The Fiji Islands are strategically located at the crossroads of the Western Pacific routes. Of volcanic and coral origin, they are made up of four main islands (Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni and Kadavu). There are 320 islands and atolls in the group, in addition to 480 islets, but only 150 islands are inhabited. The extinct volcanoes produce wonderful reliefs, the highest being, the 1324 m Tomaniivi (Mount Victoria), in Viti Levu, where Suva is also the capital. Coral reefs surround most of the islands that line the rainforest on the slopes and prairies. The landscape has already been heavily wooded, but many trees have been felled or burned to make way for pasture, exposing the soil to erosion. Over 60% of the soil is covered by forests. The archipelago has an area of 18 270 km2. The most important cities in the archipelago are Suva, with 178,600 residents (2004), Lautoka (46,000 residents), Nadi (32,800 residents), Labasa (25,600 residents) and Nausori (23,000 residents).
The climate is tropical, with high humidity and low thermal fluctuations throughout the year.
Tourism has become an industry. the tropical sun, tempered by the sea breezes and the coral strands are natural resources that attract visitors. Traditional industries are centered around the cultivation of sugar cane, which is the main export product. Fiji has a modern and most developed economy in the South Pacific. Its main trading partners are Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the United States of America.
Environmental indicator: the value of carbon dioxide emissions, per capita (metric tons, 1999), is 0.9.
In 2006, the Fiji Islands had 905,949 residents (est. 2006), which corresponds to a population density of 48.9 residents / km2. The birth and death rates are respectively 22.5% and 5.65%. Average life expectancy is 69.82 years. The value of the Human Development Index (HDI) is 0.754 and the value of the Gender-adjusted Development Index (IDG) is 0.743 (2001). It is estimated that, in 2025, the population will be 1 153 000 residents. Three of the main islands (Viti, Levu and Vanua Levu) comprise 90% of the population. The main ethnic groups are Fijians (51%) and Indians (44%) and others (5%). The dominant religions are Christian (53%) and Hindu (44%). The official language is English although Fijian is also spoken.
Dutch explorer Abel Tasman was the first European visitor in 1643, Captain Cook arrived in 1774, but exploration of the islands did not begin until 1792. Whalers and merchants in search of sandalwood and sea cucumbers arrived later. Rifles were sold to these unstable and aggressive people, exacerbating the inter-island conflicts that in 1874 led Britain to intervene, not only at the insistence of European colonists but also to remove French and American interests on the islands. The British agreed to depose the chief warlord, King Cakobau, who needed money for the war, and Fiji became an English colony from 1874 to 1970. They were considered the eyes of the English Colonial Empire in the South Pacific. The capital , Suva, was the administrative and political center of Oceania, of British influence. For Fiji democracy and rights, please check localbusinessexplorer.
Fijian natives, mainly Melanesians and Polynesians, were outnumbered by the descendants of sugar cane plantation workers brought from India, which would create racial tensions that were controlled by Britain. The electoral statute did not allow dominance of any ethnic group, although it gave the natives a special status.
In 1987, the Melanesians feared that the government, with an Indian majority, would change its status as Taukei, which means “owners” in their language; this led Colonel Rabuka to head a coup d’état, which deposed the prime minister and the governor-general. On October 6, 1987, Colonel Rabuka proclaimed Fiji a republic and in 1990 a new constitution came into force. In 1992 the elections returned civilians to power.
- Countryaah.com: Offers a full list of airports in the country of Fiji, sorted by city location and acronyms.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Provides most commonly used abbreviations and initials containing the country name of Fiji. Listed by popularity.
1UpTravel.com – Maps of Fiji
Check out the maps of this island territory in the South Pacific Ocean. Check out the shaded relief map of Fiji.
Fiji – Fiji Visitors Bureau Map
View a map of the islands that make up the country of Fiji. Link to detailed tourist information.
Fiji – Rotuma Maps
Focuses on Rotuma, northwest of the major islands if Fiji. Rotuma is politically part of Fiji but culturally closer to the Polynesian islands.
Fiji Islands – National Geographic
Check out a satellite created physical map of this island territory with zooming ability.