Fiji Population: 915,303

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 History
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 2000 ushered in a prolonged period of political turmoil. Parliamentary elections held in 2001 provided Fiji with a democratically elected government led by Prime Minister Laisenia QARASE. Reelected 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. Following years of political turmoil, long-delayed legislative elections were held in September 2014 that were deemed "credible" by international observers and that resulted in BAINIMARAMA being reelected.

 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:
Natural resources: timber, fish, gold, copper, offshore oil potential, hydropower
Land use: agricultural land: 23.3% arable land 9%; permanent crops 4.7%; permanent pasture 9.6% forest: 55.7%
other: 21% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 40 sq km (2012)
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: iTaukei 56.8% (predominantly Melanesian with a Polynesian admixture), Indian 37.5%, Rotuman 1.2%, other 4.5% (European, part European, other Pacific Islanders, Chinese) note: a 2010 law replaces 'Fijian' with 'iTuakei' when referring to the original and native settlers of Fiji (2007 est.)
Languages: English (official), Fijian (official), Hindustani
Religions: Protestant 45% (Methodist 34.6%, Assembly of God 5.7%, Seventh Day Adventist 3.9%, and Anglican 0.8%), Hindu 27.9%, other Christian 10.4%, Roman Catholic 9.1%, Muslim 6.3%, Sikh 0.3%, other 0.3%, none 0.8% (2007 est.)
Population: 915,303 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 27.88% (male 130,414/female 124,774)
15-24 years: 16.42% (male 76,709/female 73,565)
25-54 years: 41.11% (male 192,605/female 183,681)
55-64 years: 8.29% (male 38,427/female 37,412)
65 years and over: 6.31% (male 26,534/female 31,182) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 52.8%
youth dependency ratio: 43.9%
elderly dependency ratio: 8.9%
potential support ratio: 11.2% (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 28.6 years
male: 28.4 years
female: 28.8 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.63% (2016 est.)
Birth rate: 19 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate: 6.1 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate: -6.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 53.7% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.45% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: SUVA (capital) 176,000 (2014)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 30 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 9.7 deaths/1,000 live births male: 10.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 8.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 72.7 years male: 70 years
female: 75.5 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.44 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Health expenditures: 4.5% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density: 0.43 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
Hospital bed density: 2 beds/1,000 population (2009)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 99.5% of population
rural: 91.2% of population
total: 95.7% of population

unimproved:
urban: 0.5% of population
rural: 8.8% of population
total: 4.3% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 93.4% of population
rural: 88.4% of population
total: 91.1% of population

unimproved:
urban: 6.6% of population
rural: 11.6% of population
total: 8.9% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.13% (2014 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 700 (2014 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: fewer than 100 (2014 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 35.9% (2014)
Education expenditures: 3.9% of GDP (2013)
Literacy:
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 18.7% male: 14.8%
female: 25.4% (2007 est.)
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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
etymology: the Fijians called their home Viti, but the neighboring Tongans called it Fisi, and in the Anglicized spelling of the Tongan pronunciation - promulgated by explorer Captain James COOK - the designation became Fiji
Government type: parliamentary 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: 14 provinces and 1 dependency*; Ba, Bua, Cakaudrove, Kadavu, Lau, Lomaiviti, Macuata, Nadroga and Navosa, Naitasiri, Namosi, Ra, Rewa, Rotuma*, Serua, Tailevu
Independence: 10 October 1970 (from the UK)
National holiday: Constitution Day, 7 September; Fiji (independence) Day, 10 October (1970)
Constitution: several previous; latest signed into law September 2013 (2016)
Legal system: common law system based on the English model
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Jioji Konousi KONROTE (since 12 November 2015)

head of government: Prime Minister Voreqe "Frank" BAINIMARAMA (since 22 September 2014)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister from among members of Parliament and is responsible to Parliament elections/appointments: under the constitution, president elected by the Parliament for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); prime minister appointed by the president

election results: Jioji Konousi KONROTE elected 12 Ocotber 2015 defeating Ratu Epeli GANILAU 31 to 14
Legislative branch: description: unicameral Parliament (50 seats; members directly elected in a nationwide, multi-seat constituency by open-list proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms; the new constitution of 2013 restructured Parliament from bicameral to unicameral

elections: last held on 17 September 2014 (next to be held in 2019)

election results: percent of vote by party - Fiji First 59.2%, SDL 28.2%, National Federation Party 5.5%, other 7.1%; seats by party - Fiji First 32, SDL 15, National Federation Party 3
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) 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 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; puisne 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: FijiFirst [Aiyaz SAYED-KHAIYUM] Fiji Labor Party or FLP [Mahendra CHAUDHRY] Fiji United Freedon Party or FUFP [Jagath KARUNARATNE] National Federation Party or NFP [Dalip KUMAR] (primarily Indian) Peoples Democratic Party or PDP [Adi Sivia QORO] Social Democratic Liberal Party or SODELPA [Pio TABAIWALU]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Group Against Racial Discrimination or GARD [Dr. Anirudk SINGH] (suports restoration of a democratic government) Viti Landowners Association
International organization participation: ACP, ADB, AOSIS, C, CP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, OPCW, PCA, PIF, Sparteca (suspended), SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMISS, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National symbol(s): Fijian canoe; national color: light blue
National anthem: name: "God Bless Fiji"
lyrics/music: Michael Francis Alexander PRESCOTT/C. Austin MILES (adapted by Michael Francis Alexander PRESCOTT)

note: adopted 1970; 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 Solo MARA (since 28 January 2016)
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 Judith CEFKIN (since 3 February 2015); note - also accredited to Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu
embassy: 158 Princes Rd, Tamavua
mailing address: P. O. Box 218, Suva
telephone: [679] 331-4466
FAX: [679] 330-8685
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 Economy
Fiji, endowed with forest, mineral, and fish resources, is one of the most developed and connected of the Pacific island economies. Earnings from the tourism industry, with an estimated 755,000 tourists visiting in 2015, and remittances from Fijian’s working abroad are the country’s largest foreign exchange earners. Fiji's sugar remains a significant industry and a major export. The sugar industry reforms since 2010 have improved productivity and returns, but the industry faces the complete withdrawal of European Union preferential prices by 2017. Fiji’s trade imbalance continues to widen with increased imports and sluggish performance of domestic exports. The return to parliamentary democracy and successful elections in September 2014 have boosted investor confidence. Private sector investment in 2015 exceeded 20% of GDP, compared to 13% in 2013.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $8.374 billion (2016 est.) $8.17 billion (2015 est.) $7.833 billion (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $4.556 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 2.5% (2016 est.) 4.3% (2015 est.) 5.3% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $9,400 (2016 est.) $9,200 (2015 est.) $8,800 (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving: 12.3% of GDP (2016 est.) 8.8% of GDP (2015 est.) 7% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 72.5%
government consumption: 11%
investment in fixed capital: 20.5%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 50.4%
imports of goods and services: -54.4% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 72.5%
government consumption: 11%
investment in fixed capital: 20.5%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 50.4%
imports of goods and services: -54.4% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - products: sugarcane, coconuts, cassava (manioc, tapioca), rice, sweet potatoes, bananas; cattle, pigs, horses, goats; fish
Industries: tourism, sugar, clothing, copra, gold, silver, lumber, small cottage industries
Industrial production growth rate: 1.5% (2016 est.)
Labor force: 350.1 (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 70% industry and
services: 30% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate: 8.8% (2014 est.) 8.7% (2013 est.)
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: $1.232 billion
expenditures: $1.469 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 27% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt: 50.2% of GDP (2016 est.) 48.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.1% (2016 est.) 1.4% (2015 est.)
Current account balance: -$329 million (2016 est.) -$235 million (2015 est.)
Exports: $986.3 million (2016 est.) $1.233 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commodities: sugar, garments, gold, timber, fish, molasses, coconut oil, mineral water
Exports - partners: US 13.4%, Australia 10.2%, Samoa 6.7%, Tonga 5.9% (2015)
Imports: $2.397 billion (2016 est.) $2.283 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commodities: manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, petroleum products, food, chemicals
Imports - partners: China 16.2%, South Korea 15.7%, NZ 14%, Australia 13.4%, Singapore 8.7%, France 7% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $884 million (31 December 2016 est.) $918.8 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external: $833.4 million (31 December 2016 est.) $820.1 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $4.347 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $4.047 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $192.6 million (31 December 2016 est.) $189.6 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $452.5 million (31 December 2012 est.) $392.2 million (31 December 2011 est.) $418.8 million (31 December 2010 est.)
Exchange rates: Fijian dollars (FJD) per US dollar - 2.11 (2016 est.) 2.0976 (2015 est.) 2.0976 (2014 est.) 1.8874 (2013 est.) 1.79 (2012 est.)
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 Energy
Electricity - production: 900 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 800 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 300,000 kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 46.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 48.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 5.4% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 16,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 15,970 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 1.7 million Mt (2013 est.)
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 Communications
Cellular Phones in use: total: 966,000 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 106 (July 2015 est.)
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; subject to occasional devastating cyclones

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-line and mobile-cellular teledensity roughly 115 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) (2015)
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 an (2009)
Internet country code: .fj
Internet users: total: 421,000 percent of population: 46.3% (July 2015 est.)
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 Transportation
Airports: 28 (2013)
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: 1,686 km
unpaved: 1,754 km (2011)
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)
Military expenditures: 1.47% of GDP (2012) 1.44% of GDP (2011) 1.47% of GDP (2010)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: none
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