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Definition of FRENCH POLYNESIA
islands in S. Pacific belonging to France & including Society, Marquesas, Tuamotu, Gambier, & Australian groups ∗ Papeete (on Tahiti) pop 259,596
Variants of FRENCH POLYNESIA
French Polynesia or formerly French Oceania
/div>French overseas collectivity, south-central Pacific Ocean. Area: 1,544 sq mi (4,000 sq km): Population: (2009 est.) 265,000. Capital: Papeete, on Tahiti. French Polynesia comprises 130 islands in five archipelagoes: the Society Islands, the Tuamotu Archipelago, the Gambier Islands, the Marquesas Islands, and the Austral Islands. Tahiti, in the Society group, is the largest island. More than two-thirds of the population of French Polynesia lives on Tahiti. The islands became French protectorates in the 1840s, and in the 1880s the French colony of Oceania was established. It became an overseas territory of France after World War II and was granted partial autonomy in 1977.