Countryaah, Fiji is the most populous of the smaller states of the
Pacific. About 70 percent of the residents live on the
island of Viti Levu, where the capital is located. About 51
per cent of the population lives in cities, of which the
capital Suva (94,000 residents, 2018) and Nasinu (92,000
residents) are the completely dominant.
According to the 2007 census, Fiji's population is
divided between Melanesians (57 percent) and Indians (about
38 percent); Add to this a smaller number of Chinese,
Europeans and immigrants from other Pacific islands,
especially Tonga and Solomon Islands. The Melanesian
Fijians, who make up the country's indigenous population,
feed on agriculture with rice, maize and cassava as base
crops. They live in stratified village communities under the
leadership of chiefs, and this type of socio-political
organization is more reminiscent of Polynesian than other
Melanesian cultures, where social hierarchy is less
prominent. Although almost all Christians are nowadays, the
world view is still polynesian and is characterized by the
emphasis on social and religious hierarchy and notions of
mana and taboo. Kava drinking has great social and ritual
The Indian population is descendants of Biharese
immigrants, who were introduced by the British from 1879 to
the 1920s as a labor force. The Indians are mainly Hindus, a
small part are Muslims. Since the 1970s, tensions have risen
between the Melanesians and the Indians, producing 90
percent of the sugar grown on Melanesian-owned land.
The majority language is Fiji, but large groups speak
Indian languages, mainly the local form of Hindi. Official
languages since 1997 are Fiji, English and Fijian Hindi.
See also Population and Ethnography above.
The majority of the indigenous population is Christian
and belongs to the Methodist Church. The majority of the
Indian population are Hindus, a minority are Muslims. The
domestic religion is largely extinct, and the rites are now
performed as cultural activities or for tourists.