Fast Facts

Population:
842,000
Capital:
Suva; 210,000
Area:
18,376 square kilometers (7,095 square miles)
Language:
English, Fijian, Hindustani
Religion:
Christian, Hindu, Muslim
Currency:
Fijian dollar
Life Expectancy:
67
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $5,600
Literacy Percent:
94
Flag: Fiji Islands
Map: Fiji

The Fiji Islands comprise 333 islands in the South Pacific, with beaches, coral gardens, and rain forests. Most people live on the largest island, Viti Levu, where the capital, Suva, is located. After 96 years as a British colony, Fiji gained independence in 1970. During British rule, indentured servants from India came to work in the sugarcane fields—Indo-Fijians currently constitute 40 percent of the population.

Indo-Fijians are mostly Hindu, while the majority native Fijians are mostly Christian. Tensions between the two communities caused two coups in 1987 and one in 2000. Democracy returned in 2001 and so did a record number of tourists.

ECONOMY

  • Industry: Tourism, sugar, clothing, copra
  • Agriculture: Sugarcane, coconuts, cassava (tapioca), rice; cattle; fish
  • Exports: Sugar, garments, gold, timber, fish

—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

Related Features

  • Photo: White sand beach

    South Pacific Photos

    Scattered about the world's largest ocean, the legendary islands of the South Pacific are a wonder to travelers, full of beautiful sights and fascinating cultures.

  • Photo: Native Tahiti torch-twirlers

    French Polynesia

    Get a glimpse of paradise with this gallery of photographs taken on assignment for the National Geographic magazine article "French Polynesia: Charting a New Course."

Take a Nat Geo Trip

Select a destination or trip type to find a trip:

See All Trips »

Travel Photos From Your Shot

  • Picture of canoes on a dock in Alberta, Canada

    Your Canada Photos

    View scenes of Canada's city life and countryside—all taken by our Nat Geo photo community.

See More Your Shot Galleries »