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 French Polynesia


(overseas territory of France)
Country Flag of French Polynesia


All other countries

Introduction

Geography

People

Government

Economy

Communication

Transportation

Military

Transnational Issues

Country map of French Polynesia

French Polynesia

Introduction

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.

Geography

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

Map references: Oceania

Area:
total: 4,167 sq km (118 islands and atolls)
land: 3,660 sq km
water: 507 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly less than one-third the size of Connecticut

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.)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: occasional cyclonic storms in January

Environment - current issues: NA

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

Population: 249,110 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 30% (male 38,736; female 37,197)
15-64 years: 65% (male 83,986; female 76,973)
65 years and over: 5% (male 6,127; female 6,091) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.78% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 19.01 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 4.41 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 3.14 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.01 male(s)/female
total population: 1.07 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 9.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 74.79 years
male: 72.47 years
female: 77.22 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.28 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Nationality:
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)

Literacy:
definition: age 14 and over can read and write
total population: 98%
male: 98%
female: 98% (1977 est.)

Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Territory of French Polynesia
conventional short form: French Polynesia
local long form: Territoire de la Polynesie Francaise
local short form: Polynesie Francaise

Data code: FP

Dependency status: overseas territory of France since 1946

Government type: NA

Capital: Papeete

Administrative divisions: none (overseas territory of France); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 5 archipelagic divisions named Archipel des Marquises, Archipel des Tuamotu, Archipel des Tubuai, Iles du Vent, and Iles Sous-le-Vent
note: Clipperton Island is administered by France from French Polynesia

Independence: none (overseas territory of France)

National holiday: National Day, Taking of the Bastille, 14 July (1789)

Constitution: 28 September 1958 (French Constitution)

Legal system: based on French system

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Jacques CHIRAC of France (since 17 May 1995), represented by High Commissioner of the Republic Paul RONCIERE (since NA 1994)
head of government: President of the Territorial Government of French Polynesia Gaston FLOSSE (since 4 April 1991); President of the Territorial Assembly Justin ARAPARI (since 13 May 1996)
cabinet: Council of Ministers; president submits a list of members of the Territorial Assembly for approval by them to serve as ministers
elections: French president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term; high commissioner appointed by the French president on the advice of the French Ministry of Interior; president of the Territorial Government and the president of the Territorial Assembly are elected by the members of the assembly

Legislative branch: unicameral Territorial Assembly or Assemblee Territoriale (41 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 12 May 1996 (next to be held NA 2001)
election results: % of vote by party - NA; seats by party - People's Rally for the Republic (Gaullist) 22, Independent Front for the Liberation of Polynesia 10, New Fatherland Party 5, other 4
note: one seat was elected to the French Senate on 24 September 1989 (next to be held NA September 1998); results - % of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UC 1; two seats were elected to the French National Assembly on 25 May - 1 June 1997 (next to be held NA 2002); results - % of vote by party - NA; seats by party - People's Rally for the Republic (Gaullist) 2

Judicial branch: Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel; Court of the First Instance or Tribunal de Premiere Instance; Court of Administrative Law or Tribunal Administratif

Political parties and leaders: Centrist Union or UC [leader NA]; Entente Polynesian [Arthur CHUNG]; Haere i Mua [Alexandre LEONTIEFF]; Independent Front for the Liberation of Polynesia (Tavini Huiraatira) [Oscar TEMARU]; Independent Party (Ia Mana Te Nunaa) [Jacques DROLLET]; New Fatherland Party (Ai'a Api) [Emile VERNAUDON]; People's Rally for the Republic (Tahoeraa Huiraatira) [Gaston FLOSSE]; Polynesian Union Party (includes Te Tiarama and Pupu Here Ai'a Party) [Jean JUVENTIN]; Pupu Taina [Michel LAW]; Te Aratia Ote Nunaa (Tinomana Ebb); Te e'a No Maohi Nui [Jean-Marius RAAPOTO]

International organization participation: ESCAP (associate), FZ, ICFTU, SPC, WMO

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

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

Flag description: two narrow red horizontal bands encase a wide white band; centered on the white band is a disk with blue and white wave pattern on the lower half and gold and white ray pattern on the upper half; a stylized red, blue and white ship rides on the wave pattern; the French flag is used for official occasions

Economy

Economy - overview: Since 1962, when France stationed military personnel in the region, French Polynesia has changed from a subsistence economy to one in which a high proportion of the work force is either employed by the military or supports the tourist industry. Tourism accounts for about one-fourth of GDP and is a primary source of hard currency earnings. The small manufacturing sector primarily processes agricultural products. The territory benefited from a five-year (1994-98) development agreement with France aimed principally at creating new jobs.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $2.6 billion (1997 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: NA%

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $10,800 (1997 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 4%
industry: 18%
services: 78% (1997)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.5% (1994)

Labor force: 118,744 (of which 70,044 are employed) (1988)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 13%, industry 19%, services 68% (1997)

Unemployment rate: 15% (1992 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $1 billion
expenditures: $900 million, including capital expenditures of $185 million (1996)

Industries: tourism, pearls, agricultural processing, handicrafts

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - production: 360 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 59.72%
hydro: 40.28%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 335 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: coconuts, vanilla, vegetables, fruits; poultry, beef, dairy products

Exports: $212 million (f.o.b., 1996)

Exports - commodities: cultured pearls 50%, coconut products, mother-of-pearl, vanilla, shark meat (1997)

Exports - partners: US 11%, France 6% (1997)

Imports: $860 million (c.i.f., 1996)

Imports - commodities: fuels, foodstuffs, equipment

Imports - partners: France 44.7%, US 13.9% (1994)

Debt - external: $NA

Economic aid - recipient: $450.4 million (1995)

Currency: 1 Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique franc (CFPF) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (CFPF) per US$1 - 117.67 (January 2000), 111.93 (1999), 107.25 (1998), 106.11 (1997), 93.00 (1996), 90.75 (1995); note - linked at the rate of 18.18 CFPFs to the French franc

Fiscal year: calendar year

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 32,000 (1995)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 4,000 (1995)

Telephone system:
domestic: NA
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 14, shortwave 2 (1998)

Radios: 128,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 7 (plus 17 low-power repeaters) (1997)

Televisions: 40,000 (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): NA

Transportation

Railways: 0 km

Highways:
total: 792 km
paved: 792 km
unpaved: 0 km (1995 est.)

Ports and harbors: Mataura, Papeete, Rikitea, Uturoa

Merchant marine:
total: 4 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 5,240 GRT/7,765 DWT
ships by type: cargo 1, passenger/cargo 2, refrigerated cargo 1 (1999 est.)

Airports: 45 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 30
over 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 17
under 914 m: 6 (1999 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 15
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 10 (1999 est.)

Military

Military branches: French Forces (includes Army, Navy, Air Force), Gendarmerie

Military - note: defense is the responsibility of France

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

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