French Polynesia is an overseas collectivity of France and its sole overseas country. It comprises 118 geographically dispersed islands and atolls stretching over more than 2,000 kilometres in the South Pacific Ocean. The total land area of French Polynesia is 4,167 square kilometres.
French Polynesia is divided into five groups of islands:
the Society Islands archipelago, comprising 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. Tahiti, which is in the Society Islands group, is the most populous island, being home to nearly 69% of the population of French Polynesia as of 2017. Papeete, located on Tahiti, is the capital of French Polynesia. Although not an integral part of its territory, Clipperton Island was administered from French Polynesia until 2007.
Hundreds of years after the Great Polynesian Migration, European explorers began traveling through the region, visiting the islands of French Polynesia on several occasions. Traders and whaling ships also visited.