French Polynesia

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid



The French annexed various Polynesian island groups during the 19th century. In 1966, the French Government began testing nuclear weapons on the uninhabited Mururoa Atoll. In September 1995, France stirred up widespread protests by resuming nuclear testing after a three-year moratorium. The tests were halted in January 1996. In recent years, French Polynesia's autonomy has been considerably expanded.



total: 4,167 sq km

land: 3,827 sq km

water: 340 sq km


tropical, but moderate

Natural resources

timber, fish, cobalt, hydropower

People and Society


299,356 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

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


French (official) 73.5%, Tahitian 20.1%, Marquesan 2.6%, Austral languages 1.2%, Paumotu 1%, other 1.6% (2017 est.)


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

Population growth rate

0.73% (2022 est.)


Government type

parliamentary democracy (Assembly of French Polynesia); an overseas collectivity of France


name: Papeete (located on Tahiti)

Executive branch

chief of state: President Emmanuel MACRON (since 14 May 2017), represented by High Commissioner of the Republic Dominique SORAIN (since 10 July 2019)

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

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Assembly of French Polynesia or Assemblée de la Polynésie française (57 seats; elections held in 2 rounds; in the second round, 38 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by a closed-list proportional representation vote; the party receiving the most votes gets an additional 19 seats; members serve 5-year terms; French Polynesia indirectly elects 2 senators to the French Senate via an electoral college by absolute majority vote for 6-year terms with one-half the membership renewed every 3 years and directly elects 3 deputies to the French National Assembly by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed for 5-year terms


Economic overview

small, territorial-island tourism-based economy; large French financing; lower EU import duties; Pacific Islands Forum member; fairly resilient from COVID-19; oil-dependent infrastructure

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$5.49 billion (2017 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$17,000 (2015 est.)

Agricultural products

coconuts, fruit, roots/tubers nes, pineapples, cassava, sugar cane, eggs, tropical fruit, tomatoes


tourism, pearls, agricultural processing, handicrafts, phosphates


$1.245 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - partners

Japan 23.1%, Hong Kong 21.5%, Kyrgyzstan 15.9%, US 15.9%, France 12.4% (2017)

Exports - commodities

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


$2.235 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - partners

France 27.9%, South Korea 12.1%, US 10.1%, China 7.3%, NZ 6.7%, Singapore 4.2% (2017)

Imports - commodities

fuels, foodstuffs, machinery and equipment

Exchange rates

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

Page last updated: Tuesday, December 20, 2022