINGH] (for restoration of a democratic government) Viti Landowners Association
International organization participation: ACP, ADB, AOSIS, C (suspended), CP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PCA, PIF, Sparteca (suspended), SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMISS, UNMIT, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National symbol(s):
National anthem: name: "God Bless Fiji" lyrics/music: Michael Francis Alexander PRESCOTT/C. Austin MILES (adapted by Michael Francis Alexander PRESCOTT) note: adopted 1970; the anthem is known in Fijian as "Meda Dau Doka" (Let Us Show Pride); adapted from the hymn, "Dwelling in Beulah Land," the anthem's English lyrics are generally sung, although they differ in meaning from the official Fijian lyrics
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Winston THOMPSON chancery: 2000 M Street, NW, Suite 710, Washington, DC 20036 telephone: [1] (202) 466-8320 FAX: [1] (202) 466-8325
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Frankie A. REED embassy: 158 Princes Rd, Tamavua mailing address: P. O. Box 218, Suva telephone: [679] 331-4466 FAX: [679] 330-2267
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 Economy
Fiji, endowed with forest, mineral, and fish resources, is one of the most developed of the Pacific island economies though still with a large subsistence sector. Sugar exports, remittances from Fijians working abroad, and a growing tourist industry - with 400,000 to 500,000 tourists annually - are the major sources of foreign exchange. Fiji's sugar has special access to European Union markets but will be harmed by the EU's decision to cut sugar subsidies. Sugar processing makes up one-third of industrial activity but is not efficient. Fiji's tourism industry was damaged by the December 2006 coup and is facing an uncertain recovery time. In 2007 tourist arrivals were down almost 6%, with substantial job losses in the service sector, and GDP dipped. The coup has created a difficult business climate. The EU has suspended all aid until the interim government takes steps toward new elections. Long-term problems include low investment, uncertain land ownership rights, and the government's inability to manage its budget. Overseas remittances from Fijians working in Kuwait and Iraq have decreased significantly. Fiji's current account deficit peaked at 23% of GDP in 2006, and declined to 12.5% of GDP in 2012.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $4.373 billion (2012 est.) $4.283 billion (2011 est.) $4.205 billion (2010 est.) note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $3.996 billion (2012 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 2.1% (2012 est.) 1.9% (2011 est.) 0.1% (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $4,900 (2012 est.) $4,800 (2011 est.) $4,700 (2010 est.) note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 76.6% government consumption: 13.7% investment in fixed capital: 19.3% investment in inventories: 0% exports of goods and services: 40.7% imports of goods and services: -50.2% (2012 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 76.6% government consumption: 13.7% investment in fixed capital: 19.3% investment in inventories: 0% exports of goods and services: 40.7% imports of goods and services: -50.2% (2012 est.)
Agriculture - products: sugarcane, coconuts, cassava (manioc), rice, sweet potatoes, bananas; cattle, pigs, horses, goats; fish
Industries: tourism, sugar, clothing, copra, gold, silver, lumber, small cottage industries
Industrial production growth rate: 4%
Labor force: 335,000 (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 70% industry and services: 30% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate: 7.6% (1999)
Population below poverty line: 31% (2009 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.6% highest 10%: 34.9% (2009 est.)
Budget: revenues: $1.062 billion expenditures: $1.229 billion (2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 26.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
Public debt: 48.2% of GDP (2012 est.) 54.1% of GDP (2011 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5% (2012 est.) 8.7% (2011 est.)
Current account balance: -$493.4 million (2012 est.) -$428.8 million (2011 est.)
Exports: $991.6 million (2012 est.) $901.5 million (2011 est.)
Exports - commodities: sugar, garments, gold, timber, fish, molasses, coconut oil
Exports - partners: US 13.3%, Australia 12%, Japan 6.3%, Samoa 5.8%, Tonga 5.1% (2012)
Imports: $1.938 billion (2012 est.) $1.762 billion (2011 est.)
Imports - commodities: manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, petroleum products, food, chemicals
Imports - partners: Singapore 32.6%, Australia 15.4%, NZ 14.4%, China 10.7% (2012)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $1.007 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $833.5 million (31 December 2011 est.)
Debt - external: $661.9 million (31 December 2012 est.) $860.7 million (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $NA
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $NA
Market value of publicly traded shares: $1.372 billion (31 December 2011) $1.404 billion (31 December 2010) $1.607 billion (31 December 2009)
Exchange rates: Fijian dollars (FJD) per US dollar - 1.7899 (2012 est.) 1.7932 (2011 est.) 1.9183 (2010 est.)
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 Energy
Electricity - production: 869.1 million kWh (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 151
Electricity - consumption: 753.4 million kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 219,100 kW (2009 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 54.8% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 38.8% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 6.4% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 17,810 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 1,739 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 16,110 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 2.5 million Mt (2010 est.)
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 Communications
Telephones in use: 129,800 (2011) country comparison to the world: 142
Cellular Phones in use: 727,000 (2011)
Telephone system: general assessment: modern local, interisland, and international (wire/radio integrated) public and special-purpose telephone, telegraph, and teleprinter facilities; regional radio communications center domestic: telephone or radio telephone links to almost all inhabited islands; most towns and large villages have automatic telephone exchanges and direct dialing; combined fixed and mobile-cellular teledensity roughly 100 per 100 persons international: country code - 679; access to important cable links between US and Canada as well as between NZ and Australia; satellite earth stations - 2 Inmarsat (Pacific Ocean) (2011)
Broadcast media: Fiji TV, a publicly traded company, operates a free-to-air channel as well as Sky Fiji and Sky Pacific multi-channel pay-TV services; state-owned commercial company, Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, Ltd, operates 6 radio stations - 2 public broadcasters and 4 commercial broadcasters with multiple repeaters; 5 radio stations with repeaters operated by Communications Fiji, Ltd; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are available (2009)
Internet country code: .fj
Internet hosts: 21,739 (2012)
Internet users: 114,200 (2009)
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 Transportation
Airports: 28 (2013) country comparison to the world: 121
Airports (paved runways): total 4
over 3,047 m: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 24
914 to 1,523 m: 5 under 914 m: 19 (2013)
Railways: total 597 km
narrow gauge: 597 km 0.600-m gauge note: belongs to the government-owned Fiji Sugar Corporation; used to haul sugarcane during the harvest season, which runs from May to December (2008)
Roadways: total 3,440 km
paved: 1,692 km unpaved: 1,748 km (2000)
Waterways: 203 km (122 km are navigable by motorized craft and 200-metric-ton barges) (2012)
Merchant marine: total 11
by type: passenger 4, passenger/cargo 4, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 2 foreign-owned: 2 (Australia 2) (2010)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Lautoka, Levuka, Suva
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 Military
Military branches: Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF): Land Forces, Naval Forces (2011)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for voluntary military service; mandatory retirement at age 55 (2013)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 233,240 females age 16-49: 222,587 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 183,730 females age 16-49: 188,325 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually: male: 8,403 female: 8,039 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures: 1.6% of GDP (2012)
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 Transnational Issues
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