New Caledonia

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New Caledonia (French: Nouvelle-Calédonie)[nb 1] is a special collectivity of France located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, 1,210 km (750 mi) east of Australia and 16,136 km (10,026 mi) east ofMetropolitan France.[4] The archipelago, part of the Melanesia subregion, includes the main island of Grande Terre, the Loyalty Islands, the Chesterfield Islands, the Belep archipelago, theIsle of Pines, and a few remote islets.[5] The Chesterfield Islands are in the Coral Sea. Locals refer to Grande Terre as Le Caillou (“the pebble”).[6]

New Caledonia has a land area of 18,576 km2 (7,172 sq mi). Its population of 268,767 (Aug. 2014 census)[2] consists of a mix of Kanak people (the original inhabitants of New Caledonia), people of European descent (Caldoches and Metropolitan French), Polynesian people (mostlyWallisians), and Southeast Asian people, as well as a few people of Pied-Noir and Maghrebandescent. The capital of the territory is Nouméa.[4]

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