With around 37.1 million inhabitants, the population of Oceania is the second
smallest among the continents has the smallest
population), corresponding to only 0.5% of the world population. Demographic
growth is 1.3% per year and the majority of inhabitants live in urban areas:
In countries like Australia and New Zealand, inhabitants of European descent
predominate, especially Britons. The native population, represented by
Australian Aborigines and New Zealand Maoris, has been virtually
decimated. In other countries, there are still a large number of natives.
As stated on
Countryaah, Oceania is formed by 14 countries, which occupy an area of 8,526,462 square
kilometers. The demographic density, obtained by dividing the total population
by the area, is approximately 4.3 inhabitants per square kilometer, therefore,
the continent is sparsely populated.
In addition to being sparsely populated and sparsely populated, another
feature of Oceania is the difference in the number of inhabitants between
countries. The Australia, for example, is home to more than 60%
of the continental population with 25,511,888 inhabitants. On the other hand,
Nauru, the least populous nation in Oceania, has only 9,976 inhabitants.
Papua New Guinea and New Zealand are other populous countries on the
continent, with 6.8 million and 4.3 million inhabitants, respectively. If we add
the population of the other 11 countries, we will have a number of less than 2.3
Another contrast detected in the population of Oceania is in relation to the
level of socioeconomic development. Australia and New Zealand enjoy a high
standard, a fact verified in the high Human Development Indexes (HDI) of these
nations, with Australia occupying the second place in the world ranking; and New
Zealand, the third position. The other countries, with the exception of Tonga,
have medium or low HDI.
Fiji, Republic of the Southwest Pacific, in Melanesia ca. 2000 kilometers
northeast of New Zealand. Fiji is an island state with 855 islands and islets
spread over 194,000 square kilometers; the land area amounts to 18,274 square
kilometers. Neighboring states are Vanuatu in the west, New Caledonia in the
southwest, New Zealand in the south, Tonga in the east, Samoa (and the Wallis
and Futuna territories) in the northeast, and Tuvalu in the north.
The main islands are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. The capital is Suva.
Fiji is a multicultural society. Since a coup in 1987, unrest has
characterized the country. A democratic election was held in 2014.
Fiji (the name) is a distortion of Melanesian: 'Viti', after the island of
National anthem is ' God Bless Fiji ' ('God Bless Fiji').
Geography and environment
Fiji is the easternmost group of high volcanic islands surrounded by coral
eastwards from New Guinea. The two largest islands with most of the population
are Viti Levu with the capital Suva and Vanua Levu. Many of the smaller islands
are flat coral islands. The highest mountain is Tomanivi, 1323 meters above sea
level, on Viti Levu.
The biggest environmental problem is soil erosion due to forest harvesting.
The climate is tropical sea climate with humid heat swallowed by the
southeastern pass. The average temperature is 23 degrees in July-August and 27
degrees in January-March; temperatures fluctuate slightly. In the highlands it
can get considerably colder.
Average annual rainfall is from 1400 millimeters in the west to more than
5000 millimeters in the east. It rains most from November to April, but rain
showers occur throughout the year. Each year, there is an average of one
Large parts of the largest islands are covered by rainforest, especially in
the southeast. Especially in the east there are mangrove mushrooms. In dry areas
there are more scattered forest and grass. More than half of the land area is
Bats are the only native land mammals. Mangust was introduced to combat
introduced rats. There are lost cats, dogs, goats and pigs. About 90 bird
species nest around 90. The reefs have a rich fauna including fish, corals and
People and society
About 70 percent of the population lives on Viti Levu and 17 percent on Vanua
Levu. 56.8 per cent of the inhabitants are of Melanesian-Polynesian origin while
37.5 per cent are descendants of Indians. There are small groups of European and
Chinese descent and minorities from other Pacific islands. The relationship
between ethnic Fijians and Indo-Fijians is tense and characterizes political
52.5 per cent of the population lives in cities and almost 20 per cent of the
entire population of Suva (2011). 110 islands are inhabited.
Life expectancy at birth is 74.91 years for women and 69.53 years for men
(2014). Almost half the population is under 25. Annual population growth is
about 0.8 per cent (2013).
English, Fijian and Hindu are official languages.
45 percent of the population goes to the Protestant church; most are
Methodists. 27.9 percent are Hindus, 19.5 percent are other Christians and 6.3
percent are Muslims.
State and politics
Fiji is a democratic republic. The head of state is a president who is
elected for 5 years and can be re-elected once (in 2007, the role of the Tribal
Council in presidential elections was suspended). The National Assembly consists
of the Senate (32 seats) and the House of Representatives (71 seats).
The constitution was suspended in 2009.
Fiji is divided into four 'divisions' (units) with a total of 14 provinces
and 1 'dependency' (possession): the island of Rotuma with internal autonomy.
Military service is voluntary; one can enlist from the age of 18. The
military forces are divided into land forces and naval forces.
Fiji is a member of the UN, the World Trade Organization and the Pacific
The first inhabitants came from Southeast Asia long before the Dutch explorer
Abel Tasman came to the islands in 1643. The 19th century was marked by tribal
wars. In 1871-1873, a vain attempt was made to establish a kingdom. Fiji became
a British crown colony in 1874. From the 1880s, the British brought in Indian
contract workers for the sugar cane plantations. In 1875-1878, a measles
epidemic killed a third of Fiji's population. Immigration of Indians stopped in
Fiji gained inner self-government in 1966 and full independence in 1970.
Political life has been characterized by great ethnic contradictions between
Fijians and Indians. The ethnic conflict was sharpened after the
Indian-dominated parties' election victory in 1987. The military seized power by
two coups in 1987. A new constitution in 1990 gave native Melanesians more power
and a large portion of the Indian population emigrated. In 1999, general
elections were held where all ethnic groups had the right to vote. This led to a
government led by a Fiji Indian. The government was ousted through a coup in
2000. A new election in 2001 led to a democratically elected government. A
conflict arose between Fiji's government and the military, triggering a new coup
in 2006 and military rule by Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama.
In 2009, the country was suspended from the Commonwealth. In the first
Democratic election on September 17, 2014, the party defeated FijiFirst by 59.2
percent of the vote and its leader Voreqe Bainimarama became prime minister.
Economy and business
Due to natural resources, Fiji has one of the Pacific's most developed
economies. Agriculture and fisheries employ about 40 percent of the workforce
and contribute about 15 percent of GDP. The most important agricultural products
are sugar, coconuts, ginger and rice. Of livestock most poultry, cattle and pigs
are kept. More than 80 percent of the land is owned by the Native Land Trust
Board under the control of the Fijian chieftains.
There is some forest industry on Viti Levu and gold is also extracted here.
Other industries include food processing, clothing and cement production.
The main import products are oil and oil products, machinery and consumables.
Main export products are sugar, gold, fish and clothing.
In recent decades, tourism has become increasingly important and today
accounts for around 30 per cent of GDP and employment.
Tourism and sugar exports are Fiji's main industries.
Knowledge and culture
There are 6-year elementary school, 4-year secondary school and 2-year high
school. All children attend elementary school. Higher education is offered by
the University of Southern Queensland, Fiji National University (FIT) and The
University of the South Pacific (USP). The language of instruction is English.
Six daily newspapers are published and there are several television stations
and radio stations. Newspapers are published in Fijian, English and Hindi.
The earliest Fijian literature was published in the late 1960s, such as
Raymond Pillai's short stories and Pio Manoa's poetry. Well-known modern authors
include Satendra Nandan, Sudesh Mishra and Joseph Veramo.
The earliest music was songs that often told stories that were passed down
from generation to generation and accompanied by traditional instruments. Today,
songs in Fijian, English and Hindi are popular. The most common musical
instruments are guitar, mandolin, ukulele and lalit drum.
Ceremonies and dance play important roles in Fijian tradition.
Weaving is an important art form, and beautiful rugs, baskets, hats and bags,
as well as tapestry are made.
Rugby and football are the most popular sports.