French Polynesia Population, Main Cities and Geography

By | January 27, 2023

French Polynesia Population, capital



According to Countryaah website, French Polynesia has a population of approximately 280,000 people.

Ethnic groups

The population consists of 83% Polynesians (Ma’ohi including 20% of mixed origins), 12% Europeans (Popaa) and 5% Chinese (Tinito).


The main religion is Christianity with 52% – among them 37% are Methodists and 9% Catholics. There are also 38% Hindus, 8% Muslim and 2% of other religions.

National languages

The official language is French. Tahitian is also spoken, a Polynesian language that is related to the Maori language of New Zealand.


The capital of French Polynesia is Papeete in Tahiti with a population of around 30,000 people.

However, anyone who comes to Papeete with wistful South Sea dreams will very quickly be disappointed. City life is loud, without charm, very busy and extremely expensive.

Many a sailor has become downright poor after months of voyage across the sea. B. for repairs, spare parts and provisions for the further trip.

French Polynesia: geography, map

French Polynesia is located in the middle of the south-east Pacific, halfway between Australia, 5,700 km away, and California, 6,200 km away. Check topmbadirectory for politics, flags, famous people, animals and plants of French Polynesia.

It is 17,100 km to France, 8,800 km to Tokyo and 8,000 km to Santiago de Chile.

Tahiti, the largest island in French Polynesia, is around 4,100 km northeast of New Zealand and around 4,400 km southeast of Hawaii.

Islands of French Polynesia

French Polynesia consists of 118 islands and atolls, which are spread over the following five archipelagos and occupy a land area of around 3,950 km² with a water surface of around 4 million km².

The islands of French Polynesia have a total coastline of around 2,500 km.

  • Society Islands

The 13 islands of the Society Islands include Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, Raiatea/Tahaa, Huahine. The islands cover an area of 1,647 km² – with around 236,000 residents.

The capital of French Polynesia – Papeete, with around 30,000 residents – is located on Tahiti.

With an area of around 24 km², Bora Boa is one of the most exclusive and expensive holiday regions in the world. The German pop singer Tony Marshall is an honorary citizen here.

  • Tuamotu Islands

The Tuamoto Islands comprise 76 atolls with an area of 850 km² – with 15,500 residents. These include the islands of Rangiroa, Manihi, Tikehau, Fakarava, Makatea

  • Marquesas

The 12 Marquesas Islands include Nuku Hiva, Hiva Oa.

  • Austral islands

The six Austral Islands include Rurutu, Tubuai, Rimatara, Raivavae, Rapa. The islands cover an area of 148 km² with a little less than 7,000 residents.

  • Gambier Islands

The 28 Gambier Islands include Mangareva. The islands cover an area of 31 km² – with just over 1,400 residents.

Die Gesellschaftsinseln unterteilen sich in die Inseln vor dem Wind und die Inseln hinter dem Wind. Etwa 87% der Bevölkerung von Französisch Polynesien leben auf den Gesellschaftsinseln, davon etwa 75% auf den Inseln vor dem Wind und hauptsächlich auf Tahiti selbst.

Rund 78% der Einwohner sind Polynesier und die größte weitere Volksgruppe sind mit rund 12% Chinesen. Daben leben hier noch die Nachkommen von eingewanderten Franzosen und in Frankreich geborenen Franzosen.


The 24 km² island Makatea is one of the three phosphate islands in the Pacific, which also include Nauru and the island of Banaba in Kiribati. Makatea belongs to the Tuamotu Archipelago and has fewer than 100 residents.

Mururoa Island

Mururoa Island, 21 ° 50 ‘South, 138 ° 55’ West, was a nuclear test area until 1996. A nuclear test area was also established on Fangataufa Island, 122 ° 15 ‘South, 138 ° 45’ West. The French carried out numerous experiments there from 1966-1996.

Muruoa is an uninhabited atoll of around 300 km² in the Tuamotu Archipelago

Nuku Hiva

The approximately 340 km² island – with the main town Taiohae – is the largest in the Marquesa Archipelago and has a population of around 2,900. The island is of volcanic origin.

In October 2011, in the Hakui Valley, in the southwest of the island, a German circumnavigator fell victim to his guide across the island. He probably killed and ate the German. Cannibalism was widespread in parts of the South Pacific until around the middle of the 18th century. The American writer Herman Melville (1819-1891) described in his 1846 novel “Typee” (German: Taipi) customs and traditions on the island and, among other things, of a wooden cooking vessel that contained the remains of a person.


The French overseas territories (départements and régions d’outre-mer) have the same status as the regions and départements in France itself under Article 73 of the French Constitution.

These areas belong to the European Union and have the euro as their currency – but they do not belong to the Schengen area. In addition to French Polynesia, the following regions are also French overseas territories:

  • French Guiana
  • Guadeloupe
  • Martinique
  • Reunion

Longitude and latitude

French Polynesia covers the following latitude (abbreviation Δφ) and longitude (abbreviation Δλ):

Δφ = from around 12 ° to 21 ° south Δλ = from around 176 ° to 178 ° west

You can find detailed information on this subject under: Geographical longitude and latitude.

Legally time

For French Polynesia, the following value applies to Central European Time (CET), i.e. the time (without summer time) in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The minus sign means that it is there earlier than after CET:

Δt (CET) = – 11 h

More detailed explanations of the time can be found under: Time zones, time.

The highest point of the sun in Papeete

Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia, is located on a southern latitude of φ = 17 ° 32 ‘and thus in the middle of the tropics.

Since Papeete is between the tropic and the tropics, the sun stands vertically over the city twice a year, namely when the sun’s image point is at the latitude of Papeete, i.e. at 17.5 ° 32 ‘S. That is roughly 68 days after September 21st and 68 days before March 21st.

By the way,

if the image point of the sun (the declination) is more north than the latitude of Papeete (17.5 ° 32 ‘S), the sun will be in the north at noon.


Mont Orohena

The highest mountain on the island is Mont Orohena in Tahiti, with a height of 2,241 m.

Other high mountains are:

  • Mt. Ronui, on the island of Tahiti Iti, at an altitude of 1,321 m
  • Mt. Tekau, on the island of Nuku Hiva, at an altitude of 1,224 m
  • Mt Tohivea, on the island of Moorea, at an altitude of 1,207 m
  • Mt Toomaru, on the island of Raiatea, at an altitude of 1,017 m
  • Mt. Mouaputa, on the island of Moorea, at an altitude of 830 m

rivers and lakes

Faaroa, Vaiharuru

The longest rivers in the country are the Faaroa on Raitea and the Vaiharuru on Tahaa.

Lake Vahihiria, Lake Tahinu

The largest lakes are Lake Vahihiria and Lake Tahinu in Tahiti.

French Polynesia Population