Fiji 1991Fiji

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Fiji - Introduction 1991
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Background: 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). A 1990 constitution favored native Melanesian control of Fiji but led to heavy Indian emigration; the population loss resulted in economic difficulties but ensured that Melanesians became the majority. Amendments enacted in 1991 made the constitution more equitable. Free and peaceful elections in 1991 resulted in a government led by an Indo-Fijian. Fiji has been a major contributor to UN peacekeeping missions in various parts of the world.

Fiji - Geography 1991
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Geographic coordinates

Map reference


Land boundaries: none

Coastline: 1,129 km

Maritime claims: (measured from claimed archipelagic baselines)
Continental shelf: 200 m (depth) or to depth of exploitation; rectilinear shelf claim added
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical marine; only slight seasonal temperature variation

Terrain: mostly mountains of volcanic origin


Natural resources: timber, fish, gold, copper; offshore oil potential
Land use

Land use: arable land: 8%; permanent crops: 5%; meadows and pastures 3%; forest and woodland 65%; other 19%; includes irrigated NEGL%

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards

Note: located 2,500 km north of New Zealand in the South Pacific Ocean

Fiji - People 1991
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Population: 744,006 (July 1991), growth rate 0.8% (1991)

Nationality: noun--Fijian(s; adjective--Fijian

Ethnic groups: Indian 49%, Fijian 46%, European, other Pacific Islanders, overseas Chinese, and other 5%

Languages: English (official; Fijian; Hindustani

Religions: Christian 52% (Methodist 37%, Roman Catholic 9%), Hindu 38%, Muslim 8%, other 2%; note--Fijians are mainly Christian, Indians are Hindu, and there is a Muslim minority (1986)

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate: 26 births/1000 population (1991)

Death rate: 7 deaths/1000 population (1991)

Net migration rate: - 12 migrants/1000 population (1991)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: subject to hurricanes from November to January; includes 332 islands of which approximately 110 are inhabited

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 19 deaths/1000 live births (1991)

Life expectancy at birth: 62 years male, 67 years female (1991)

Total fertility rate: 3.1 children born/woman (1991)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: 86% (male 90%, female 81%) age 15 and over can read and write (1985 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Fiji - Government 1991
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Fiji

Government type: military coup leader Major General Sitiveni Rabuka formally declared Fiji a republic on 6 October 1987

Capital: Suva

Administrative divisions: 4 divisions and 1 dependency*; Central, Eastern, Northern, Rotuma*, Western

Dependent areas

Independence: 10 October 1970 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 10 October (1970)

Constitution: 10 October 1970 (suspended 1 October 1987; a new Constitution was proposed on 23 September 1988 and promulgated on 25 July 1990

Legal system: based on British system

International law organization participation


Suffrage: none

Executive branch: Chief of State--President Ratu Sir Penaia Kanatabatu GANILAU (since 5 December 1987; Head of Government--Prime Minister Ratu Sir Kamisese MARA (since 5 December 1987; Deputy Prime Minister Josefata KAMIKAMICA (since NA October 1991; note--Ratu Sir Kamisese MARA served as prime minister from 10 October 1970 until the 5-11 April 1987 election; after a second coup led by Maj. Gen. Sitiveni RABUKA on 25 September 1987, Ratu Sir Kamisese MARA was reappointed as prime minister

Legislative branch: Fiji Military Force (FMF; Army, Navy, Police)

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders


Diplomatic representation
In the us: Charge d'Affaires Ratu Finau MARA; Chancery at Suite 240, 2,233 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,007; telephone (202) 337-8,320; there is a Fijian Consulate in New York; US--Ambassador Evelyn I. H. TEEGEN; Embassy at 31 Loftus Street, Suva (mailing address is P. O. Box 218, Suva; telephone [679] 314-466 or 314-069

Flag descriptionflag of Fiji: light blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Fijian shield centered on the outer half of the flag; the shield depicts a yellow lion above a white field quartered by the cross of Saint George featuring stalks of sugarcane, a palm tree, bananas, and a white dove Fiji FijiFiji

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Fiji - Economy 1991
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Economy overview: Fiji's economy is primarily agricultural, with a large subsistence sector. Sugar exports are a major source of foreign exchange and sugar processing accounts for one-third of industrial output. Industry, including sugar milling, contributes 13% to GDP. Fiji traditionally had earned considerable sums of hard currency from the 250,000 tourists who visited each year. In 1987, however, after two military coups, the economy went into decline. GDP dropped by 7.8% in 1987 and by another 2.5% in 1988; political uncertainty created a drop in tourism, and the worst drought of the century caused sugar production to fall sharply. In contrast, sugar and tourism turned in strong performances in 1989, and the economy rebounded vigorously. In 1990 the economy received a setback from cyclone Sina which cut sugar output by an estimated 21%.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: accounts for 23% of GDP; principal cash crop is sugarcane; coconuts, cassava, rice, sweet potatoes, and bananas; small livestock sector includes cattle, pigs, horses, and goats

Industries: sugar, tourism, copra, gold, silver, fishing, clothing, lumber, small cottage industries

Industrial production growth rate: 8.4% (1991 est.), accounts for 13% of GDP

Labor force: 235,000; subsistence agriculture 67%, wage earners 18%, salary earners 15% (1987)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 5.9 (1991 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues $314 million; expenditures $355 million, including capital expenditures of $81 million (1990 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $646 million (f.o.b., 1991 est.)
Commodities: sugar 40%, gold, clothing, copra, processed fish, lumber
Partners: EC 31%, Australia 21%, Japan 8%, US 6%

Imports: $840 million (c.i.f., 1991 est.)
Commodities: machinery and transport 32%, food 15%, petroleum products, consumer goods, chemicals
Partners: Australia 30%, NZ 17%, Japan 13%, EC 6%, US 6%

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $428 million (December 1990 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Fijian dollars (F$) per US$1--1.4476 (January 1991), 1.4809 (1990), 1.4833 (1989), 1.4303 (1988), 1.2439 (1987), 1.1329 (1986), 1.1536 (1985)

Fiji - Energy 1991
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Electricity access

Electricity production

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Fiji - Communication 1991
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Fiji - Military 1991
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Military expenditures
Percent of gdp: $25.8 million, 2.5% of GDP (1988)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Fiji - Transportation 1991
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 26 total, 24 usable; 2 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 1 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 2 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways





Waterways: 203 km; 122 km navigable by motorized craft and 200-metric-ton barges

Merchant marine: 6 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 34,214 GRT/37,161 DWT; includes 2 roll-on/roll-off cargo, 2 container, 1 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker, 1 chemical tanker

Ports and terminals

Fiji - Transnational issues 1991
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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