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Australia-Oceania :: French Polynesia
(overseas lands of France)
Page last updated on July 30, 2015
 
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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 halted in January 1996. In recent years, French Polynesia's autonomy has been considerably expanded.
  • Geography :: FRENCH POLYNESIA

  • 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
    15 00 S, 140 00 W
    Oceania
    total: 4,167 sq km (118 islands and atolls; 67 are inhabited)
    land: 3,827 sq km
    water: 340 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 175
    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
    agricultural land: 12.5%
    arable land 0.7%; permanent crops 6.3%; permanent pasture 5.5%
    forest: 43.7%
    other: 43.8% (2011 est.)
    10 sq km (2003)
    occasional cyclonic storms in January
    NA
    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 :: FRENCH POLYNESIA

  • noun: French Polynesian(s)
    adjective: French Polynesian
    Polynesian 78%, Chinese 12%, local French 6%, metropolitan French 4%
    French (official) 61.1%, Polynesian (official) 31.4%, Asian languages 1.2%, other 0.3%, unspecified 6% (2002 census)
    Protestant 54%, Roman Catholic 30%, other 10%, no religion 6%
    282,703 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 182
    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.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 42.5%
    youth dependency ratio: 32%
    elderly dependency ratio: 10.5%
    potential support ratio: 9.6% (2014 est.)
    total: 30.6 years
    male: 30.5 years
    female: 30.7 years (2014 est.)
    0.94% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    15.22 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    5.02 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 191
    -0.84 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 147
    urban population: 55.9% of total population (2015)
    rate of urbanization: 0.85% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    PAPEETE (capital) 133,000 (2014)
    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.)
    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.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    total population: 76.98 years
    male: 74.72 years
    female: 79.36 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    1.92 children born/woman (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    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 (2012 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 97.1% of population
    rural: 97.1% of population
    total: 97.1% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 2.9% of population
    rural: 2.9% of population
    total: 2.9% of population (2012 est.)
    NA
    NA
    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 1946-2003; overseas collectivity of France since 2003, though it is often referred to as an overseas country due to its degree of autonomy
    parliamentary representative democratic French overseas collectivity
    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)
    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
    none (overseas lands of France)
    Fete de la Federation, 14 July (1789); note - the local holiday is Internal Autonomy Day, 29 June (1880)
    4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
    the laws of France, where applicable, apply
    18 years of age; universal
    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); President of the Assembly of French Polynesia Marcel TUIHANI (since 16 September 2014)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers; president submits a list of members of the 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 French Polynesia government and the president of the Assembly of French Polynesia elected by the members of the assembly for five-year terms (no term limits)
    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)
    elections: last held on 21 April 2013 - first round and 5 May 2013 - second round (next to be held in 2018)
    election results: percent of vote by party - Popular Rally 45.1%, Union for Democracy alliance 29.3%, A Tia Porinetia 25.6%; seats by party - Popular Rally 38, Union for Democracy alliance 11, A Tia Porinetia 8
    note: two seats were elected to the French Senate 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 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
    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
    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) [James CHANCELOR]
    Popular Rally (Tahoeraa Huiraatira) [Gaston FLOSSE]
    Union for Democracy alliance or UPD [Oscar TEMARU]
    ITUC (NGOs), PIF (associate member), SPC, UPU, WMO
    none (overseas lands of France)
    none (overseas lands of France)
    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
    outrigger canoe; national colors: red, white
    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)
    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. 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.
    $7.15 billion (2012 est.)
    $6.982 billion (2011 est.)
    $6.963 billion (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 166
    $7.15 billion (2012 est.)
    2.4% (2012 est.)
    0.3% (2011 est.)
    2.2% (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 216
    $26,100 (2012 est.)
    $26,000 (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    agriculture: 2.5%
    industry: 13%
    services: 84.5% (2009)
    coconuts, vanilla, vegetables, fruits, coffee; poultry, beef, dairy products; fish
    tourism, pearls, agricultural processing, handicrafts, phosphates
    NA%
    114,300 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 182
    agriculture: 13%
    industry: 19%
    services: 68% (2013)
    21.8% (2012)
    11.7% (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    19.7% (2009 est.)
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    revenues: $1.891 billion
    expenditures: $1.833 billion (2012)
    26.4% of GDP (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    0.8% of GDP (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    calendar year
    1.1% (2013 est.)
    1.5% (2011 est.)
    $NA
    $230 million (2013 est.)
    $211 million (2005 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 182
    cultured pearls, coconut products, mother-of-pearl, vanilla, shark meat
    $1.72 billion (2013 est.)
    $1.706 billion (2005 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    fuels, foodstuffs, machinery and equipment
    $NA
    Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (XPF) per US dollar -
    89.85 (2013 est.)
    90.56 2012 est.)
    85.74 (2011 est.)
    90.01 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: FRENCH POLYNESIA

  • 825 million kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    767.3 million kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    224,000 kW (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    79% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    21% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    0 bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    7,430 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    7,190 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    1.071 million Mt (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
  • Communications :: FRENCH POLYNESIA

  • 55,000 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    226,000 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    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)
    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)
    AM 2, FM 14, shortwave 2 (1998)
    7 (plus 17 repeaters) (1997)
    .pf
    37,949 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    120,000 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 149
  • Transportation :: FRENCH POLYNESIA

  • 54 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    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)
    total: 9
    914 to 1,523 m: 4
    under 914 m:
    5 (2013)
    1 (2013)
    total: 2,590 km
    paved: 1,735 km
    unpaved: 855 km (1999)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    registered in other countries: 12 (Cambodia 1, France 11) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    major seaport(s): Papeete
  • Military :: FRENCH POLYNESIA

  • no regular military forces (2011)
    males age 16-49: 82,722 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 67,363
    females age 16-49: 66,053 (2010 est.)
    male: 2,498
    female: 2,390 (2010 est.)
    defense is the responsibility of France
  • Transnational Issues :: FRENCH POLYNESIA

  • none
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