French Polynesia - Economic Indicators

Economic Overview

Since 1962, when France stationed military personnel in the region, French Polynesia has changed from a subsistence agricultural 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. After growing at an average yearly rate of 4.2% from 1997-2007, the economic and financial crisis in 2008 marked French Polynesia’s entry into recession. However, since 2014, French Polynesia has shown signs of...

Continue reading View Factbook for French Polynesia

Labor Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Agriculture Employment 2017 10,589 10,492 # Annual
Labor Force 2017 118,980 117,890 # Annual
Trade Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Current Account Balance 2014 -893,871 3,507,522 BoP; current USD Annual
Imports of Goods 2014 1,747,088,195 1,782,680,703 USD Annual
Exports of Goods and Services 2000 21,851,000,832 21,318,000,640 NCU Annual
Imports of Goods and Services 2000 108,120,997,888 102,971,998,208 NCU Annual
Demographics Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Birth Rate 2015 15.58 15.78 # per Ths. pop. Annual
Death Rate 2015 5.36 5.29 # per Ths. pop. Annual
Net Migration 2012 -4,998 # Annual

Factbook

Background

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 halted in January 1996. In recent years, French Polynesia's autonomy has been considerably expanded.

Geography

Location:
Oceania, five archipelagoes (Archipel des Tuamotu, Iles Gambier, Iles Marquises, Iles Tubuai, Society Islands) in the South Pacific Ocean about halfway between South America and Australia
Geographic coordinates:
15 00 S, 140 00 W
Map references:
Oceania
Area:
total: 4,167 sq km (118 islands and atolls; 67 are inhabited)
land: 3,827 sq km
water: 340 sq km
country comparison to the world: 175
Area - comparative:
slightly less than one-third the size of Connecticut
Land boundaries:
0 km
Coastline:
2,525 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
tropical, but moderate
Terrain:
mixture of rugged high islands and low islands with reefs
Elevation:
mean elevation: NA
elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Orohena 2,241 m
Natural resources:
timber, fish, cobalt, hydropower
Land use:
agricultural land: 12.5%
arable land 0.7%; permanent crops 6.3%; permanent pasture 5.5%
forest: 43.7%
other: 43.8% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land:
10 sq km (2012)
Population - distribution:
the majority of the population lives in the Society Islands, one of five archipelagos that includes the most populous island - Tahiti - with approximately 70% of the nation's population
Natural hazards:
occasional cyclonic storms in January
Environment - current issues:
sea level rise; extreme weather events (cyclones, storms, and tsunamis producing floods, landslides, erosion, and reef damage); droughts; fresh water scarcity
Geography - note:
includes five archipelagoes: four volcanic (Iles Gambier, Iles Marquises, Iles Tubuai, Society Islands) and one coral (Archipel des Tuamotu); Makatea in the Tuamotu archipelago is one of the three great phosphate rock islands in the Pacific Ocean - the others are Banaba (Ocean Island) in Kiribati and Nauru

People & Society

Population:
287,881 (July 2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 181
Nationality:
noun: French Polynesian(s)
adjective: French Polynesian
Ethnic groups:
Polynesian 78%, Chinese 12%, local French 6%, metropolitan French 4%
Languages:
French (official) 70%, Polynesian (official) 28.2%, other 1.8% (2012 est.)
Religions:
Protestant 54%, Roman Catholic 30%, other 10%, no religion 6%
Age structure:
0-14 years: 22.52% (male 33,340/female 31,481)
15-24 years: 15.73% (male 23,533/female 21,745)
25-54 years: 44.36% (male 65,464/female 62,254)
55-64 years: 9.42% (male 13,947/female 13,178)
65 years and over: 7.97% (male 11,090/female 11,849) (2017 est.)
population pyramid:
Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio: 45.3
youth dependency ratio: 34.8
elderly dependency ratio: 10.5
potential support ratio: 9.5 (2015 est.)
Median age:
total: 31.9 years
male: 31.7 years
female: 32.1 years (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
Population growth rate:
0.88% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123
Birth rate:
14.8 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131
Death rate:
5.2 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 186
Net migration rate:
-0.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 133
Population distribution:
the majority of the population lives in the Society Islands, one of five archipelagos that includes the most populous island - Tahiti - with approximately 70% of the nation's population
Urbanization:
urban population: 55.7% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 0.86% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population:
PAPEETE (capital) 133,000 (2014)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.94 male(s)/female
total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 4.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 5.1 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 178
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 77.4 years
male: 75.1 years
female: 79.8 years (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71
Total fertility rate:
1.88 children born/woman (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140
Physicians density:
3.17 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
Drinking water source:
improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access:
improved:
urban: 98.5% of population
rural: 98.5% of population
total: 98.5% of population
unimproved:
urban: 1.5% of population
rural: 1.5% of population
total: 1.5% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
total: 56.7%
male: 54.5%
female: 59.7% (2012 est.)

Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Overseas Lands of French Polynesia
conventional short form: French Polynesia
local long form: Pays d'outre-mer de la Polynesie Francaise
local short form: Polynesie Francaise
former: French Colony of Oceania
etymology: the term "Polynesia" is an 18th-century construct composed of two Greek words, "poly" (many) and "nesoi" (islands), and refers to the more than 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean
Dependency status:
overseas lands of France; overseas territory of France from 1946-2003; overseas collectivity of France since 2003, though it is often referred to as an overseas country due to its degree of autonomy
Government type:
parliamentary democracy (Assembly of French Polynesia); an overseas collectivity of France
Capital:
name: Papeete (located on Tahiti)
geographic coordinates: 17 32 S, 149 34 W
time difference: UTC-10 (5 hours behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
5 administrative subdivisions (subdivisions administratives, singular - subdivision administrative): Iles Australes (Austral Islands), Iles du Vent (Windward Islands), Iles Marquises (Marquesas Islands), Iles Sous-le-Vent (Leeward Islands), Iles Tuamotu-Gambier; note - the Leeward Islands and the Windward Islands together make up the Society Islands (Iles de la Societe)
Independence:
none (overseas lands of France)
National holiday:
Fete de la Federation, 14 July (1790); note - the local holiday is Internal Autonomy Day, 29 June (1880)
Constitution:
4 October 1958 (French Constitution)
Legal system:
the laws of France, where applicable, apply
Citizenship:
see France
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Emmanuel MACRON (since 14 May 2017), represented by High Commissioner of the Republic Rene BIDALL (since 30 May 2016)
head of government: President of French Polynesia Edouard FRITCH (since 12 September 2014)
cabinet: Council of Ministers approved by the Assembly from a list of its members submitted by the president
elections/appointments: French president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); high commissioner appointed by the French president on the advice of the French Ministry of Interior; French Polynesia president indirectly elected by Assembly of French Polynesia for a 5-year term (no term limits)
Legislative branch:
description: unicameral Assembly of French Polynesia or Assemblee de la Polynesie Francaise (57 seats; elections held in 2 rounds; in the second round, 38 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; the party receiving the most votes gets an additional 19 seats; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 21 April 2013 and 5 May 2013 (next to be held in 2018)
election results: percent of vote by party - Popular Rally 45.1%, UPD 29.3%, A Tia Porinetia 25.6%; seats by party - Popular Rally 38, UPD 11, A Tia Porinetia 8
note: 2 seats were elected to the French Senate for a 6-year term; last election on 20 September 2014 (next to be held in September 2022); election results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Popular Rally 1, People's Servant Party 1; 3 seats were elected to the French National Assembly for a 5-year term; last election on 17 June 2012 (next to be held by June 2017); election results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Tapura Huiractura 2, Tavini Huiraatura 1
Judicial branch:
highest court(s): Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel (composition NA); note - appeals beyond the French Polynesia Court of Appeal are heard by the Court of Cassation (in Paris)
judge selection and term of office: judges assigned from France normally for 3 years
subordinate courts: Court of the First Instance or Tribunal de Premiere Instance; Court of Administrative Law or Tribunal Administratif
Political parties and leaders:
A Tia Porinetia [Teva ROHFRITSCH]
Alliance for a New Democracy or ADN (includes The New Star [Philip SCHYLE], This Country is Yours [Nicole BOUTEAU])
New Fatherland Party (Ai'a Api) [Emile VERNAUDON]
Our Home alliance
People's Servant Party (Tavini Huiraatira) [Oscar TEMARU]
Popular Rally (Tahoeraa Huiraatira) [Gaston FLOSSE]
Tapura Huiraatira [Edouard FRITICH]
Tavini Huiraatira [James CHANCELOR]
Union for Democracy alliance or UPD [Oscar TEMARU]
International organization participation:
ITUC (NGOs), PIF (associate member), SPC, UPU, WMO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (overseas lands of France)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
none (overseas lands of France)
Flag description:
two red horizontal bands encase a wide white band in a 1:2:1 ratio; centered on the white band is a disk with a blue and white wave pattern depicting the sea on the lower half and a gold and white ray pattern depicting the sun on the upper half; a Polynesian canoe rides on the wave pattern; the canoe has a crew of five represented by five stars that symbolize the five island groups; red and white are traditional Polynesian colors
note: identical to the red-white-red flag of Tahiti, the largest and most populous of the islands in French Polynesia, but which has no emblem in the white band; the flag of France is used for official occasions
National symbol(s):
outrigger canoe, Tahitian gardenia (Gardenia taitensis) flower; national colors: red, white
National anthem:
name: "Ia Ora 'O Tahiti Nui" (Long Live Tahiti Nui)
lyrics/music: Maeva BOUGES, Irmine TEHEI, Angele TEROROTUA, Johanna NOUVEAU, Patrick AMARU, Louis MAMATUI, and Jean-Pierre CELESTIN (the compositional group created both the lyrics and music)
note: adopted 1993; serves as a local anthem; as a territory of France, "La Marseillaise" is official (see France)
Government - note:
under certain acts of France, French Polynesia has acquired autonomy in all areas except those relating to police, monetary policy, tertiary education, immigration, and defense and foreign affairs; the duties of its president are fashioned after those of the French prime minister

Economy

Economy - overview:
Since 1962, when France stationed military personnel in the region, French Polynesia has changed from a subsistence agricultural 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.
After growing at an average yearly rate of 4.2% from 1997-2007, the economic and financial crisis in 2008 marked French Polynesia’s entry into recession. However, since 2014, French Polynesia has shown signs of recovery. Business turnover reached 1.8% year-on-year in September 2016, tourism increased 1.8% in 2015, and GDP grew 2.0% in 2015.
French Polynesia’s tourism-dominated service sector accounted for 85% of total value added for the economy in 2012. Tourism employs 17% of the workforce. Pearl farming is the second biggest industry, accounting for 54% of exports in 2015; however, the output has decreased to 12.5 tons – the lowest level since 2008. A small manufacturing sector predominantly processes commodities from French Polynesia’s primary sector - 8% of total economy in 2012 - including agriculture and fishing.
France has agreed to finance infrastructure, marine businesses, and cultural and ecological sites at roughly $80 million per year between 2015 and 2020. Japan, the US, and China are French Polynesia’s three largest trade partners.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$5.49 billion (2015 est.)
$5.383 billion (2014 est.)
$6.963 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170
GDP (official exchange rate):
$4.795 billion (2012 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
2% (2015 est.)
-2.7% (2014 est.)
-2.5% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$17,000 (2015 est.)
$20,100 (2014 est.)
$22,700 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 98
GDP - composition, by end use:
household consumption: 66.9%
government consumption: 33.6%
investment in fixed capital: 19.4%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 17.5%
imports of goods and services: -37.5%
GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 2.5%
industry: 13%
services: 84.5% (2009)
Agriculture - products:
coconuts, vanilla, vegetables, fruits, coffee; poultry, beef, dairy products; fish
Industries:
tourism, pearls, agricultural processing, handicrafts, phosphates
Industrial production growth rate:
NA%
Labor force:
126,300 (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 180
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 13%
industry: 19%
services: 68% (2013 est.)
Unemployment rate:
21.8% (2012)
11.7% (2010)
country comparison to the world: 187
Population below poverty line:
19.7% (2009 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budget:
revenues: $1.891 billion
expenditures: $1.833 billion (2011)
Taxes and other revenues:
39.4% of GDP (2012)
country comparison to the world: 41
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
1.2% of GDP (2012)
country comparison to the world: 21
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
0% (2015 est.)
0.3% (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48
Stock of broad money:
$3.81 billion (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA
Current account balance:
$207.7 million (2014 est.)
$158.8 million (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49
Exports:
$1.245 billion (2014 est.)
$1.168 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 152
Exports - commodities:
cultured pearls, coconut products, mother-of-pearl, vanilla, shark meat
Exports - partners:
Japan 22.2%, Hong Kong 21.7%, Kyrgyzstan 16.8%, France 13.3%, US 12.6% (2016)
Imports:
$2.235 billion (2014 est.)
$2.271 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154
Imports - commodities:
fuels, foodstuffs, machinery and equipment
Imports - partners:
France 28.5%, South Korea 10.7%, US 9%, NZ 7.8%, China 7.2%, Singapore 5.9% (2016)
Debt - external:
$NA
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$905 million (2015 est.)
$822.3 million (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$349.3 million (2015)
$310.8 million (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94
Exchange rates:
Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (XPF) per US dollar -
110.2 (2016 est.)
107.6 (2015 est.)
89.85 (2013 est.)
90.56 (2012 est.)
85.74 (2011 est.)

Energy

Electricity access:
population without electricity: 116,981
electrification - total population: 59%
electrification - urban areas: 72%
electrification - rural areas: 45% (2012)
Electricity - production:
626 million kWh (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161
Electricity - consumption:
582.2 million kWh (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 169
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 152
Electricity - installed generating capacity:
249,000 kW (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 160
Electricity - from fossil fuels:
71.1% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102
Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 93
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
18.9% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 93
Electricity - from other renewable sources:
10.8% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68
Crude oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139
Crude oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 126
Crude oil - imports:
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130
Crude oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2017 es)
country comparison to the world: 138
Refined petroleum products - production:
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146
Refined petroleum products - consumption:
7,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 166
Refined petroleum products - exports:
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158
Refined petroleum products - imports:
6,636 bbl/day (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 183
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 127
Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
country comparison to the world: 142
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
1.1 million Mt (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 164

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines:
total subscriptions: 94,957
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 33 (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 159
Telephones - mobile cellular:
total: 220,819
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 77 (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 180
Telephone system:
domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular density is roughly 110 per 100 persons
international: country code - 689; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2016)
Broadcast media:
the publicly owned French Overseas Network (RFO), which operates in France's overseas departments and territories, broadcasts on 2 TV channels and 1 radio station; 1 government-owned TV station; a small number of privately owned radio stations (2008)
Internet country code:
.pf
Internet users:
total: 195,275
percent of population: 68.4% (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163

Transportation

National air transport system:
number of registered air carriers: 2 (registered in France)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 21 (registered in France) (2015)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
F-OH (2016)
Airports:
54 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 87
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 45
over 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 33
under 914 m: 5 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 5 (2013)
Heliports:
1 (2013)
Roadways:
total: 2,590 km
paved: 1,735 km
unpaved: 855 km (1999)
country comparison to the world: 171
Merchant marine:
registered in other countries: 12 (Cambodia 1, France 11) (2010)
country comparison to the world: 107
Ports and terminals:
major seaport(s): Papeete

Military & Security

Military branches:
no regular military forces (2011)
Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of France

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:
none

Economic Indicators for French Polynesia including actual values, historical data, and latest data updates for the French Polynesia economy.