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Demographics of Fiji

Indigenous Fijians are a mixture of Polynesian and Melanesian, resulting from the original migrations to the South Pacific many centuries ago. The Indo-Fijian population has grown rapidly from the 60,000 indentured laborers brought from India between 1879 and 1916 to work in the sugarcane fields. Thousands more Indians migrated voluntarily in the 1920s and 1930s and formed the core of Fiji's business class. The native Fijians live throughout the country, while the Indo-Fijians reside primarily near the urban centers and in the cane-producing areas of the two main islands. Nearly all of the indigenous Fijians are Christian, with more than three-quarters being Methodist. About 80% of the Indo-Fijians are Hindu, 15% are Muslim, and the rest mostly Sikh, with a few Christians.

Population: 832,494 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 33% (male 141,779; female 136,212)
15-64 years: 63% (male 263,127; female 262,686)
65 years and over: 4% (male 13,405; female 15,285) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.41% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 23.48 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 5.78 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: -3.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 14.45 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 67.94 years
male: 65.54 years
female: 70.45 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.89 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Fijian(s)
adjective: Fijian

Ethnic groups: Fijian 51% (predominantly Melanesian with a Polynesian admixture), Indian 44%, European, other Pacific Islanders, overseas Chinese, and other 5% (1998 est.)

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)

Languages: English (official), Fijian, Hindustani

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.6%
male: 93.8%
female: 89.3% (1995 est.)



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