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French Polynesia is an overseas collectivity of the French Republic; collectivité d'outre-mer de la République française, sometimes unofficially referred to as an overseas country; pays d'outre-mer. It is composed of 118 geographically dispersed islands and atolls stretching over an expanse of more than 2,000 kilometres in the South Pacific Ocean.
French Polynesia is divided into 5 groups of islands: The Society Islands archipelago composed of the Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands, the Tuamotu Archipelago, the Gambier Islands, the Marquesas Islands and the Austral Islands. Among its 118 islands and atolls, 67 are inhabited. The most famous island, Tahiti, is located within the Society Islands archipelago. Tahiti is the most populous island and the seat of the capital of the collectivity; Pape'ete.

French is the only official language of French Polynesia. An organic law of 12 April 1996 states that "French is the official language, Tahitian and other Polynesian languages can be used." At the 2007 census, among the population whose age was 15 and older, 68.5% of people reported that the language they spoke the most at home was French, 24.2% reported that the language they spoke the most at home was Tahitian, 2.6% reported Marquesan, 1.5% reported Tuamotuan, 1.3% reported any of the Austral languages, 1.0% reported a Chinese dialect, and 0.9% another language.

Christianity is the main religion of the islands: a majority belong to various Protestant churches and a large minority are Roman Catholic. Slightly more than 50% of French Polynesia's population belongs to the Maói Protestant Church, the largest Protestant denomination.
At the 2007 census, 87.3% of people living in French Polynesia were born in French Polynesia, 9.3% were born in metropolitan France, 1.4% were born in overseas France outside of French Polynesia, and 2.0% were born in foreign countries. At the 1988 census, the last census which asked questions regarding ethnicity, 66.5% of people were ethnically unmixed Polynesians, 7.1% were ethnically mixed Polynesians, 11.9% were Europeans, 9.3% were people of mixed French and Polynesian descent, the so-called Demis, and 4.7% were East Asians.

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