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You are in:  Nations > Oceania > Fiji
Fiji*Fiji flag
Basic facts
The country 
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Capital: Suva
Area: 18,376 sq km; 7,095 sq miles
Population: 823,376 (2000 Estimate)
Urbanisation: Urban 42 per cent (1998 Estimate); Rural 58 per cent (1998 Estimate)


Exports: Sugar, clothing, gold, processed fish, timber, coconut

Industry: Sugar, tourism, copra, gold, silver, clothing, timber, small cottage industries

Agriculture: Sugar cane, coconuts, cassava, rice, sweet potatoes, potatoes, bananas; cattle, pigs, horses, goats

Currency: 1 Fiji dollar (F$), consisting of 100 cents

Natural resources: Timber, fish, gold, copper, silver, offshore oil potential


The people

Ethnic: Fijian 50 per cent, Indian 45 per cent, European, other Pacific Islander, Chinese, other 5 per cent

Language: English (official), Fijian, Hindustani. English is the official language, although Fijian and Hindustani (an Indian language) are widely spoken. The Hindustani spoken in Fiji Islands is called Fiji Bat or "Fiji Talk" and differs slightly from that spoken in India. Fijian can be written in two different ways, one of which is more phonetic than the other. For instance, the letter "b" is pronounced with an "m" sound before it, as in the case of the town Ba, which can be written Ba or Mba. Also, a "q" is usually pronounced "ngg", as in yaqona. English spoken among the people often includes words and phrases from Fijian, Hindustani and other languages.

Religion: Hindu 39 per cent, Methodist 37 per cent, Roman Catholic 9 per cent, Muslim 8 per cent, Other Christian 6 per cent, Other 1 per cent


The history

Independence:  10 October 1970 (from the United Kingdom)

Government: Fiji Islands has been a republic since 1987. The head of state is the President. The 1990 constitution provided for a bicameral legislature in which native Fijians were guaranteed more than half the seats. A supreme court heads the judicial branch.

*Cook Islands
*New Zealand
*Norfolk Islands
*Papua New Guinea
*Solomon Islands
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