World Factbook

French Polynesia

Introduction

Australia-Oceania :: French Polynesia(overseas lands of France)

Background:
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 half way between South America and Australia

Geographic coordinates:
15 00 S, 140 00 W

Map references:
Oceania

Area:
Total: 4,167 sq km (118 islands and atolls)
Country comparison to the world: 175
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 extremes:
Lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Highest point: Mont Orohena 2,241 m

Natural resources:
timber, fish, cobalt, hydropower

Land use:
Arable land: 0.68%
Permanent crops: 6.28%
Other: 93.03% (2011)

Irrigated land:
10 sq km (2003)

Natural hazards:
occasional cyclonic storms in January

Environment - current issues:
NA

Geography - note:
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 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:
277,293 (July 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 181

Age structure:
0-14 years: 24.1% (male 34,376/female 32,457)
15-24 years: 17.1% (male 24,553/female 22,953)
25-54 years: 43.6% (male 62,080/female 58,903)
55-64 years: 8.2% (male 11,771/female 11,081)
65 years and over: 6.9% (male 9,299/female 9,820) (2013 est.)

Dependency ratios:
Total dependency ratio: 42.4 %
Youth dependency ratio: 32.2 %
Elderly dependency ratio: 10.2 %
Potential support ratio: 9.8 (2013)

Median age:
Total: 30.2 years
Male: 30.1 years
Female: 30.3 years (2013 est.)

Population growth rate:
1% (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 116

Birth rate:
15.7 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 128

Death rate:
4.85 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 192

Net migration rate:
-0.91 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 147

Urbanization:
Urban population: 51% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 1.3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population:
PAPEETE (capital) 133,000 (2009)

Sex ratio:
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.95 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2013 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
Total: 4.83 deaths/1,000 live births
Country comparison to the world: 181
Male: 5.36 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 4.26 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
Total population: 76.59 years
Country comparison to the world: 75
Male: 74.37 years
Female: 78.93 years (2013 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.97 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 133

Drinking water source:
Improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population (2010 est.)

Sanitation facility access:
Improved:
urban: 99% of population
rural: 97% of population
total: 98% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 1% of population
rural: 3% of population
total: 2% of population (2010 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA

Education expenditures:
NA

Literacy:
Definition: age 14 and over can read and write
Total population: 98%
Male: 98%
Female: 98% (1977 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
Total: 33.2%
Country comparison to the world: 18
Male: 29.3%
Female: 39.1% (2002)

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

Dependency status:
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

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 five 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

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
Chief of state: President Francois HOLLANDE (since 15 May 2012), represented by acting High Commissioner of the Republic Gilles CANTAL (since 23 August 2013); note - Lionel BEFFRE was named by the French Council of Ministers to the post on 21 August 2013
Head of government: President of French Polynesia Gaston FLOSS (since 17 May 2013); President of the Assembly of French Polynesia Jacqui DROLLET (since 14 April 2011)
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)

Legislative branch:
unicameral Assembly of French Polynesia or Assemblee de la Polynesia francaise (57 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-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%, other 15.8%; 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 21 September 2008 (next to be held in September 2014); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 1, independent 1; three 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 3

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]

Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA

International organization participation:
ITUC (NGOs), PIF (associate member), SPC, UPU

Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (overseas lands of France)

Diplomatic representation from the US:
none (overseas lands of France)

National symbol(s):
outrigger canoe

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

Government - note:
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

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. Tourism accounts for about one-fourth of GDP and is a primary source of hard currency earnings. Other sources of income are handicrafts, public works projects, aquaculture, 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.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$5.65 billion (2006 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 167
$5.674 billion (2005 est.)
$5.525 billion (2004 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$5.65 billion (2006)

GDP - real growth rate:
-0.4% (2006)
Country comparison to the world: 189
2.7% (2005)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$22,000 (2006 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 68
$18,000 (2004 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
Agriculture: 3.1%
Industry: 20%
Services: 76.9% (2006)

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:
116,000 (2007)
Country comparison to the world: 181

Labor force - by occupation:
Agriculture: 13%
Industry: 19%
Services: 68% (2002)

Unemployment rate:
11.7% (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 123
11.7% (2005)

Population below poverty line:
19.7% (2009)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Lowest 10%: NA%
Highest 10%: NA%

Budget:
Revenues: $865 million
Expenditures: $644.1 million (1999)

Taxes and other revenues:
15.3% of GDP (1999)
Country comparison to the world: 190

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
3.9% of GDP (1999)
Country comparison to the world: 16

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.1% (2007)
Country comparison to the world: 15
1.1% (2006 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA

Exports:
$200 million (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 184
$211 million (2005 est.)

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

Imports:
$2.2 billion (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 162
$1.706 billion (2005 est.)

Imports - commodities:
fuels, foodstuffs, machinery and equipment

Debt - external:
$NA

Exchange rates:
Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (XPF) per US dollar -
90.01 (2010 est.)
87.59 (2007)

Energy

Electricity - production:
725 million kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 154

Electricity - consumption:
674.3 million kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 160

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 196

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 188

Electricity - installed generating capacity:
140,000 kW (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 160

Electricity - from fossil fuels:
66.4% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 117

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 90

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
33.6% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 65

Electricity - from other renewable sources:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 126

Crude oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 136

Crude oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 113

Crude oil - imports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 185

Crude oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 134

Refined petroleum products - production:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 179

Refined petroleum products - consumption:
8,000 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 158

Refined petroleum products - exports:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 178

Refined petroleum products - imports:
7,246 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 138

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 131

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 144

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 100

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 194

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 138

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
1.221 million Mt (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 162

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use:
55,000 (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 162

Telephones - mobile cellular:
222,800 (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 177

Telephone system:
Domestic: combined fixed 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)

Internet country code:
.pf

Internet hosts:
37,949 (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 103

Internet users:
120,000 (2009)
Country comparison to the world: 153

Transportation

Airports:
54 (2013)
Country comparison to the world: 88

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:
Total: 2,590 km
Country comparison to the world: 170
Paved: 1,735 km
Unpaved: 855 km (1999)

Merchant marine:
Registered in other countries: 12 (Cambodia 1, France 11) (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 105

Ports and terminals:
Major seaport(s): Papeete

Military

Military branches:
no regular military forces (2011)

Manpower available for military service:
Males age 16-49: 82,722 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
Males age 16-49: 67,363
Females age 16-49: 66,053 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Male: 2,498
Female: 2,390 (2010 est.)

Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of France

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:
none

Flag of French Polynesia



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