French Polynesia Population: 290,373


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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; following mounting opposition, the tests were moved underground in 1975. 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.

    Includes five archipelagoes: four volcanic (Iles Gambier, Iles Marquises, Iles Tubuai, Society Islands) and one coral (Archipel des Tuamotu); the Tuamotu Archipelago forms the largest group of atolls in the world - 78 in total, 48 inhabited; Makatea in the Tuamotu Archipelago is one of the three great phosphate rock islands in the Pacific Ocean - the others are Banaba (Ocean Island) in Kiribati and Nauru
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: total: 4,167 sq km (118 islands and atolls; 67 are inhabited)
land: 3,827 sq km
water: 340 sq km

Size comparison: 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
Natural resources: timber, fish, cobalt, hydropower
Land use: agricultural land: 12.5% (2011 est.) arable land: 0.7% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 6.3% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 5.5% (2011 est.) forest: 43.7% (2011 est.)
other: 43.8% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 10 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: occasional cyclonic storms in January
Current Environment Issues: sea level rise; extreme weather events (cyclones, storms, and tsunamis producing floods, landslides, erosion, and reef damage); droughts; fresh water scarcity
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Nationality: noun: French Polynesian(s)
adjective: French Polynesian
Ethnic groups: Polynesian 78%, Chinese 12%, local French 6%, metropolitan French 4%
Languages: French (official) 70%, Polynesian (official) 28.2%, other 1.8% (2012 est.)
Religions: Protestant 54%, Roman Catholic 30%, other 10%, no religion 6%
Population: 290,373 (July 2018 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 22.21% (male 33,165 /female 31,322)
15-24 years: 15.37% (male 23,232 /female 21,405)
25-54 years: 44.4% (male 66,074 /female 62,854)
55-64 years: 9.72% (male 14,503 /female 13,719)
65 years and over: 8.3% (male 11,634 /female 12,465) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 45.3 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 34.8 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 10.5 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 9.5 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 32.4 years
male: 32.1 years
female: 32.6 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.85% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 14.5 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 5.3 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 61.8% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 1.01% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 136,000 PAPEETE (capital) (2018)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.93 male(s)/female
total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 4.6 deaths/1,000 live births male: 5.1 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 77.5 years male: 75.2 years
female: 80 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.87 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Physicians density: 2.13 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population

urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 98.5% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 98.5% of population (2015 est.)
total: 98.5% of population (2015 est.)

urban: 1.5% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 1.5% of population (2015 est.)
total: 1.5% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: n/a
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: n/a
HIV/AIDS - deaths: n/a Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 56.7% male: 54.5% female: 59.7% (2012 est.)
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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: Establishments in Oceania, French Establishments in 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 democracy (Assembly of French Polynesia); an overseas collectivity of France
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)
etymology: the name means "water basket" and refers to the fact that the islanders originally used calabashes enclosed in baskets to fetch water at a spring in the area
Administrative divisions: 5 administrative subdivisions (subdivisions administratives, singular - subdivision administrative): Iles Australes (Austral Islands), Iles du Vent (Windward Islands), Iles Marquises (Marquesas Islands), Iles Sous-le-Vent (Leeward Islands), Iles Tuamotu-Gambier; note - the Leeward Islands and the Windward Islands together make up the Society Islands (Iles de la Societe)
Independence: none (overseas lands of France)
National holiday: Fete de la Federation, 14 July (1790); note - the local holiday is Internal Autonomy Day, 29 June (1880)
Constitution: history: 4 October 1958 (French Constitution) amendments: French constitution amendment procedures apply
Legal system: the laws of France, where applicable, apply
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
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)

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 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

elections: Assembly of French Polynesia - last held on 22 April 2018 and 6 May 2018 (next to be held in 2023) French Senate - last held in September 2017 (next to be held in September 2020) French National Assembly - last held in 2 rounds on 3 and 17 June 2017 (next to be held in 2022)

election results: Assembly of French Polynesia - percent of vote by party - Tapura Huiraatira 45.1%, Popular Rally 29.3%, Tavini Huiraatira 25.6%; seats by party - Tapura Huiraatira 38, Popular Rally 11, Tavini Huiraatira 8; composition - men 27, women 30, percent of women 52.6% French Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Popular Rally 1, People's Servant Party 1; composition - men 246, women 102, percent of women 29.3% French National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Tapura Huiractura 2, Tavini Huiraatura 1; composition - men 353, women 224, percent of women 38.8%; note - total Parliament percent of women 20%
Judicial branch: highest courts: 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: judges assigned from France normally for 3 years

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 New Star [Philip SCHYLE], This Country is Yours [Nicole BOUTEAU]) 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] Tapura Huiraatira [Edouard FRITICH] Tavini Huiraatira [James CHANCELOR] Union for Democracy alliance or UPD [Oscar TEMARU]
International organization participation: ITUC (NGOs), PIF (associate member), SPC, UPU, WMO
National symbol(s): outrigger canoe, Tahitian gardenia (Gardenia taitensis) flower;
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)
Diplomatic representation in the US: none (overseas lands of France)
Diplomatic representation from the US: none (overseas lands of France)
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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, the economic and financial crisis in 2008 marked French Polynesia’s entry into recession. However, since 2014, French Polynesia has shown signs of recovery. Business turnover reached 1.8% year-on-year in September 2016, tourism increased 1.8% in 2015, and GDP grew 2.0% in 2015. French Polynesia’s tourism-dominated service sector accounted for 85% of total value added for the economy in 2012. Tourism employs 17% of the workforce. Pearl farming is the second biggest industry, accounting for 54% of exports in 2015; however, the output has decreased to 12.5 tons – the lowest level since 2008. A small manufacturing sector predominantly processes commodities from French Polynesia’s primary sector - 8% of total economy in 2012 - including agriculture and fishing. France has agreed to finance infrastructure, marine businesses, and cultural and ecological sites at roughly $80 million per year between 2015 and 2020. Japan, the US, and China are French Polynesia’s three largest trade partners.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $5.49 billion (2015 est.) $5.383 billion (2014 est.) $6.963 billion (2010 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $4.795 billion (2015 est.) (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 2% (2015 est.) -2.7% (2014 est.) -2.5% (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $17,000 (2015 est.) $20,100 (2014 est.) $22,700 (2010) GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 66.9% (2014 est.) government consumption: 33.6% (2014 est.) investment in fixed capital: 19.4% (2014 est.) investment in inventories: 0.1% (2014 est.) exports of goods and services: 17.5% (2014 est.) imports of goods and services: -37.5% (2014 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 2.5% (2009) industry: 13% (2009) 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: n/a
Labor force: 126,300 (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 13%
industry: 19%
services: 68% (2013 est.)
Unemployment rate: 21.8% (2012) 11.7% (2010)
Population below poverty line: 19.7% (2009 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: n/a
highest 10%: n/a
Budget: revenues: 1.891 billion (2012)
expenditures: 1.833 billion (2011)
Taxes and other revenues: 39.4% (of GDP) (2012) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): 1.2% (of GDP) (2012)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0% (2015 est.) 0.3% (2014 est.)
Current account balance: $207.7 million (2014 est.) $158.8 million (2013 est.)
Exports: $1.245 billion (2014 est.) $1.168 billion (2013 est.)
Exports - commodities: cultured pearls, coconut products, mother-of-pearl, vanilla, shark meat
Exports - partners: Japan 23.1%, Hong Kong 21.5%, Kyrgyzstan 15.9%, US 15.9%, France 12.4% (2017)
Imports: $2.235 billion (2014 est.) $2.271 billion (2013 est.)
Imports - commodities: fuels, foodstuffs, machinery and equipment
Imports - partners: France 27.9%, South Korea 12.1%, US 10.1%, China 7.3%, NZ 6.7%, Singapore 4.2% (2017)
Debt - external: n/a
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $905 million (2015 est.) $822.3 million (2014 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $349.3 million (2015) $310.8 million (2014 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: n/a
Exchange rates: Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (XPF) per US dollar - 110.2 (2017 est.) 107.84 (2016 est.) 107.84 (2015 est.) 89.85 (2014 est.) 90.56 (2013 est.)
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Electricity - production: 677.3 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 629.9 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 253,000 kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 70% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 19% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 11% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 6,600 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 6,785 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 1.03 million Mt (2017 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 280,111
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 97 (July 2016 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: one of the most advanced telecom infrastructures for the Pacific islands region; 85% mobile broadband coverage (2018)

domestic: fixed-line subscriptions 33 per 100 persons and mobile-cellular density is roughly 97 per 100 persons (2018)

international: country code - 689; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean); international submarine cables deployed in 2010 and more cables after 2016
Broadcast media: French public overseas broadcaster Reseau Outre-Mer provides 2 TV channels and 1 radio station; 1 government-owned TV station; a small number of privately owned radio stations (2019)
Internet country code: .pf
Internet users: total: 195,275
percent of population: 68.4% (July 2016 est.)
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Airports: 54 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 45
(2017) over 3,047 m: 2 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 33 (2017)
under 914 m: 5 (2017)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 9
914 to 1,523 m: 4 (2013)
under 914 m: 5 (2013)
Heliports: 1 (2013)
Roadways: total 2,590 km
(1999) paved: 1,735 km (1999)
unpaved: 855 km (1999)
Merchant marine: total 17

by type: general cargo 8, other 9 (2018)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Papeete
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Defense is the responsibility of France
Military branches: no regular military forces (2011)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: none
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