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). The coups and a 1990 constitution that cemented native Melanesian control of Fiji led to heavy Indian emigration; the population loss resulted in economic difficulties, but ensured that Melanesians became the majority. A new constitution enacted in 1997 was more equitable. Free and peaceful elections in 1999 resulted in a government led by an Indo-Fijian, but a civilian-led coup in 2000 ushered in a prolonged period of political turmoil. Parliamentary elections held in 2001 provided Fiji with a democratically elected government led by Prime Minister Laisenia QARASE. Reelected in May 2006, QARASE was ousted in a December 2006 military coup led by Commodore Voreqe BAINIMARAMA, who initially appointed himself acting president but in January 2007 became interim prime minister. Following years of political turmoil, long-delayed legislative elections were held in September 2014 that were deemed "credible" by international observers and that resulted in BAINIMARAMA being reelected.



Oceania, island group in the South Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand

Geographic coordinates

18 00 S, 175 00 E

Map references



total: 18,274 sq km
land: 18,274 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than New Jersey

Land boundaries

0 km


1,129 km

Maritime claims

measured from claimed archipelagic straight baselines
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation; rectilinear shelf claim added


tropical marine; only slight seasonal temperature variation


mostly mountains of volcanic origin


mean elevation: NA
elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Tomanivi 1,324 m

Natural resources

timber, fish, gold, copper, offshore oil potential, hydropower

Land use

agricultural land: 23.3%
arable land 9%; permanent crops 4.7%; permanent pasture 9.6%
forest: 55.7%
other: 21% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

40 sq km (2012)

Natural hazards

cyclonic storms can occur from November to January

Environment - current issues

deforestation; soil erosion

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note

includes 332 islands; approximately 110 are inhabited

People and Society


915,303 (July 2016 est.)


noun: Fijian(s)
adjective: Fijian

Ethnic groups

iTaukei 56.8% (predominantly Melanesian with a Polynesian admixture), Indian 37.5%, Rotuman 1.2%, other 4.5% (European, part European, other Pacific Islanders, Chinese)
note: a 2010 law replaces 'Fijian' with 'iTuakei' when referring to the original and native settlers of Fiji (2007 est.)


English (official), Fijian (official), Hindustani


Protestant 45% (Methodist 34.6%, Assembly of God 5.7%, Seventh Day Adventist 3.9%, and Anglican 0.8%), Hindu 27.9%, other Christian 10.4%, Roman Catholic 9.1%, Muslim 6.3%, Sikh 0.3%, other 0.3%, none 0.8% (2007 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 27.88% (male 130,414/female 124,774)
15-24 years: 16.42% (male 76,709/female 73,565)
25-54 years: 41.11% (male 192,605/female 183,681)
55-64 years: 8.29% (male 38,427/female 37,412)
65 years and over: 6.31% (male 26,534/female 31,182) (2016 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 52.8%
youth dependency ratio: 43.9%
elderly dependency ratio: 8.9%
potential support ratio: 11.2% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 28.6 years
male: 28.4 years
female: 28.8 years (2016 est.)

Population growth rate

0.63% (2016 est.)

Birth rate

19 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Death rate

6.1 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Net migration rate

-6.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)


urban population: 53.7% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.45% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

SUVA (capital) 176,000 (2014)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

30 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 9.7 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 10.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 8.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 72.7 years
male: 70 years
female: 75.5 years (2016 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.44 children born/woman (2016 est.)

Health expenditures

4.5% of GDP (2014)

Physicians density

0.43 physicians/1,000 population (2009)

Hospital bed density

2 beds/1,000 population (2009)

Drinking water source

urban: 99.5% of population
rural: 91.2% of population
total: 95.7% of population
urban: 0.5% of population
rural: 8.8% of population
total: 4.3% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

urban: 93.4% of population
rural: 88.4% of population
total: 91.1% of population
urban: 6.6% of population
rural: 11.6% of population
total: 8.9% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.13% (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

700 (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

fewer than 100 (2014 est.)

Major infectious diseases

note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

35.9% (2014)

Education expenditures

3.9% of GDP (2013)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 18.7%
male: 14.8%
female: 25.4% (2007 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Fiji
conventional short form: Fiji
local long form: Republic of Fiji/Matanitu ko Viti
local short form: Fiji/Viti
etymology: the Fijians called their home Viti, but the neighboring Tongans called it Fisi, and in the Anglicized spelling of the Tongan pronunciation - promulgated by explorer Captain James COOK - the designation became Fiji

Government type

parliamentary republic


name: Suva (on Viti Levu)
geographic coordinates: 18 08 S, 178 25 E
time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins fourth Sunday in October; ends third Sunday in January

Administrative divisions

14 provinces and 1 dependency*; Ba, Bua, Cakaudrove, Kadavu, Lau, Lomaiviti, Macuata, Nadroga and Navosa, Naitasiri, Namosi, Ra, Rewa, Rotuma*, Serua, Tailevu


10 October 1970 (from the UK)

National holiday

Constitution Day, 7 September; Fiji (independence) Day, 10 October (1970)


several previous; latest signed into law September 2013 (2016)

Legal system

common law system based on the English model

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Fiji
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


18 years of age; universal

Political pressure groups and leaders

Group Against Racial Discrimination or GARD [Dr. Anirudk SINGH] (suports restoration of a democratic government)
Viti Landowners Association

Executive branch

chief of state: President Jioji Konousi KONROTE (since 12 November 2015)
head of government: Prime Minister Voreqe "Frank" BAINIMARAMA (since 22 September 2014)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister from among members of Parliament and is responsible to Parliament
elections/appointments: under the constitution, president elected by the Parliament for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Jioji Konousi KONROTE elected 12 Ocotber 2015 defeating Ratu Epeli GANILAU 31 to 14

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Parliament (50 seats; members directly elected in a nationwide, multi-seat constituency by open-list proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms; the new constitution of 2013 restructured Parliament from bicameral to unicameral
elections: last held on 17 September 2014 (next to be held in 2019)
election results: percent of vote by party - Fiji First 59.2%, SDL 28.2%, National Federation Party 5.5%, other 7.1%; seats by party - Fiji First 32, SDL 15, National Federation Party 3

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice, all justices of the Court of Appeal, and judges appointed specifically as Supreme Court judges); Court of Appeal (consists of the court president, all puisne judges of the High Court, and judges specifically appointed to the Court of Appeal); High Court (chaired by the chief justice and includes a minimum of 10 puisne judges; High Court organized into civil, criminal, family, employment, and tax divisions)
judge selection and term of office: chief justice appointed by the president of Fiji on the advice of the prime minister following consultation with the parliamentary leader of the opposition; judges of the Supreme Court, the president of the Court of Appeal, the justices of the Court of Appeal, and puisne judges of the High Court appointed by the president of Fiji upon the nomination of the Judicial Service Commission after consulting with the cabinet minister and the committee of the House of Representatives responsible for the administration of justice; the chief justice, Supreme Court judges and justices of Appeal generally required to retire at age 70 but may be waived for one or more sessions of the court; puisne judges appointed for not less than 4 years nor more than 7 years with mandatory retirement at age 65
subordinate courts: Magistrates' Court (organized into civil, criminal, juvenile, and small claims divisions)

Political parties and leaders

FijiFirst [Aiyaz SAYED-KHAIYUM]
Fiji Labor Party or FLP [Mahendra CHAUDHRY]
Fiji United Freedon Party or FUFP [Jagath KARUNARATNE]
National Federation Party or NFP [Dalip KUMAR] (primarily Indian)
Peoples Democratic Party or PDP [Adi Sivia QORO]
Social Democratic Liberal Party or SODELPA [Pio TABAIWALU]

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Solo MARA (since 28 January 2016)
chancery: 2000 M Street NW, Suite 710, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 466-8320
FAX: [1] (202) 466-8325

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Judith CEFKIN (since 3 February 2015); note - also accredited to Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu
embassy: 158 Princes Rd, Tamavua
mailing address: P. O. Box 218, Suva
telephone: [679] 331-4466
FAX: [679] 330-8685

Flag description

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 blue symbolizes the Pacific ocean and the Union Jack reflects the links with Great Britain; the shield - taken from Fiji's coat of arms - depicts a yellow lion above a white field quartered by the cross of Saint George; the four quarters depict stalks of sugarcane, a palm tree, bananas, and a white dove

National symbol(s)

Fijian canoe; national color: light blue

National anthem

name: "God Bless Fiji"
lyrics/music: Michael Francis Alexander PRESCOTT/C. Austin MILES (adapted by Michael Francis Alexander PRESCOTT)
note: adopted 1970; known in Fijian as "Meda Dau Doka" (Let Us Show Pride); adapted from the hymn, "Dwelling in Beulah Land," the anthem's English lyrics are generally sung, although they differ in meaning from the official Fijian lyrics


Economy - overview

Fiji, endowed with forest, mineral, and fish resources, is one of the most developed and connected of the Pacific island economies. Earnings from the tourism industry, with an estimated 755,000 tourists visiting in 2015, and remittances from Fijian’s work

Fiji's sugar remains a significant industry and a major export. The sugar industry reforms since 2010 have improved productivity and returns, but the industry faces the complete withdrawal of European Union preferential prices by 2017. Fiji’s trade imbala

The return to parliamentary democracy and successful elections in September 2014 have boosted investor confidence. Private sector investment in 2016 exceeded 20% of GDP, compared to 13% in 2013.

GDP (official exchange rate)

$4.556 billion (2015 est.)

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$8.374 billion (2016 est.)
$8.17 billion (2015 est.)
$7.833 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

GDP - real growth rate

2.5% (2016 est.)
4.3% (2015 est.)
5.3% (2014 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$9,400 (2016 est.)
$9,200 (2015 est.)
$8,800 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

Gross national saving

12.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
8.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
7% of GDP (2014 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 72.5%
government consumption: 11%
investment in fixed capital: 20.5%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 50.4%
imports of goods and services: -54.4% (2016 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 10.6%
industry: 18.4%
services: 71% (2016 est.)

Agriculture - products

sugarcane, coconuts, cassava (manioc, tapioca), rice, sweet potatoes, bananas; cattle, pigs, horses, goats; fish


tourism, sugar, clothing, copra, gold, silver, lumber, small cottage industries

Industrial production growth rate

1.5% (2016 est.)

Labor force

350.1 (2016 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 70%
industry and services: 30% (2001 est.)

Unemployment rate

8.8% (2014 est.)
8.7% (2013 est.)

Population below poverty line

31% (2009 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 34.9% (2009 est.)


revenues: $1.232 billion
expenditures: $1.469 billion (2016 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

27% of GDP (2016 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-5.2% of GDP (2016 est.)

Public debt

50.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
48.6% of GDP (2015 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

2.1% (2016 est.)
1.4% (2015 est.)

Central bank discount rate

1.75% (31 December 2010)
3% (31 December 2009)

Commercial bank prime lending rate

5.9% (31 December 2016 est.)
5.79% (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$2.083 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.931 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of broad money

$3.62 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.325 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$3.365 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.068 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$452.5 million (31 December 2012 est.)
$392.2 million (31 December 2011 est.)
$418.8 million (31 December 2010 est.)

Current account balance

-$329 million (2016 est.)
-$235 million (2015 est.)


$986.3 million (2016 est.)
$1.233 billion (2015 est.)

Exports - commodities

sugar, garments, gold, timber, fish, molasses, coconut oil, mineral water

Exports - partners

US 13.4%, Australia 10.2%, Samoa 6.7%, Tonga 5.9% (2015)


$2.397 billion (2016 est.)
$2.283 billion (2015 est.)

Imports - commodities

manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, petroleum products, food, chemicals

Imports - partners

China 16.2%, South Korea 15.7%, NZ 14%, Australia 13.4%, Singapore 8.7%, France 7% (2015)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$884 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$918.8 million (31 December 2015 est.)

Debt - external

$833.4 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$820.1 million (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

$4.347 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$4.047 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad

$192.6 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$189.6 million (31 December 2015 est.)

Exchange rates

Fijian dollars (FJD) per US dollar -
2.11 (2016 est.)
2.0976 (2015 est.)
2.0976 (2014 est.)
1.8874 (2013 est.)
1.79 (2012 est.)


Electricity - access

population without electricity: 375,274
electrification - total population: 59%
electrification - urban areas: 72%
electrification - rural areas: 45% (2012)

Electricity - production

900 million kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - consumption

800 million kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - exports

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity

300,000 kW (2014 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels

46.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants

48.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources

5.4% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - exports

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - imports

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves

0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption

16,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports

15,970 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Natural gas - production

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves

0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy

1.7 million Mt (2013 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 72,565
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 8 (July 2015 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular

total: 966,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 106 (July 2015 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: modern local, interisland, and international (wire/radio integrated) public and special-purpose telephone, telegraph, and teleprinter facilities; regional radio communications center; subject to occasional devastating cyclones
domestic: telephone or radio telephone links to almost all inhabited islands; most towns and large villages have automatic telephone exchanges and direct dialing; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity roughly 115 per 100 persons
international: country code - 679; access to important cable links between US and Canada, as well as between NZ and Australia; satellite earth stations - 2 Inmarsat (Pacific Ocean) (2015)

Broadcast media

Fiji TV, a publicly traded company, operates a free-to-air channel, as well as Sky Fiji and Sky Pacific multi-channel pay-TV services; state-owned commercial company, Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, Ltd, operates 6 radio stations - 2 public broadcasters an (2009)

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 421,000
percent of population: 46.3% (July 2015 est.)


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 2
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 12
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 1,336,976
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 83,686,504 mt-km (2015)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

DQ (2016)


28 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 4
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 24
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 19 (2013)


total: 597 km
narrow gauge: 597 km 0.600-m gauge
note: belongs to the government-owned Fiji Sugar Corporation; used to haul sugarcane during the harvest season, which runs from May to December (2008)


total: 3,440 km
paved: 1,686 km
unpaved: 1,754 km (2011)


203 km (122 km are navigable by motorized craft and 200-metric-ton barges) (2012)

Merchant marine

total: 11
by type: passenger 4, passenger/cargo 4, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 2
foreign-owned: 2 (Australia 2) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Lautoka, Levuka, Suva


Military branches

Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF): Land Forces, Naval Forces (2011)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for voluntary military service; mandatory retirement at age 55 (2013)

Military expenditures

1.47% of GDP (2012)
1.44% of GDP (2011)
1.47% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international