French Polynesia

WorldABC.xyz: facts on every entity in the world

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 halted in January 1996. In recent years, French Polynesia's autonomy has been considerably expanded.

Geography

Location

Oceania, five archipelagoes (Archipel des Tuamotu, Iles Gambier, Iles Marquises, Iles Tubuai, Society Islands) in the South Pacific Ocean about halfway between South America and Australia

Geographic coordinates

15.00° S, 140.00° W

Area 175/257

total: 4,167 sq km (118 islands and atolls; 67 are inhabited)

land: 3,827 sq km

water: 340 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly less than one-third the size of Connecticut

Land boundaries

0 km

Coastline

2,525 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Climate

tropical, but moderate

Terrain

mixture of rugged high islands and low islands with reefs

Elevation

mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point: Mont Orohena 2,241 m

Natural resources

timber, fish, cobalt, hydropower

Land use

agricultural land: 12.5%

arable land 0.7%; permanent crops 6.3%; permanent pasture 5.5%

forest: 43.7%

other: 43.8% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

10 sq km (2012)

Natural hazards

occasional cyclonic storms in January

Environment - current issues

NA

Geography - note

includes five archipelagoes: four volcanic (Iles Gambier, Iles Marquises, Iles Tubuai, Society Islands) and one coral (Archipel des Tuamotu); 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 and Society

Nationality

noun: French Polynesian(s)

adjective: French Polynesian

Ethnic groups

Polynesian 78%, Chinese 12%, local French 6%, metropolitan French 4%

Languages

French (official) 61.1%, Polynesian (official) 31.4%, Asian languages 1.2%, other 0.3%, unspecified 6% (2002 census)

Religions

Protestant 54%, Roman Catholic 30%, other 10%, no religion 6%

Population 182/238

282,703 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 23.31% (male 33,894/female 32,005)

15-24 years: 16.36% (male 23,980/female 22,270)

25-54 years: 44.1% (male 63,931/female 60,749)

55-64 years: 8.83% (male 12,847/female 12,120)

65 years and over: 7.4% (male 10,142/female 10,765) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 42.2%

youth dependency ratio: 31.5%

elderly dependency ratio: 10.7%

potential support ratio: 9.3% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 31 years

male: 30.9 years

female: 31.2 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 122/233

0.94% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 131/224

15.22 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 189/225

5.02 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 145/222

-0.84 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 55.9% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 0.85% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

PAPEETE (capital) 133,000 (2014)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.08 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.94 male(s)/female

total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 177/224

total: 4.73 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 5.25 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 4.18 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 75/224

total population: 76.98 years

male: 74.72 years

female: 79.36 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 133/224

1.92 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Drinking water source

improved:

urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved:

urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

improved:

urban: 98.5% of population

rural: 98.5% of population

total: 98.5% of population

unimproved:

urban: 1.5% of population

rural: 1.5% of population

total: 1.5% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths

NA

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 34.2%

male: 31.4%

female: 38.5% (2007 est.)

Government

Country name

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

etymology: the term "Polynesia" is an 18th-century construct composed of two Greek words, "poly" (many) and "nesoi" (islands), and refers to the more than 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean

Government type

parliamentary representative democratic French overseas collectivity

Capital

name: Papeete (located on Tahiti)

geographic coordinates: 17.32° S, 149.34° W

time difference: UTC-10 (5 hours behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

none (overseas lands of France); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 5 second order administrative units named Iles Australes, Iles du Vent, Iles Marquises, Iles Sous le Vent, Iles Tuamotu et Gambier

Independence

none (overseas lands of France)

National holiday

Fete de la Federation, 14 July (1789); note - the local holiday is Internal Autonomy Day, 29 June (1880)

Constitution

4 October 1958 (French Constitution)

Legal system

the laws of France, where applicable, apply

Citizenship

see France

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Francois HOLLANDE (since 15 May 2012), represented by High Commissioner of the Republic Lionel BEFFRE (since 16 September 2013)

head of government: President of French Polynesia Edouard FRITCH (since 12 September 2014)

cabinet: Council of Ministers approved by the Assembly from a list of its members submitted by the president

elections/appointments: French president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); high commissioner appointed by the French president on the advice of the French Ministry of Interior; French Polynesia president indirectly elected by Assembly of French Polynesia for a 5-year term (no term limits)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Assembly of French Polynesia or Assemblee de la Polynesie Francaise (57 seats; elections held in two rounds; in the second round, 38 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; the party receiving the most votes get an additional 19 seats; to serve 5-year terms)

note: two seats were elected to the French Senate for a 6-year term on 20 September 2014 (next to be held in September 2022); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Popular Rally 1, People's Servant Party 1; two seats were elected to the French National Assembly for a 5-year term on 17 June 2012 (next to be held by June 2017); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 2; note - the UMP is France's ruling pary, the Union for a Popular Movement

elections: last held on 21 April 2013 and 5 May 2013 (next to be held in 2018)

election results: percent of vote by party - Popular Rally 45.1%, UPD 29.3%, A Tia Porinetia 25.6%; seats by party - Popular Rally 38, UPD 11, A Tia Porinetia 8

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel (composition NA); note - appeals beyond the French Polynesia Court of Appeal are heard by the Court of Cassation (in Paris)

judge selection and term of office: NA

subordinate courts: Court of the First Instance or Tribunal de Premiere Instance; Court of Administrative Law or Tribunal Administratif

Political parties and leaders

A Tia Porinetia [Teva ROHFRITSCH]

Alliance for a New Democracy or ADN (includes the parties The New Star and This Country is Yours)

New Fatherland Party (Ai'a Api) [Emile VERNAUDON]

Our Home alliance

People's Servant Party (Tavini Huiraatira) [Oscar TEMARU]

Popular Rally (Tahoeraa Huiraatira) [Gaston FLOSSE]

Union for Democracy alliance or UPD [Oscar TEMARU]

International organization participation

ITUC (NGOs), PIF (associate member), SPC, UPU, WMO

Flag description

two red horizontal bands encase a wide white band in a 1:2:1 ratio; centered on the white band is a disk with a blue and white wave pattern depicting the sea on the lower half and a gold and white ray pattern depicting the sun on the upper half; a Polynesian canoe rides on the wave pattern; the canoe has a crew of five represented by five stars that symbolize the five island groups; red and white are traditional Polynesian colors

note: similar to the red-white-red flag of Tahiti, the largest of the islands in French Polynesia, which has no emblem in the white band; the flag of France is used for official occasions

National symbol(s)

outrigger canoe; national colors: red, white

National anthem

name: "Ia Ora 'O Tahiti Nui" (Long Live Tahiti Nui)

lyrics/music: Maeva BOUGES, Irmine TEHEI, Angele TEROROTUA, Johanna NOUVEAU, Patrick AMARU, Louis MAMATUI, and Jean-Pierre CELESTIN (the compositional group created both the lyrics and music)

note: adopted 1993; serves as a local anthem; as a territory of France, "La Marseillaise" is official (see France)

Economy

Economy - overview

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. After growing at an average yearly rate of 4.2% from 1997-2007, GDP stagnated in 2008 and fell by 4.2% in 2009, marking French Polynesia’s entry into recession. GDP growth was positive in 2010-12. Following steady employment level increases between 2002 and 2007 that averaged 2.4% yearly, the number of workers fell by an annual average of 2.2% between 2008 and 2013, due in part to decreased tourism (down an average of 4% per year) in that time period. French Polynesia’s tourism-dominated service sector accounted for 85% of total value added for the economy in 2009, employing 80% of the workforce. A small manufacturing sector predominantly processes products from French Polynesia’s primary sector - 3% of total economy - including agriculture, pearl farming, and fishing.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 165/230

$7.15 billion (2012 est.)

$6.982 billion (2011 est.)

$6.963 billion (2010 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate)

$7.15 billion (2012 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 126/225

2.4% (2012 est.)

0.3% (2011 est.)

2.2% (2010 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 70/230

$26,100 (2012 est.)

$26,000 (2010 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 2.5%

industry: 13%

services: 84.5% (2009)

Agriculture - products

coconuts, vanilla, vegetables, fruits, coffee; poultry, beef, dairy products; fish

Industries

tourism, pearls, agricultural processing, handicrafts, phosphates

Industrial production growth rate

NA%

Labor force 182/233

114,300 (2012 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 13%

industry: 19%

services: 68% (2013)

Unemployment rate 171/207

21.8% (2012)

11.7% (2010)

Population below poverty line

19.7% (2009 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Budget

revenues: $1.891 billion

expenditures: $1.833 billion (2012)

Taxes and other revenues 112/219

26.4% of GDP (2012)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 20/220

0.8% of GDP (2012)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 72/226

1.1% (2013 est.)

1.5% (2011 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$NA

Exports 184/224

$230 million (2013 est.)

$211 million (2005 est.)

Exports - commodities

cultured pearls, coconut products, mother-of-pearl, vanilla, shark meat

Exports - partners

Japan 35%, US 24%, Hong Kong 17%, France 9.1%, China 4.2% (2014)

Imports 166/223

$1.72 billion (2013 est.)

$1.706 billion (2005 est.)

Imports - commodities

fuels, foodstuffs, machinery and equipment

Imports - partners

France 24%, South Korea 10%, China 9.6%, USA 9.3%, New Zealand 8.5%, Singapore 8.2%, Australia 4% (2014)

Debt - external

$NA

Exchange rates

Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (XPF) per US dollar -

89.85 (2013 est.)

90.56 (2012 est.)

85.74 (2011 est.)

Energy

Electricity - production 158/220

702 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 167/219

652.9 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 140/218

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports 151/219

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 159/214

224,000 kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 94/214

79% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 94/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 90/214

21% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 173/212

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 138/214

0 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 127/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 192/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 136/215

0 bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 184/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 159/212

7,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 182/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 145/213

6,994 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 189/216

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 145/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 101/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 198/214

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 141/212

0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 166/212

1.071 million Mt (2012 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 159/219

total subscriptions: 55,000

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 20 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 180/217

total: 239,700

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 86 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular density is roughly 100 per 100 persons

international: country code - 689; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2011)

Broadcast media

the publicly owned French Overseas Network (RFO), which operates in France's overseas departments and territories, broadcasts on 2 TV channels and 1 radio station; 1 government-owned TV station; a small number of privately owned radio stations (2008)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 2, FM 14, shortwave 2 (1998)

Television broadcast stations

7 (plus 17 repeaters) (1997)

Internet country code

.pf

Internet hosts 103/232

37,949 (2012)

Internet users 163/217

total: 161,100

percent of population: 57.5% (2014 est.)

Transportation

Airports 87/236

54 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 45

over 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 5

914 to 1,523 m: 33

under 914 m: 5 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 9

914 to 1,523 m: 4

under 914 m: 5 (2013)

Heliports

1 (2013)

Roadways 172/223

total: 2,590 km

paved: 1,735 km

unpaved: 855 km (1999)

Merchant marine 107/156

registered in other countries: 12 (Cambodia 1, France 11) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Papeete

Military and Security

Military branches

no regular military forces (2011)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

none