Australia-Oceania :: French Polynesia
(overseas lands of France)
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of French Polynesia
Location of French Polynesia
 
Map of French Polynesia
Introduction ::French Polynesia
The French annexed various Polynesian island groups during the 19th century. In September 1995, France stirred up widespread protests by resuming nuclear testing on the Mururoa atoll after a three-year moratorium. The tests were suspended in January 1996. In recent years, French Polynesia's autonomy has been considerably expanded.
Geography ::French Polynesia
Oceania, archipelagoes in the South Pacific Ocean about half way between South America and Australia
15 00 S, 140 00 W
total: 4,167 sq km (118 islands and atolls)
country comparison to the world: 174
land: 3,827 sq km
water: 340 sq km
slightly less than one-third the size of Connecticut
0 km
2,525 km
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
tropical, but moderate
mixture of rugged high islands and low islands with reefs
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Orohena 2,241 m
timber, fish, cobalt, hydropower
arable land: 0.75%
permanent crops: 5.5%
other: 93.75% (2005)
10 sq km (2003)
occasional cyclonic storms in January
NA
includes five archipelagoes (four volcanic, one coral); Makatea in French Polynesia is one of the three great phosphate rock islands in the Pacific Ocean - the others are Banaba (Ocean Island) in Kiribati and Nauru
People ::French Polynesia
287,032 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 179
0-14 years: 24.3% (male 35,631/female 34,097)
15-64 years: 68.9% (male 102,537/female 95,317)
65 years and over: 6.8% (male 9,821/female 9,629) (2009 est.)
total: 29.1 years
male: 29.4 years
female: 28.8 years (2009 est.)
1.391% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97
15.91 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 133
4.73 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 194
2.73 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 30
urban population: 52% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1.3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.02 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
total: 7.55 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 166
male: 8.67 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.38 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
total population: 76.71 years
country comparison to the world: 63
male: 74.26 years
female: 79.29 years (2009 est.)
1.92 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140
NA
NA
NA
noun: French Polynesian(s)
adjective: French Polynesian
Polynesian 78%, Chinese 12%, local French 6%, metropolitan French 4%
Protestant 54%, Roman Catholic 30%, other 10%, no religion 6%
French 61.1% (official), Polynesian 31.4% (official), Asian languages 1.2%, other 0.3%, unspecified 6% (2002 census)
definition: age 14 and over can read and write
total population: 98%
male: 98%
female: 98% (1977 est.)
NA
Government ::French Polynesia
conventional long form: Overseas Lands of French Polynesia
conventional short form: French Polynesia
local long form: Pays d'outre-mer de la Polynesie Francaise
local short form: Polynesie Francaise
former: French Colony of Oceania
overseas lands of France; overseas territory of France from 1946-2004
NA
name: Papeete
geographic coordinates: 17 32 S, 149 34 W
time difference: UTC-10 (5 hours behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)
none (overseas lands of France); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are five archipelagic divisions named Archipel des Marquises, Archipel des Tuamotu, Archipel des Tubuai, Iles du Vent, Iles Sous-le-Vent
none (overseas lands of France)
Bastille Day, 14 July (1789)
4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
the laws of France, where applicable, apply
18 years of age; universal
chief of state: President Nicolas SARKOZY (since 16 May 2007), represented by High Commissioner of the Republic Adolphe COLRAT (since 7 July 2008)
head of government: President of French Polynesia Oscar TEMARU (since 7 February 2009); President of the Territorial Assembly Eduoard FRITCH (since 12 February 2009)
cabinet: Council of Ministers; president submits a list of members of the Territorial Assembly for approval by them to serve as ministers
elections: French president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; high commissioner appointed by the French president on the advice of the French Ministry of Interior; president of the territorial government and the president of the Territorial Assembly are elected by the members of the assembly for five-year terms (no term limits)
unicameral Territorial Assembly or Assemblee Territoriale (57 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 27 January 2008 (first round) and 10 February 2008 (second round) (next to be held in 2013)
election results: percent of vote by party - Our Home alliance 45.2%, Union for Democracy alliance 37.2%, Popular Rally (Tahoeraa Huiraatira) 17.2% other 0.5%; seats by party - Our Home alliance 27, Union for Democracy alliance 20, Popular Rally 10
note: one seat was elected to the French Senate on 21 September 2008 (next to be held in September 2014); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PS 1, independent 1; two seats were elected to the French National Assembly on 10-17 June 2007 (next to be held in 2012); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 2
Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel; Court of the First Instance or Tribunal de Premiere Instance; Court of Administrative Law or Tribunal Administratif
Alliance for a New Democracy or ADN [Nicole BOUTEAU and Philip SCHYLE](includes the parties The New Star and This Country is Yours); Independent Front for the Liberation of Polynesia (Tavini Huiraatira) [Oscar TEMARU]; New Fatherland Party (Ai'a Api) [Emile VERNAUDON]; Our Home alliance; Popular Rally (Tahoeraa Huiraatira) [Gaston FLOSSE]; Union for Democracy alliance or UPD [Oscar TEMARU]
NA
FZ, ITUC, PIF (associate member), SPC, UPU, WMO
none (overseas lands of France)
none (overseas lands of France)
two narrow red horizontal bands encase a wide white band; centered on the white band is a disk with a blue and white wave pattern on the lower half and a gold and white ray pattern on the upper half; a stylized red, blue, and white ship rides on the wave pattern
note: the flag of France is used for official occasions
under certain acts of France, French Polynesia has acquired autonomy in all areas except those relating to police and justice, monetary policy, tertiary education, immigration, and defense and foreign affairs; the duties of its president are fashioned after those of the French prime minister
Economy ::French Polynesia
Since 1962, when France stationed military personnel in the region, French Polynesia has changed from a subsistence agricultural economy to one in which a high proportion of the work force is either employed by the military or supports the tourist industry. With the halt of French nuclear testing in 1996, the military contribution to the economy fell sharply. Tourism accounts for about one-fourth of GDP and is a primary source of hard currency earnings. Other sources of income are pearl farming and deep-sea commercial fishing. The small manufacturing sector primarily processes agricultural products. The territory benefits substantially from development agreements with France aimed principally at creating new businesses and strengthening social services.
$4.718 billion (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161
$4.58 billion (2003 est.)
$6.1 billion (2004)
2.7% (2005)
country comparison to the world: 138
5.1% (2002)
$18,000 (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68
$17,500 (2003 est.)
agriculture: 3.5%
industry: 20.4%
services: 76.1% (2005)
116,000 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 174
agriculture: 13%
industry: 19%
services: 68% (2002)
11.7% (2005)
country comparison to the world: 134
NA%
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
revenues: $865 million
expenditures: $644.1 million (1999)
1.1% (2007)
country comparison to the world: 9
1.1% (2006 est.)
$NA
fish; coconuts, vanilla, vegetables, fruits, coffee; poultry, beef, dairy products
tourism, pearls, agricultural processing, handicrafts, phosphates
NA%
650 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155
604.5 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 156
0 kWh (2008 est.)
0 kWh (2008 est.)
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 173
7,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 201
6,701 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148
0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 167
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 179
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 183
0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 177
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 180
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 178
$211 million (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 181
cultured pearls, coconut products, mother-of-pearl, vanilla, shark meat
$1.706 billion (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155
fuels, foodstuffs, machinery and equipment
$NA
Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (XPF) per US dollar - 87.59 (2007), 94.97 (2006), 95.89 (2005), 96.04 (2004), 105.66 (2003)
note: pegged at the rate of 119.25 XPF to the euro
Communications ::French Polynesia
54,600 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 160
187,100 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 173
general assessment: NA
domestic: combined fixed and mobile-cellular density is roughly 85 per 100 persons
international: country code - 689; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2008)
AM 2, FM 14, shortwave 2 (1998)
7 (plus 17 repeaters) (1997)
.pf
13,796 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 113
90,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 156
Transportation ::French Polynesia
53 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 88
total: 47
over 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 34
under 914 m: 7 (2009)
total: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 4 (2009)
1 (2009)
total: 2,590 km
country comparison to the world: 169
paved: 1,735 km
unpaved: 855 km (1999)
total: 15
country comparison to the world: 104
by type: cargo 6, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 5, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 1
registered in other countries: 2 (Wallis and Futuna 2) (2008)
Papeete
Military ::French Polynesia
no regular military forces (2009)
males age 16-49: 79,540 (2008 est.)
males age 16-49: 65,408
females age 16-49: 64,421 (2009 est.)
male: 2,665
female: 2,552 (2009 est.)
defense is the responsibility of France
Transnational Issues ::French Polynesia
none