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Growth over fifty years  

In 9156, Noumea had a population of just over 22,000 inhabitants, whereas today there are over 100,000!  Over the last 50 years, the municipality has therefore seen a four-fold increase in its population.  Generated by the industrial development associated with the nickel boom and creating a strong increase in migration, the largest population growth rate occurred during the 1970’s (42,000 inhabitants at the beginning of the decade, 60,000 at the end).

Since then, Noumea’s population growth has slowed (65,000 inhabitants in 1990, 80,000 in 2000) at a rate of around 2.2% per year, slower than the scale of New Caledonia and Greater Noumea.  This can be explained by the price per square metre within the municipality, the highest in the territory, and by the aspirations of a large part of the population to have their piece of real estate in the form of a detached house or villa, the land availability in administrative districts (communes) on the outskirts of Noumea, such as Dumbéa or Mont Dore, leading to many subdivisions being developed.

Between 2004 and 2009, many neighbourhood saw a significant rise in population, for example in Kaméré, N’Géa and Portes-de-Fer.  The number of inhabitants in the first two areas doubled following the construction of numerous social housing developments, while new apartment blocks in Portes-de-Fer boosted the density of the population.

Key Figures  

  • Noumea’s population has quadrupled in 50 years
  • Population growth of 27.9% between 1996 and 2009 (37.8% for Greater Noumea)   
  • The most-populated neighbourhoods in 2009: Vallée des Colons (9,372 inhabitants) and Rivière-Salée (8,772)       
  • Noumea’s population density: 15 inhabitants per hectare in 1996 ;  19 in 2004 ;  21 in 2009 (0.13 for New Caledonia)    
  • The area with the highest population density:  Trianon (59 inhabitants/hectare)