Fiji is an island nation in Melanesia, South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago of Fiji spans an area of 18,300 square km and is made up of 330 islands and 500 islets of which 110 islands are permanently inhabited. The most populated islands in Fiji are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu which house nearly 87% of the population of the nation. The three largest settlements in this area are Suva, Nadi, and Lautoka. The country has a well-documented economy with an abundance of natural resources like mineral, fish, and forests.
The Five Biggest Settlements In Fiji
Suva is Fiji’s biggest city and is located on the Viti Levu island’s southeast coast in the country’s Rewa Province. The city is the administrative and political capital of Fiji. The city is well-known for being the largest cosmopolitan city in the southern Pacific Ocean and is populated by a large expatriate population. Suva was declared as the capital of Fiji way back in 1877 replacing the position of the former capital of Levuka due to the latter’s geographical restrictions. The city, along with the neighboring towns of Lami, Nasinu, and Nausori hosts over one-third of the country’s population.
Most of the national financial institutions of Fiji, several non-governmental institutions, and departments of the government are based in Suva. Suva's King's Wharf serves as an important center of Fiji's international shipping. The city also hosts large industrial centers saturated with warehouses and factories. Suva is also an important cultural center of Fiji and many stadiums, parks and gardens, music auditoriums, and other entertainment venues are located here.
Lautoka is Fiji’s second biggest city and is located to the west of the Viti Levi island and is the country’s second port of entry after Suva. Lautoka is often nicknamed the “Sugar City” since it is at the heart of the sugar cane growing region of Fiji. The city encompasses an area of 16 square km. The Lautoka Sugar Mill, established in 1903, is the biggest employer in Lautoka. Other than the sugar industry, the city also houses timber milling, blending, steelworks, paints, fishing, hatchery, and other industries.
Nadi is Fiji’s third largest settlement and is located on Viti Levu island’s western side. Nadi’s population is multi-ethnic in origin. Although most permanent residents are either Fijian or Indian, the city has a significant transient population of tourists of multi-racial origin. The city is a significant religious center of Hinduism and Islam. The Sri Siva Subramaniya temple is the biggest Hindu temple in the Southern Hemisphere and is located in Nadi. The Nadi International Airport is 9 km away from the main city.
Labasa is a town in the Macuata Province of Fiji and is the Vanua Levu island’s biggest town. The town is situated on the delta formed by the three rivers of Labasa, Qawa, and Wailevu. Labasa is surrounded by sugar cane farms, and thus sugar cane processing is a significant industry in the town. However, the recent poor performance of the sugar industry in the town has forced migration of people living on the island to other areas.
Ba is the fifth biggest Fijian town, 37 km from Lautoka on the largest island of Fiji, Viti Levu. The town encompasses an area of 327 square km and is based on the banks of the Ba River. Sugar cane is the main industry of this town. Tourists also visit Ba in large numbers since it is a major cultural center in the country.