300,000-STRONG NEW CALEDONIA POPULATION BY 2025: SPC STATISTICS

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NOUMÉA, April 12 (Oceania Flash)---Latest statistics indicate that New Caledonia's population is poised to surpass 300,000 by 2025, the daily newspaper Les Nouvelles Calédoniennes reports.

According to the latest projections developed by the Nouméa-based Secretariat of the Pacific Community's demographic program, the French territory's population will reach 332,817 in 2025.

The working members of the population then will be 65 percent.

Currently, New Caledonia has a population of close to 200,000 (196,836, according to the last census, which was conducted in 1996).

Recent unofficial statistics projected by New Caledonia's Statistics office give the territory a population of 215,904 as at January 1, 2002.

The New Caledonian figures are contained in a new SPC document titled "Demographic Profile of New Caledonia," written by demographer Andreas Demmke.

The book is available in both French and English, SPC's two official languages.

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