French Polynesia 2002French%20Polynesia

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French Polynesia
French Polynesia 


French Polynesia - Introduction 2002
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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 2002
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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: 15 00 S 140 00 W

Map referenceOceania

Total: 4,167 km² (118 islands and atolls)
Water: 507 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

Extremes lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Extremes highest point: Mont Orohena 2,241 m

Natural resources: timber fish cobalt hydropower
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 1.64%
Permanent crops: 6.01%
Other: 92.35% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: NA km²

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: occasional cyclonic storms in January

Note: includes five archipelagoes (4 volcanic 1 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

French Polynesia - People 2002
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Population: 257,847 (July 2002 est.)
Growth rate: 1.67% (2002 est.)
Below poverty line: NA%

Noun: French Polynesian
Adjective: French Polynesian

Ethnic groups: Polynesian 78% Chinese 12% local French 6% metropolitan French 4%

Languages: French (official) Tahitian (official)

Religions: Protestant 54% Roman Catholic 30% other 10% no religion 6%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 29% (male 38,184; female 36,631)
15-64 years: 65.7% (male 88,250; female 81,165)
65 years and over: 5.3% (male 6,850; female 6,767) (2002 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 1.67% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 18.17 births/1000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate: 4.49 deaths/1000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate: 3.04 migrant(s)/1000 population (2002 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: NA

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male/female
15-64 years: 1.09 male/female
65 years and over: 1.01 male/female
Total population: 1.07 male/female (2002 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 8.95 deaths/1000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 75.23 years
Female: 77.69 years (2002 est.)
Male: 72.88 years

Total fertility rate: 2.18 children born/woman (2002 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access

Adult prevalence rate: NA%
People living with hivaids: NA
Deaths: NA

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 can read and write
Total population: 98%
Male: 98%
Female: 98% (1977 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

French Polynesia - Government 2002
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Country name
Conventional long form: Territory of French Polynesia
Conventional short form: French Polynesia
Local short form: Polynesie Francaise
Local long form: Territoire de la Polynesie Francaise
Former: French Colony of Oceania

Government type: NA

Capital: Papeete

Administrative divisions
Note: Clipperton Island is administered by France from French Polynesia

Dependent areas

Independence: none (overseas territory of France)

National holiday: Bastille Day 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 Jacques CHIRAC of France (since 17 May 1995), represented by High Commissioner of the Republic Michel MATHIEU (since 24 October 2001)
Head of government: President of the Territorial Government of French Polynesia Gaston FLOSSE (since 4 April 1991); President of the Territorial Assembly Lucette TAERO (since 17 May 2001)
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 five-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
Elections: last held 6 May 2001 (next to be held NA May 2006)
Note: one seat was elected to the French Senate on NA September 1998 (next to be held NA September 2007); results - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NA; two seats were elected to the French National Assembly on 9 June-16 June 2002 (next to be held NA 2007); results - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - UMP/RPR 1, UMP 1
Election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - People's Rally for the Republic (Gaullist) 28, Independent Front for the Liberation of Polynesia 13, New Fatherland Party 7, other 1

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: Independent Front for the Liberation of Polynesia (Tavini Huiraatira) [Oscar TEMARU]; New Fatherland Party (Ai'a Api) [Emile VERNAUDON]; People's Rally for the Republic of Polynesia or RPR (Tahoeraa Huiraatira) [Gaston FLOSSE]; The New Star (Te Fetia Api) [Boris LEONTIEFF]

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

Diplomatic representation
In the us: none (overseas territory of France)
From the us: none (overseas territory of France)

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 French flag is used for official occasions

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

French Polynesia - Economy 2002
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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. 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 pearl farming and deep-sea commercial fishing. The small manufacturing sector primarily processes agricultural products. The territory substantially benefits from development agreements with France aimed principally at creating new businesses and strengthening social services.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 4% (2001 est.)

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: 6%
Industry: 18%
Services: 76% (1997)

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

Industries: tourism pearls agricultural processing handicrafts

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Labor force: 70,000 (1996) (1996)
By occupation agriculture: 13%
By occupation industry: 19%
By occupation services: 68% (1997) (1997)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: NA%

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: NA%

Gini index

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

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $1 billion
Expenditures: $900 million, including capital expenditures of $185 million (1996) (1996)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 1.5% (1994)

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

Exports: $205 million f.o.b. (1999)
Commodities: cultured pearls 50% coconut products mother-of-pearl vanilla shark meat (1997)
Partners: Japan 62% US 21% (1999)

Imports: $749 million f.o.b. (1999)
Commodities: fuels foodstuffs equipment
Partners: France 53% US 13% Australia 10% (1999)

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 (XPF) per US dollar - 135.04 (January 2002) 133.26 (2001) 129.44 (2000) 111.93 (1999) 107.25 (1998) 106.11 (1997); note - pegged at the rate of 119.25 XPF to the euro

French Polynesia - Energy 2002
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 408 million kWh (2000)
By source fossil fuel: 54%
By source hydro: 46%
By source other: 0% (2000)
By source nuclear: 0%

Electricity consumption: 379.44 million kWh (2000)

Electricity exports: 0 kWh (2000)

Electricity imports: 0 kWh (2000)

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 2002
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: 5,427 (1997)

Telephone system
General assessment: NA
Domestic: NA
International: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .pf

Internet users: 16,000 (2002)

Broadband fixed subscriptions

French Polynesia - Military 2002
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

French Polynesia - Transportation 2002
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 45 (2001)
With paved runways total: 37
With paved runways over 3047 m: 2
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 5
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 22
With paved runways under 914 m: 8 (2002)
With unpaved runways total: 8
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 3
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 5 (2002)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 37
Over 3047 m: 2
15-24 to 2437 m: 5
914 to 1523 m: 22
Under 914 m: 8 (2002)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 8
914 to 1523 m: 3
Under 914 m: 5 (2002)



Railways: 0 km


Waterways: none

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 (2002 est.)

Ports and terminals

French Polynesia - Transnational issues 2002
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Disputes international: none

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

Fidel Crest

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