Fiji is officially called the Republic of Fiji.
Fiji gained independence from the British Empire in 1970 after 96 years as a British colony.
Native Fijians of Melanesian and Polynesian ancestry make up 54% of the population. Under British rule, Indian servants were brought to Fiji to work in the sugarcane fields. Descendants of these Indian labourers are called Indo-Fijians and currently make up around 40% of the population.
The main official language of Fiji is Fijian. There are two other official languages English and Fijian Hindi or Hindustani (a mix of Hindi and Urdu).
The capital and largest city in Fiji is Suva, on the island of Viti Levu.
Other important towns include Nadi and Lautoka.
Fiji shares marine boundaries with Vanuatu to the west, New Caledonia (France) to the southwest, Kermadec (New Zealand) to the southeast, Tonga to the east, American Samoa, Samoa and Wallis and Futuna (France) to the northeast and Tuvalu to the north.
Fiji has a population of around nine hundred thousand (896,758) as of 2013.
There are 322 islands in Fiji and over 500 small islets. Around 110 of these islands are inhabited, although 87% of the population lives on the two biggest islands Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. The islands are spread over 194,000 km² (75,000 mi²) of which just 10% is land.
Major industries in Fiji are tourism and sugar. Exports also include garments, gold, timber and fish.
Fiji is a major tourist location, with its white sandy beaches, beautiful islands, all-year-round tropical weather and stunning coral reefs it is a popular destination for tourists from countries such as Australia, New Zealand and the USA.
The currency of Fiji is the Fijian dollar.
Modern Fijian cuisine is diverse with great influences from Indian cuisine and spices along with traditional local tropical fruits, vegetables, fish and wild pork.
One of Fiji's most successful sportsman is professional golfer Vijay Singh, winner of three major championships.
Rugby Union is the most popular sport in Fiji with a participation rate of nearly 10% of the population. Other sports played include rugby 7's, rugby league and football (soccer).
For more information, check out maps of Fiji or take a closer look at the Fijian flag.