French Polynesia Travel Information

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Facts About French Polynesia

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 suspended in January 1996.
Dependency status: overseas territory of France since 1946
Capital: Papeete
Currency: 1 Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique franc (CFPF) = 100 centimes

Geography of French Polynesia

Location: Oceania, archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from South America to Australia
Geographic coordinates: 15 00 S, 140 00 W
total: 4,167 sq km (118 islands and atolls)
land: 3,660 sq km
water: 507 sq km
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 2,525 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 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: 1%
permanent crops: 6%
permanent pastures: 5%
forests and woodland: 31%
other: 57% (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: occasional cyclonic storms in January
Geography - note: includes five archipelagoes; 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 of French Polynesia

Population: 270,485 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  29.74%
15-64 years:  65.17%
65 years and over:  5.09%
Population growth rate: 1.72% 
Birth rate: 18.6 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 4.45 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: 3.09 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 9.12 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  75.01 years
male:  72.67 years
female:  77.46 years 
Total fertility rate: 2.23 children born/woman 
noun: French Polynesian(s)
adjective: French Polynesian
Ethnic groups: Polynesian 78%, Chinese 12%, local French 6%, metropolitan French 4%
Religions: Protestant 54%, Roman Catholic 30%, other 16%
Languages: French (official), Tahitian (official)
definition: age 14 and over can read and write
total population: 98%
male: 98%
female: 98% (1977 est.)

SOURCE: The World Factbook

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > French Polynesia > Map Economy