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NASA picture of Arutua Atoll
Arutua is located in French Polynesia
Location Pacific Ocean
Coordinates 15°14′43″S 146°36′43″W / 15.24528°S 146.61194°W / -15.24528; -146.61194
Archipelago Tuamotus
Area 484 km2 (187 sq mi)  (lagoon)
15 km2 (6 sq mi) (above water)
Length 31 km (19.3 mi)
Width 24 km (14.9 mi)
Overseas collectivity French Polynesia
Administrative subdivision Tuamotus
Commune Arutua
Largest settlement Rautini
Population 680[1] (2012)
Location of Arutua in the Tuamotu Archipelago
Location of Arutua in the Tuamotu Archipelago
Coordinates: 15°14′43″S 146°36′44″W / 15.245236°S 146.612086°W / -15.245236; -146.612086Coordinates: 15°14′43″S 146°36′44″W / 15.245236°S 146.612086°W / -15.245236; -146.612086
Country France
Overseas collectivity French Polynesia
Area 49.5 km2 (19.1 sq mi)
Population (2016)1 1,510
 • Density 31/km2 (79/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 98713 /
1 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Arutua, or Ngaru-atua[2] is an atoll in the Tuamotu group in French Polynesia. It is located 40 km SW of Rangiroa. The closest land is Apataki Atoll, only 16 km to the East.

Arutua Atoll has a roughly pentagonal shape. Length 31 km (19 mi) , width 24 km (15 mi) . The lagoon area is 484 km2 (187 sq mi) and the land area is 15 km2 (6 sq mi). Its lagoon is wide and deep with one navigable passage. As of 2012, Arutua had a population of 680 inhabitants. The main village is Rautini. There is a small airport at Arutua which was opened in 1984.

Geographically Arutua belongs to the Palliser Islands (Îles Palliser) subgroup of the Tuamotus.


The first recorded European to visit Arutua Atoll was Jakob Roggeveen (who also first sighted Easter Island) in 1722. British mariner Frederick Beechey touched at Arutua in 1826. He named this atoll "Cockburn Island".


This atoll is the capital of the commune of Arutua, which consists of Arutua, as well as the atolls of Apataki and Kaukura.


Island Population (2012 census) Area (km²) Area of lagoon (km²) Postcode
Apataki 350 21 706 -
Arutua 680 15 484 -
Kaukura 475 13.5 434 -
TOTAL 1505 49.5 1624 -

Table 1. Current population.

Island 2007 2012
Apataki 495 350
Arutua 725 680
Kaukura 541 475
TOTAL 1761 1505

Table 2. Population over time.

Images and maps[edit]


  1. ^ "Population". Institut de la statistique de la Polynésie française. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  2. ^ Young, J.L. (1899). "Names of the Paumotu Islands, with the old names so far as they are known". Journal of the Polynesian Society. 8 (4): 264–268. Archived from the original on 10 February 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 

External links[edit]