Figures released in French Polynesia show more than half the population in the Society Islands now lives below France's poverty threshhold.
The data is based on a 2015 survey on expenditure in Tahiti and Moorea.
55 percent of people in French Polynesia's most populous islands are earning less than $US1,150 a month while in France 16 percent are below the poverty mark.
A quarter of the population in Tahiti receives no more than $US600 a month.
The figures also show large disparities, with the most affluent households spending nine times more than the poorest ones.
In France, the richest band of households spent about four times more than the poorest.
Food is the main expenditure for 80 percent of households while the top 20 percent of earners spend more on transport and housing than on food.
The figures from French Polynesia's statistics office are based on a 2015 .