French Polynesia

Country Summary

Introduction

Background

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.

Geography

Area

total: 4,167 sq km
land: 3,827 sq km
water: 340 sq km

Climate

tropical, but moderate

Natural resources

timber, fish, cobalt, hydropower

People and Society

Population

301,488 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

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

Languages

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

Religions

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

Population growth rate

0.7% (2023 est.)

Government

Government type

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

Capital

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 Moetai BROTHERSON (since 12 May 2023)

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

Economy

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)

$5.65 billion (2021 est.)
$5.52 billion (2020 est.)
$5.94 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$18,600 (2021 est.)
$18,300 (2020 est.)
$19,800 (2019 est.)

Agricultural products

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

Industries

tourism, pearls, agricultural processing, handicrafts, phosphates

Exports

$162 million (2021 est.)
$94.4 million (2020 est.)
$184 million (2019 est.)

Exports - partners

United States 47%, Japan 17%, France 14%, Netherlands 4%, Poland 3% (2021)

Exports - commodities

paintings, pearls, tuna, aircraft parts, coconut oil, vanilla, electrical panels (2021)

Imports

$1.66 billion (2021 est.)
$1.75 billion (2020 est.)
$2.24 billion (2019 est.)

Imports - partners

France 43%, New Zealand 12%, China 8%, United States 6%, Singapore 5% (2021)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, cars, packaged medicines, broadcasting equipment, passenger ships (2021)

Exchange rates

Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (XPF) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
100.88 (2021 est.)
104.711 (2020 est.)
106.589 (2019 est.)
101.047 (2018 est.)
105.633 (2017 est.)


Page last updated: Tuesday, February 27, 2024