Tahiti Overview

Tahiti is one of the Society Islands, an archipelago that in turn belongs to French Polynesia with a total of around 118 islands. Tahiti is the largest island of French Polynesia and of course the Society Islands. French Polynesia is made up of a total of five archipelagos. They are:
the Society Islands,
the Marquesas,
the Gambier Islands,
the Tubuai Islands and the
Tuamotu Archipelago.

Tahiti itself consists of two islands, which are firmly connected by a narrow land bridge and thus form a large island. The larger of the two islands is called Tahiti Nui and the smaller Tahiti Iti. Tahiti is home to over 50% of all French Polynesian residents.
Overall, the Society Islands are again divided into the following two groups. The name “Society Islands” comes from James Cook (1728-1779), who called them the “Society Islands” at the time:

Islands from the Wind

  • Tahiti
  • Moorea
  • Tetiaroa
  • Maiao
  • Mehetia

Islands under the wind

  • Huahine
  • Ra’iatea and Taha’a
  • Bora Bora
  • Maupiti
  • Tupai
  • Mopelia
  • Scilly
  • Bellinghausen

It is certainly not only important for those interested in art history that the French painter Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) painted numerous pictures in Tahiti. Gauguin traveled to Tahiti in 1891. There he had a short, very happy and creative time. But when he got sick and ran out of money, he returned to his homeland. There he exhibited his pictures. In 1895 he returned to the South Seas forever. There he died in 1903 on Hiva Ora, an island in the Marquesas, of an overdose of morphine. He was buried there too.

Politically, French Polynesia, as the name suggests, is a French overseas territory and part of the French Republic. This means that not inconsiderable sums of money flow into the country from France and the EU every year. The standard of living is among the highest in the South Pacific. This results on the one hand from the nuclear tests, which poured a lot of money into the country from France, and the support from the EU.
The official minimum wage in the country since May 1, 2008 was XPF 110,000 per month, which is around 922 euros.

Name of the country Tahiti
Form of government French overseas
Location 4,100 km northeast of New Zealand and around 4,400 km south-southeast of Hawaii
National flag
National anthem Marseillaise
Population approx. 245,000 (French Polynesia)
approx. 180,000 Tahiti
Ethnicities 80% Polynesians, 10% Europeans, mainly French, furthermore about 7% mixed race and 3% Asians
Religion 45% of the population are Protestants, 34% Catholics
as well as smaller groups of Mormons, the Seventh-day Adventists.
Languages French, Tahitian
Capital Papeete
Surface 1,045 km²
Highest mountain Mount Orahena, with 2,241 m
International license plate PF
International phone code 00689
Currency French Pacific Franc
Voltage frequency 220 volts, 60 hertz (adapter not required)
Time difference to CET – 11 h
Internet TLD (Top Level Domain) .pf

Population and capital


The island of Tahiti has around 180,000 residents – French Polynesia around 245,000.

Ethnic groups
Around 80% of the population are Polynesians, around 10% Europeans, mainly French, and around 7% are mixed race and 3% Asians.

52% of the population are Christians including smaller groups of Mormons and Seventh-day Adventists. Furthermore, 32% of the population are Hindus and 8% are Muslims


The national languages ​​are French and Taitian (Reo Tahiti), which is related to the Maori language in New Zealand.
The official language is French.


The capital of Tahiti is Papeete, with a population of around 80,000 people.
However, anyone who comes to Papeete with nostalgic South Sea dreams will quickly be disappointed. City life is loud, without charm, very busy and extremely expensive. Many a sailor has become downright poor here after months of voyage across the sea. B. for repairs, spare parts and provisions for the further trip.

Tahiti: Political System

The state is made up of five constituencies, the Marquesa Islands, the Windward Islands, the Windward Islands, Tuamotu-Gambier and the Austral Islands.

In February 2004, a new statute of autonomy for French Polynesia was adopted in France. Among other things, the official status changed from “overseas territory” to “overseas country”. The position of the local authorities was considerably strengthened. This also changed the composition of the local parliament. The unicameral parliament now has a total of 57 members who are directly elected by the people for five years.

The voting age is 18 and the citizens of French Polynesia are French citizens.

The French President heads the country. He appoints a high commissioner to represent the French state on the islands. France has been detonating atomic bombs in French Polynesia since July 2, 1966. The last test took place on January 27, 1996 on Mururoa. In connection with the A-bomb test, the Greenpeace ship Rainbow-Warrior was sunk on July 10, 1985 in the port of Auckland/New Zealand by French secret agents by means of an explosion. A person was killed in the process. Strangely enough, the perpetrators were quickly deported to France.

The official name of the country is:

French Polynesia
(French Overseas Zealand)

Tahiti Overview