French Polynesia: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government

About French Polynesia, information, history size, location, population, people, culture, and government.

Polynesia, French

Size--1,544 sq. mi. (3,999 sq. km.). Population--150,000.

These 130 islands in the south-central Pacific Ocean were violently annexed by the French in the 1840s despite fierce opposition from the people and British threats of war. The islands are still ruled from Paris with an iron hand. The steadily growing independence movement has been focusing its attention on damage done by the continuing H-bomb tests. Many of the islands close to the test area in Mururoa have been closed to outsiders including relatives of the inhabitants. Polynesia is famous as a tourist spot, but the biggest industry is the bomb and there is widespread fear that when the tests end, the economy will collapse.

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