French Polynesia 1996French%20Polynesia

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French Polynesia
French Polynesia 


French Polynesia - Introduction 1996
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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.

French Polynesia - Geography 1996
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Location: Oceania, archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from South America to Australia

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 3,941 km²
Land: 3,660 km²
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
Lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Highest point: Mount Orohena 2,241 m


Natural resources:

Land use

Land use
Arable land: 1%
Permanent crops: 19%
Permanent pastures: 5%
Forests and woodland: 31%
Other: 44%

Irrigated land: NA

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


French Polynesia - People 1996
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224,911 (July 1996 est.)
219,999 (July 1995 est.)

Growth rate:
2.19% (1996 est.)
2.23% (1995 est.)

Noun: French Polynesian(s)
Adjective: French Polynesian

Ethnic groups:
Polynesian 78%
Chinese 12%
Local French 6%
Metropolitan French 4%

Languages: French (official), Tahitian (official)

Protestant 54%
Roman Catholic 30%
Other 16%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years:
35% (male 40,450; female 39,038) (July 1996 est.)
36% (male 39,744; female 38,361) (July 1995 est.)

15-64 years:
61% (male 70,506; female 65,620) (July 1996 est.)
60% (male 69,024; female 64,034) (July 1995 est.)

65 years and over:
4% (male 4,636; female 4,661) (July 1996 est.)
4% (male 4,399; female 4,437) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate:
2.19% (1996 est.)
2.23% (1995 est.)

Birth rate:
27.15 births/1000 population (1996 est.)
27.56 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate:
5.27 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.)
5.27 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)
0 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: NA
Current issues Natural hazards: occasional cyclonic storms in January
International agreements: NA
International agreements 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

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1 male(s)/female
All ages:
1.06 male(s)/female (1996 est.) Infant Mortality Rate:14.4 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)
14.6 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 70.94 years 91,996 est.), 70.75 years (1995 est.)
Male: 68.49 years 91,996 est.), 68.32 years (1995 est.)
Female: 73.5 years (1996 est.), 73.29 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate:
3.26 children born/woman (1996 est.)
3.3 children born/woman (1995 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 14 and over that can read and write but definition of literary not available (1977)
Total population: 98%
Male: 98%
Female: 98%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

French Polynesia - Government 1996
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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

Government type: Overseas territory of France since 1946

Capital: Papeete

Administrative divisions: None (overseas territory of France); 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

Dependent areas

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

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: President (of France) Jacques CHIRAC (since 17 May 1995); represented by High Commissioner of the Republic Paul RONCIERE (since 8 August 1994) who was appointed by the French Ministry of Interior
Head of government: President of the Territorial Government of French Polynesia Gaston FLOSSE (since 4 April 1991); President of the Territorial Assembly Tinomana EBB (since NA)
Cabinet: Council of Ministers; president submits a list of members of the Assembly for approval by them to serve as ministers

Legislative branch: Unicameral Territorial Assembly:Elections last held 17 March 1991 (next to be held March 1996; results_percent of vote by party NA; seats_(41 total) People's Rally for the Republic (Gaullist) 18, Polynesian Union Party 12, New Fatherland Party 7, other 4 French Senate:Elections last held 24 September 1989 (next to be held September 1998; results_percent of vote by party NA; seats_(1 total) party NA French National Assembly:Elections last held 21 and 28 March 1993 (next to be held NA March 1998; results_percent of vote by party NA; seats_(2 total) People's Rally for the Republic (Gaullist) 2

Judicial branch: Court of Appeal, Court of the First Instance, Court of Administrative Law

Political parties and leaders

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

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of French%20Polynesia:  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 flag of France is used for official occasions

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

French Polynesia - Economy 1996
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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 20% of GDP and is a primary source of hard currency earnings. The territory will continue to benefit from a five-year (1994-98) development agreement with France aimed principally at creating new jobs.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: NA

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: Coconut and vanilla plantations; vegetables and fruit; poultry, beef, dairy products

Agricultural processing

Industrial production growth rate: Growth rate NA; accounts for 15% of GDP

Labor force
76630 employed 1988 by occupation:

Agriculture 13%
Industry 19%
Services 68% (1992 est.)

Labor force

Unemployment rate: 10% (1990 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $686 million (1989), $614 million (1988)
Expenditures: $884 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1989), $957 million, including capital expenditures of NA (1988)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: Calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

total value. $230 million (f.o.b., 1994)
$88.9 million (f.o.b., 1989)

Cultivated pearls 41.6%
Coconut products
Shark meat

France 34%
U.S. 10% (1992)

Total value:
$912 million (c.i.f., 1994)
$765 million (c.i.f., 1989)


EU 64% (France 45.4%)
U.S. 13.6%
Australia 6.9%
NZ 5.8%
Japan 5%

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: NA

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (CFPF) per US$1_91.00 (January 1996), 90.75 (1995), 100.94 (1994), 102.96 (1993), 96.24 (1992), 102.57 (1991), 99.00 (1990; note_linked at the rate of 18.18 to the French franc

French Polynesia - Energy 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 275 million kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 1,189 kWh (1993)

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

French Polynesia - Communication 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 33,200 telephones
Local: NA
Intercity: NA
International: 1 INTELSAT (Pacific Ocean) earth station

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

French Polynesia - Military 1996
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

French Polynesia - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 41
With paved runways over 3047 m: 2
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 5
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 6 (1995 est.)
With paved runways under 914 m: 15

Airports with paved runways
Over 3047 m: 2
15-24 to 2437 m: 5
914 to 1523 m: 6 (1995 est.)
Under 914 m: 15

Airports with unpaved runways






Merchant marine
Total: 3 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 4,127 GRT/6,710 DWT
Ships by type: passenger-cargo 2, refrigerated cargo 1
Note: A subset of the French register allowing French-owned ships to operate under more liberal taxation and manning regulations than permissable under the main French register

Ports and terminals

French Polynesia - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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