French Polynesia has a population of 219,521, according to the 1996
census, yielding an average population density of 62 persons per
About three-fifths of the territory's inhabitants live in urban
areas, with the largest population concentration in greater Papeete.
About a third of the people live in small settlements and rural
Polynesians represent about two-thirds of the population of French
Polynesia. About 15 percent are of mixed Polynesian-European or
Polynesian-Chinese descent, 10 percent are of French origin, and
5 percent are ethnic Chinese.
Although French and Tahitian are both official languages, French
is the language used in government and commerce. Various other Malayo-Polynesian
dialects are also spoken, particularly in the outer islands, by
the indigenous population.
. English is widely understood, mainly by islanders accustomed
to dealing with foreign visitors