Fiji: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government

About Fiji, information, history size, location, population, people, culture, and government.


Size--7,055 sq. mi. (18,274 sq. km.). Population--575,000.

Fiji is a group of 844 islands in the Southwest Pacific, about 1,500 mi. east of Australia and 1,200 mi. north of New Zealand. Fijian chiefs ceded the islands to Britain in 1874 and 96 years later to the day, the British granted political independence. Native Melanesians, who make up 43% of the population, are guaranteed land rights by the Fijian constitution, but Indians, who were originally brought to Fiji as indentured sugarcane-field workers and now constitute 51% of the population, must rent their land. Another 4% of the inhabitants are European, part-European, and Chinese. They hold the political balance of power as well as most of the professional and administrative jobs. Their income levels are roughly twice those of Fijians and Indians.

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