Windward Islands (Society Islands)

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Windward Islands
Native name: Îles du Vent
Karta FP Societe isl.PNG
Location Pacific Ocean
Coordinates 17°32′S 149°50′W / 17.533°S 149.833°W / -17.533; -149.833Coordinates: 17°32′S 149°50′W / 17.533°S 149.833°W / -17.533; -149.833
Archipelago Society Islands
Major islands Tahiti, Moorea, Mehetia, Tetiaroa
Area 1,195 km2 (461 sq mi)
Highest elevation 2,241 m (7,352 ft)
Highest point Mont Orohena
Overseas collectivity French Polynesia
Largest settlement Papeete (capital) (pop. 131,695 urban)
Population 194,623[1] (Aug. 2007 census)
Pop. density 163 /km2 (422 /sq mi)

The Windward Islands (French: Îles du Vent) are the eastern group of the Society Islands in French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the southern Pacific Ocean. These islands were originally named the Georgian Islands in honor of King George III of the United Kingdom.


The archipelago comprises an administrative division (French: subdivision administrative) of French Polynesia, and includes the following islands:

The capital of the administrative district is Papeete on the island of Tahiti. Tahiti, Moorea, and Mehetia are high islands. Tetiaroa and Maiao are coral atolls.


The majority of the population speaks French and Tahitian (co-official with French throughout French Polynesia).


Administratively, the Windward Islands form the administrative subdivision of the Windward Islands (subdivision administrative des Îles du Vent), one of French Polynesia's five administrative subdivisions. Geographically, the administrative subdivision of the Windward Islands is identical with the electoral district of the Windward Islands (circonscription des Îles du Vent), one of French Polynesia's 6 electoral districts (circonsriptions électorales) for the Assembly of French Polynesia (see also Politics of French Polynesia).


  1. ^ Institut Statistique de Polynésie Française (ISPF). "Recensement de la population 2007" (PDF) (in French). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-12-03. Retrieved 2007-12-02.