French Polynesia

French Polynesia is a group of islands located in the Pacific Ocean.  There are many groups of the islands, but probably the most popular is Tahiti, which is in the Society Islands group.  Tahiti is also the seat of the capital of the territory. 

There is 4,167 square kilometers total area of French Polynesia covering 2,500,000 square kilometers of ocean.  There are six island groups:  Austral, Bass (although it is often considered part of Austral), Gambier, Marquesas, Society, and Tuamotu.   Other areas in French Polynesia that many people have heard of include Bora Bora and Tupai. 

There are approximately 245,516 inhabitants of French Polynesia.  The majority of them, over 87%, were born on the islands.  The rest came from France or over overseas.  Almost 70% of them live on Tahiti.  The city of Papeete has 127,635 inhabitants.  In 1996, an organic law determined that French was the official language, with approximately 65% saying they speak French.  Most of the rest state that they speak a Polynesian language at home, although there were some that spoke an East Asian language.  Christianity prevails as the main religion with over half belonging to Protestant churches.  Of that half, approximately 30% claim to be Roman Catholic.

The main roads of French Polynesia as well maintained and paved, but secondary roads may not be.  There are 51 airports in French Polynesia.  The islands have a relatively low crime rate although pick pocketing and purse snatching occasionally occur.  Medical treatment is good in the more populated areas.  Those that live in remote areas often have to travel to Tahiti for treatment.  There are two major hospitals located in Papeete.

French Polynesia inhabitants are dependent on imported goods and the monies generated by tourism as well as financial assistance from France.  Their agriculture crops include coconuts and vanilla as well as various vegetables and fruits.  Their natural resources include timber, fish, and cobalt.  They use the CFP Franc for legal tender.  Their major export is black Tahitian pearls.