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France country facts

French Republic Europe Paris 66,259,012 inhabitants 643,801 sq km 102.92 inhabitants/sq km euros (EUR) population evolution

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France today is one of the most modern countries in the world and is a leader among European nations. It plays an influential global role as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, NATO, the G-8, the G-20, the EU and other multilateral organizations. France rejoined NATO's integrated military command structure in 2009, reversing DE GAULLE's 1966 decision to take French forces out of NATO. Since 1958, it has constructed a hybrid presidential-parliamentary governing system resistant to the instabilities experienced in earlier, more purely parliamentary administrations. In recent decades, its reconciliation and cooperation with Germany have proved central to the economic integration of Europe, including the introduction of a common currency, the euro, in January 1999. In the early 21st century, five French overseas entities - French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Reunion - became French regions and were made part of France proper.



metropolitan France: Western Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay and English Channel, between Belgium and Spain, southeast of the UK; bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Italy and Spain
French Guiana: Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Brazil and Suriname
Guadeloupe: Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Puerto Rico
Martinique: Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago
Mayotte: Southern Indian Ocean, island in the Mozambique Channel, about half way between northern Madagascar and northern Mozambique
Reunion: Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar

Geographic coordinates

metropolitan France: 46 00 N, 2 00 E
French Guiana: 4 00 N, 53 00 W
Guadeloupe: 16 15 N, 61 35 W
Martinique: 14 40 N, 61 00 W
Mayotte: 12 50 S, 45 10 E
Reunion: 21 06 S, 55 36 E

Area (sq km)

total: 643,801 sq km; 551,500 sq km (metropolitan France)
land: 640,427 sq km; 549,970 sq km (metropolitan France)
water: 3,374 sq km; 1,530 sq km (metropolitan France)
note: the first numbers include the overseas regions of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Reunion

Area - comparative (sq km)

slightly more than four times the size of Georgia; slightly less than the size of Texas
Area comparison map

Land boundaries (km)

metropolitan France - total: 2,751 km
border countries: Andorra 55 km, Belgium 556 km, Germany 418 km, Italy 476 km, Luxembourg 69 km, Monaco 6 km, Spain 646 km, Switzerland 525 km
French Guiana - total: 1,205 km
border countries: Brazil 649 km, Suriname 556 km

Coastline (km)

total: 4,853 km
metropolitan France: 3,427 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm (does not apply to the Mediterranean)
continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation


metropolitan France: generally cool winters and mild summers, but mild winters and hot summers along the Mediterranean; occasional strong, cold, dry, north-to-northwesterly wind known as mistral
French Guiana: tropical; hot, humid; little seasonal temperature variation
Guadeloupe and Martinique: subtropical tempered by trade winds; moderately high humidity; rainy season (June to October); vulnerable to devastating cyclones (hurricanes) every eight years on average
Mayotte: tropical; marine; hot, humid, rainy season during northeastern monsoon (November to May); dry season is cooler (May to November)
Reunion: tropical, but temperature moderates with elevation; cool and dry (May to November), hot and rainy (November to April)


metropolitan France: mostly flat plains or gently rolling hills in north and west; remainder is mountainous, especially Pyrenees in south, Alps in east
French Guiana: low-lying coastal plains rising to hills and small mountains
Guadeloupe: Basse-Terre is volcanic in origin with interior mountains; Grande-Terre is low limestone formation; most of the seven other islands are volcanic in origin
Martinique: mountainous with indented coastline; dormant volcano
Mayotte: generally undulating, with deep ravines and ancient volcanic peaks
Reunion: mostly rugged and mountainous; fertile lowlands along coast

Elevation extremes (m)

lowest point: Rhone River delta -2 m
highest point: Mont Blanc 4,807 m
note: in order to assess the possible effects of climate change on the ice and snow cap of Mont Blanc, its surface and peak have been extensively measured in recent years; these new peak measurements have exceeded the traditional height of 4,807 m and have varied between 4,808 m and 4,811 m; the actual rock summit is 4,792 m and is 40 m away from the ice-covered summit

Natural resources

metropolitan France: coal, iron ore, bauxite, zinc, uranium, antimony, arsenic, potash, feldspar, fluorspar, gypsum, timber, fish
French Guiana: gold deposits, petroleum, kaolin, niobium, tantalum, clay

Land use (%)

arable land: 33.45%
permanent crops: 1.86%
other: 64.69%
note: French Guiana - arable land 0.13%, permanent crops 0.04%, other 99.83% (90% forest, 10% other); Guadeloupe - arable land 11.70%, permanent crops 2.92%, other 85.38%; Martinique - arable land 9.09%, permanent crops 10.0%, other 80.91%; Reunion - arable land 13.94%, permanent crops 1.59%, other 84.47% (2011)

Irrigated land (sq km)

total: 26,420 sq km 26,950 sq km
metropolitan France: 27,230 sq km (2007)

Total renewable water resources (cu km)

211 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural) ()

total: 31.62 cu km/yr (19%/71%/10%)
per capita: 512.1 cu m/yr (2009)

Natural hazards

metropolitan France: flooding; avalanches; midwinter windstorms; drought; forest fires in south near the Mediterranean
overseas departments: hurricanes (cyclones); flooding; volcanic activity (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion)

Environment - current issues

some forest damage from acid rain; air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; water pollution from urban wastes, agricultural runoff

Environment - international agreements

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note

largest West European nation

People and Society


noun: Frenchman(men), Frenchwoman(women)
adjective: French

Ethnic groups (%)

Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Indochinese, Basque minorities
overseas departments: black, white, mulatto, East Indian, Chinese, Amerindian

Languages (%)

French (official) 100%, rapidly declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish)
overseas departments: French, Creole patois, Mahorian (a Swahili dialect)

Religions (%)

Roman Catholic 83%-88%, Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 5%-10%, unaffiliated 4%
overseas departments: Roman Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, pagan


note: the above figure is for metropolitan France and five overseas regions; the metropolitan France population is 62,814,233 (July 2014 est.)   evolution and prospects (1950-2100)

Age structure (%)

0-14 years: 18.7% (male 6,337,877/female 6,053,185)
15-24 years: 11.9% (male 4,018,044/female 3,837,191)
25-54 years: 38.6% (male 12,851,278/female 12,719,073)
55-64 years: 12.5% (male 4,012,614/female 4,290,624)
65 years and over: 17.9% (male 5,197,519/female 6,941,607) (2014 est.)

Age structure in France

Median age (years)

total: 40.9 years
male: 39.3 years
female: 42.4 years (2014 est.)

Population growth rate (%)

0.45% (2014 est.)

Birth rate (births/1,000 population)

12.49 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Death rate (deaths/1,000 population)

9.06 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Net migration rate (migrant(s)/1,000 population)

1.09 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Urbanization (%)

urban population: 85.8% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 1.1% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

PARIS (capital) 10.62 million; Marseille-Aix-en-Provence 14,890,100; Lyon 1.488 million; Lille 1.042 million; Nice-Cannes 991,000; Toulouse 933,000 (2011)

Sex ratio (male(s)/female)

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2014 est.)

Maternal mortality rate (deaths/100,000 live births)

8 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate (deaths/1,000 live births)

total: 3.31 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.63 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.97 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)

Life expectancy at birth (years)

total population: 81.66 years
male: 78.55 years
female: 84.91 years (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate (children born/woman)

2.08 children born/woman (2014 est.)

Health expenditures (% of GDP)

11.6% of GDP (2011)

Physicians density (physicians/1,000 population)

3.38 physicians/1,000 population (2011)

Hospital bed density (beds/1,000 population)

6.6 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Drinking water source (% of population)

improved: urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved: urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2012 est.)

Sanitation facility access (% of population)

improved: urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved: urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate (%)

0.4% (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

150,000 (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

1,700 (2009 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate (%)

18.2% (2008)

Education expenditures (% of GDP)

5.9% of GDP (2010)

Literacy (%)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) (years)

total: 16 years
male: 16 years
female: 16 years (2011)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 (%)

total: 23.8%
male: 23.9%
female: 23.7% (2012)


Country name

conventional long form: French Republic
conventional short form: France
local long form: Republique francaise
local short form: France

Government type



name: Paris
geographic coordinates: 48 52 N, 2 20 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
note: applies to metropolitan France only, not to its overseas departments, collectivities, or territories

Administrative divisions

27 regions (regions, singular - region); Alsace, Aquitaine, Auvergne, Basse-Normandie (Lower Normandy), Bourgogne (Burgundy), Bretagne (Brittany), Centre, Champagne-Ardenne, Corse (Corsica), Franche-Comte, Guadeloupe, Guyane (French Guiana), Haute-Normandie (Upper Normandy), Ile-de-France, Languedoc-Roussillon, Limousin, Lorraine, Martinique, Mayotte, Midi-Pyrenees, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Pays de la Loire, Picardie, Poitou-Charentes, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, Reunion, Rhone-Alpes
note: France is divided into 22 metropolitan regions (including the "territorial collectivity" of Corse or Corsica) and 5 overseas regions (French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Reunion) and is subdivided into 96 metropolitan departments and 5 overseas departments (which are the same as the overseas regions)

Dependent areas

Clipperton Island, French Polynesia, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, New Caledonia, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna
note: the US does not recognize claims to Antarctica; New Caledonia has been considered a "sui generis" collectivity of France since 1998, a unique status falling between that of an independent country and a French overseas department


no official date of independence: 486 (Frankish tribes unified under Merovingian kingship); 10 August 843 (Western Francia established from the division of the Carolingian Empire); 14 July 1789 (French monarchy overthrown); 22 September 1792 (First French Republic founded); 4 October 1958 (Fifth French Republic established)

National holiday

Fete de la Federation, 14 July (1790); note - although often incorrectly referred to as Bastille Day, the celebration actually commemorates the holiday held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille (on 14 July 1789) and the establishment of a constitutional monarchy; other names for the holiday are Fete Nationale (National Holiday) and quatorze juillet (14th of July)


4 October 1958 (French Constitution) (2013)

Legal system

civil law; review of administrative but not legislative acts

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Francois HOLLANDE (since 15 May 2012)
head of government: Prime Minister Manuel VALLS (since 1 April 2014)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president at the suggestion of the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 22 April and 6 May 2012 (next to be held in the spring of 2017); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Francois HOLLANDE elected; first round: percent of vote - Francois HOLLANDE 28.6%, Nicolas SARKOZY 27.2%, Marine LE PEN 17.9%, Jean-Luc MELENCHON 11.1%, Francois BAYROU, 9.1%, others 6.1%; second round: HOLLANDE 51.6%, SARKOZY 48.4%

Legislative branch

bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat (348 seats; 328 for metropolitan France and overseas departments, 2 for New Caledonia, 2 for French Polynesia, 1 for Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, 1 for Saint-Barthelemy, 1 for Saint-Martin, 1 for Wallis and Futuna, and 12 for French nationals abroad; members indirectly elected by an electoral college to serve six-year terms; one third elected every three years); and the National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (577 seats; 555 for metropolitan France, 15 for overseas departments, 7 for overseas dependencies; members elected by popular vote under a single-member majority system to serve five-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 25 September 2011 (next to be held in September 2014); National Assembly - last held on 10 and 17 June 2012 (next to be held in June 2017)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PS/Greens 140, UMP 132, UDF 31, PCF/MRC 21, PRG 17, other 7; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - PS 48.5%, UMP 33.6%, miscellaneous left wing parties 3.8%, Greens 3.0%, miscellaneous right wing parties 2.6%, NC 2.1%, PRG 2.1%, FDG 1.7%, other 2.6%; seats by party - PS 280, UMP 194, miscellaneous left wing parties 22, Greens 17, miscellaneous right wing parties 15, NC 12, PRG 12, FDG 10, other 15

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Court of Cassation or Cour de Cassation (consists of the court president, 6 divisional presiding judges, 120 trial judges, and 70 deputy judges organized into 6 divisions - 3 civil, 1 commercial, 1 labor, and 1 criminal); Constitutional Council (consists of 9 members)
judge selection and term of office: Court of Cassation judges appointed by the president of the republic from nominations from the High Council of the Judiciary, presided by the Court of Cassation and 15 appointed members; judge term of appointment NA; Constitutional Council members appointed - 3 by the president of the republic and 3 each by the National Assembly and Senate presidents; members serve 9-year, non-renewable terms with one third of the membership renewed every 3 years
subordinate courts: appellate courts or Cour d'Appel; regional courts or Tribunal de Grande Instance; first instance courts or Tribunal' d'instance

Political parties and leaders

Europe Ecology - The Greens or EELV [Emmanuelle COSSE]
French Communist Party or PCF [Pierre LAURENT]
Left Front Coalition or FDG [Jean-Luc MELENCHON]
Left Party or PG [Jean-Luc MELENCHON and Martine BILLARD]
Left Radical Party or PRG [Jean-Michel BAYLET] (previously Radical Socialist Party or PRS and the Left Radical Movement or MRG)
Movement for France or MPF [Philippe DE VILLIERS]
National Front or FN [Marine LE PEN]
New Anticapitalist Party or NPA [collective leadership; main spokesperson Christine POUPIN]
New Center or NC [Herve MORIN]
Radical Party [Jean-Louis BORLOO]
Rally for France or RPF [Charles PASQUA]
Republican and Citizen Movement or MRC [Jean-Luc LAURENT]
Socialist Party or PS [Haerlem DESIR]
United Republic or RS [Dominique DE VILLEPIN]
Union for a Popular Movement or UMP [Jean-Francois COPE]
Union des Democrates et Independants or UDI [Jean-Louis BORLOO] and Democratic Movement or MoDem [Francois BAYROU] (previously Union for French Democracy or UDF); together known as UDI-Modem
Worker's Struggle (Lutte Ouvriere) or LO [collective leadership; spokespersons Nathalie ARTHAUD and Arlette LAQUILLER]

Political pressure groups and leaders

Confederation Francaise Democratique du Travail (French Democratic Confederation of Labor) or CFDT, left-leaning labor union with approximately 875,000 members [Laurent BERGER, Secretary General]
Confederation francaise de l'encadrement - Confederation generale des cadres (French Confederation of Management - General Confederation of Executives) or CFE-CGC, independent white-collar union with 140,000 members [Carole COUVERT, president]
Confederation francaise des travailleurs chretiens (French Confederation of Christian Workers) or CFTC, independent labor union founded by Catholic workers that claims 142,000 members [Philippe LOUIS, president]
Confederation generale du travail (General Confederation of Labor) or CGT, historically communist labor union with approximately 710,000 members [Bernard THIBAULT, secretary general]
Confederation generale du travail - Force ouvriere (General Confederation of Labor - Worker's Force) or FO, independent labor union with an estimated 300,000 members [Jean-Claude MAILLY, secretary general]
Mouvement des entreprises de France or MEDEF, employers' union with 750,000 companies as members (claimed) [Pierre GATTAZ, president]
French Guiana: conservationists
gold mining pressure groups
hunting pressure groups
Guadeloupe: Christian Movement for the Liberation of Guadeloupe or KLPG
General Federation of Guadeloupe Workers or CGT-G
General Union of Guadeloupe Workers or UGTG
Movement for an Independent Guadeloupe or MPGI
The Socialist Renewal Movement
Martinique: Caribbean Revolutionary Alliance or ARC
Central Union for Martinique Workers or CSTM
Frantz Fanon Circle
League of Workers and Peasants
Proletarian Action Group or GAP
Reunion: NA

International organization participation

ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BDEAC, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, FZ, G-20, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSMA, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), SPC, UN, UN Security Council, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNRWA, UNSC (permanent), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Francois M. DELATTRE (since 18 February 2011)
chancery: 4101 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 944-6000
FAX: [1] (202) 944-6166
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Mark A. TAPLIN; note - also accredited to Monaco
embassy: 2 Avenue Gabriel, 75382 Paris Cedex 08
mailing address: PSC 116, APO AE 09777
telephone: [33] (1) 43-12-22-22
FAX: [33] (1) 42 66 97 83
consulate(s) general: Marseille, Strasbourg

Flag description

three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), white, and red; known as the "Le drapeau tricolore" (French Tricolor), the origin of the flag dates to 1790 and the French Revolution when the "ancient French color" of white was combined with the blue and red colors of the Parisian militia; the official flag for all French dependent areas
note: the design and/or colors are similar to a number of other flags, including those of Belgium, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, and Netherlands

National symbol(s)

Gallic rooster, fleur-de-lis, Marianne

National anthem

name: "La Marseillaise" (The Song of Marseille)
lyrics/music: Claude-Joseph ROUGET de Lisle
note: adopted 1795, restored 1870; originally known as "Chant de Guerre pour l'Armee du Rhin" (War Song for the Army of the Rhine), the National Guard of Marseille made the song famous by singing it while marching into Paris in 1792 during the French Revolutionary Wars


Economy - overview

The French economy is diversified across all sectors. The government has partially or fully privatized many large companies, including Air France, France Telecom, Renault, and Thales. However, the government maintains a strong presence in some sectors, particularly power, public transport, and defense industries. With at least 82 million foreign tourists per year, France is the most visited country in the world and maintains the third largest income in the world from tourism. France's leaders remain committed to a capitalism in which they maintain social equity by means of laws, tax policies, and social spending that mitigate economic inequality. France's real GDP stagnated in 2012 and 2013. The unemployment rate (including overseas territories) increased from 7.8% in 2008 to 10.2% in 2013. Youth unemployment in metropolitan France decreased from a high of 25.4% in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 22.8% in the fourth quarter of 2013. Lower-than-expected growth and high spending have strained France's public finances. The budget deficit rose sharply from 3.3% of GDP in 2008 to 7.5% of GDP in 2009 before improving to 4.1% of GDP in 2013, while France's public debt rose from 68% of GDP to nearly 94% over the same period. In accordance with its EU obligations, France is targeting a deficit of 3.6% of GDP in 2014 and 2.8% in 2015. The administration of President Francois HOLLANDE has implemented greater state support for employment, the separation of banks' traditional deposit taking and lending activities from more speculative businesses, increasing the top corporate and personal tax rates, including a temporary 75% tax on wages over one million euros, and hiring an additional 60,000 teachers during his five-year term. In January 2014 HOLLANDE proposed a “Responsibility Pact” aimed primarily at lowering labor costs in return for businesses’ commitment to create jobs. Despite stagnant growth and fiscal challenges, France's borrowing costs have declined in recent years because investors remain attracted to the liquidity of France’s bonds.

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$2.276 trillion (2013 est.)
$2.269 trillion (2012 est.)
$2.268 trillion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$2.739 trillion (2013 est.)

GDP - real growth rate (%)

0.3% (2013 est.)
0% (2012 est.)
2% (2011 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$35,700 (2013 est.)
$35,800 (2012 est.)
$36,000 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP - composition, by sector of origin (%)

agriculture: 1.9%
industry: 18.7%
services: 79.4% (2013 est.)

Labor force

29.94 million (2013 est.)

Labor force - by occupation (%)

agriculture: 2.9%
industry: 20.6%
services: 76.4% (2012 est.)

Unemployment rate (%)

10.2% (2013 est.)
10.2% (2012 est.)
note: includes overseas territories

Population below poverty line (%)

7.9% (2011)

Household income or consumption by percentage share (%)

lowest 10%: 3.5%
highest 10%: 25.4% (2011)

Distribution of family income - Gini index

30.6 (2011)
27.9 (1996)


revenues: $1.41 trillion
expenditures: $1.522 trillion (2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues (% of GDP)

51.5% of GDP (2013 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) (% of GDP)

-4.1% of GDP (2013 est.)

Public debt (% of GDP)

93.4% of GDP (2013 est.)
90.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions

Inflation rate (consumer prices) (%)

0.9% (2013 est.)
2% (2012 est.)

Central bank discount rate (%)

0.75% (31 December 2013)
1.75% (31 December 2010)
note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area

Commercial bank prime lending rate (%)

3.1% (31 December 2013 est.)
3.44% (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$810.1 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$738.8 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply in the euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 17 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders

Stock of broad money

$2.299 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$2.273 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$3.687 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$3.631 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$1.762 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
$1.538 trillion (31 December 2011)
$1.983 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)

Agriculture - products

wheat, cereals, sugar beets, potatoes, wine grapes; beef, dairy products; fish


machinery, chemicals, automobiles, metallurgy, aircraft, electronics; textiles, food processing; tourism

Industrial production growth rate (%)

-0.4% (2013 est.)

Current account balance

-$58.97 billion (2013 est.)
-$45.22 billion (2012 est.)


$578.6 billion (2013 est.)
$567.1 billion (2012 est.)

Exports - commodities (%)

machinery and transportation equipment, aircraft, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, iron and steel, beverages

Exports - partners (%)

Germany 16.7%, Belgium 7.5%, Italy 7.5%, Spain 6.9%, UK 6.9%, US 5.6%, Netherlands 4.3% (2012)


$659.8 billion (2013 est.)
$653.4 billion (2012 est.)

Imports - commodities (%)

machinery and equipment, vehicles, crude oil, aircraft, plastics, chemicals

Imports - partners (%)

Germany 19.5%, Belgium 11.3%, Italy 7.6%, Netherlands 7.4%, Spain 6.6%, UK 5.1%, China 4.9% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$198.7 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$188.4 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

External debt ($)

$5.371 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
$5.004 trillion (31 December 2011)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

$1.103 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$1.095 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad

$1.489 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$1.497 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)

Exchange rates

Currency converter
euros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.7634 (2013 est.)
0.7752 (2012 est.)
0.755 (2010 est.)
0.7198 (2009 est.)
0.6827 (2008 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year


Electricity - production (kWh)

561.2 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption (kWh)

462.9 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports (kWh)

73.4 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - imports (kWh)

29 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity (kW)

124.3 million kW (2010 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels (% of total installed capacity)

22.1% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels (% of total installed capacity)

50.8% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants (% of total installed capacity)

14.7% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources (% of total installed capacity)

6.9% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Crude oil - production (bbl/day)

72,300 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - exports (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Crude oil - imports (bbl/day)

1.298 million bbl/day (2010 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves (bbl)

85.18 million bbl (1 January 2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production (bbl/day)

1.55 million bbl/day (2010 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption (bbl/day)

1.792 million bbl/day (2011 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports (bbl/day)

464,300 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports (bbl/day)

834,800 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Natural gas - production (cu m)

508 million cu m (2012 est.)

Natural gas - consumption (cu m)

47.99 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - exports (cu m)

5.994 billion cu m (2012 est.)

Natural gas - imports (cu m)

47.71 billion cu m (2012 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves (cu m)

10.7 billion cu m (1 January 2013 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy (Mt)

374.3 million Mt (2011 est.)


Telephones - main lines in use

39.29 million (2012)

Telephones - mobile cellular

62.28 million (2012)

Telephone system

general assessment: highly developed
domestic: extensive cable and microwave radio relay; extensive use of fiber-optic cable; domestic satellite system
international: country code - 33; numerous submarine cables provide links throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and US; satellite earth stations - more than 3 (2 Intelsat (with total of 5 antennas - 2 for Indian Ocean and 3 for Atlantic Ocean), NA Eutelsat, 1 Inmarsat - Atlantic Ocean region); HF radiotelephone communications with more than 20 countries
overseas departments: country codes: French Guiana - 594; Guadeloupe - 590; Martinique - 596; Mayotte - 262; Reunion - 262 (2011)

Broadcast media

a mix of both publicly operated and privately owned TV stations; state-owned France Televisions operates 4 networks, one of which is a network of regional stations, and has part-interest in several thematic cable/satellite channels and international channels; a large number of privately owned regional and local TV stations; multi-channel satellite and cable services provide a large number of channels; public broadcaster Radio France operates 7 national networks, a series of regional networks, and operates services for overseas territories and foreign audiences; Radio France Internationale (RFI), under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is a leading international broadcaster; a large number of commercial FM stations, with many of them consolidating into commercial networks (2008)

Internet country code

metropolitan France - .fr; French Guiana - .gf; Guadeloupe - .gp; Martinique - .mq; Mayotte - .yt; Reunion - .re

Internet hosts

17.266 million (2012)

Internet users

45.262 million; 44.625 million (metropolitan France) (2009)



464 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 294
over 3,047 m: 14
2,438 to 3,047 m: 25
1,524 to 2,437 m: 97
914 to 1,523 m: 83
under 914 m: 75 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 170
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 64
under 914 m: 105 (2013)


1 (2013)

Pipelines (km)

gas 15,322 km; oil 2,939 km; refined products 5,084 km (2013)

Railways (km)

total: 29,640 km
standard gauge: 29,473 km 1.435-m gauge (15,361 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 167 km 1.000-m gauge (63 km electrified) (2008)

Roadways (km)

total: 1,028,446 km (metropolitan France; includes 11,416 km of expressways)
note: there are another 5,100 km of roadways in overseas departments (2010)

Waterways (km)

metropolitan France: 8,501 km (1,621 km accessible to craft of 3,000 metric tons) (2010)

Merchant marine

total: 162
by type: bulk carrier 3, cargo 7, chemical tanker 34, container 27, liquefied gas 12, passenger 10, passenger/cargo 41, petroleum tanker 16, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 11
foreign-owned: 50 (Belgium 7, Bermuda 5, Denmark 11, French Polynesia 11, Germany 1, New Caledonia 3, Singapore 3, Sweden 4, Switzerland 5)
registered in other countries: 151 (Bahamas 15, Belgium 7, Bermuda 1, Canada 1, Cyprus 16, Egypt 1, Hong Kong 4, Indonesia 1, Ireland 2, Italy 2, Luxembourg 15, Malta 8, Marshall Islands 7, Mexico 1, Morocco 3, Netherlands 2, Norway 5, Panama 7, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2, Singapore 3, South Korea 2, Taiwan 2, UK 39, US 4, unknown 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Brest, Calais, Dunkerque, Le Havre, Marseille, Nantes,
river port(s): Paris, Rouen (Seine); Strasbourg (Rhine); Bordeaux (Garronne)
container port(s): Le Havre (2,215,262)(2011)
cruise/ferry port(s): Calais, Cherbourg, Le Havre


Military branches

Army (Armee de Terre; includes Marines, Foreign Legion, Army Light Aviation), Navy (Marine Nationale), Air Force (Armee de l'Air (AdlA); includes Air Defense) (2011)

Military service age and obligation (years of age)

18-25 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription; 1-year service obligation; women serve in noncombat posts (2013)

Manpower available for military service

males age 16-49: 14,563,662
females age 16-49: 14,238,434 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 16-49: 12,025,341
females age 16-49: 11,721,827 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually

male: 396,050
female: 377,839 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures (% of GDP)

1.8% of GDP (2014)
1.9% of GDP (2013)
1.9% of GDP (2012)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Madagascar claims the French territories of Bassas da India, Europa Island, Glorioso Islands, and Juan de Nova Island; Comoros claims Mayotte; Mauritius claims Tromelin Island; territorial dispute between Suriname and the French overseas department of French Guiana; France asserts a territorial claim in Antarctica (Adelie Land); France and Vanuatu claim Matthew and Hunter Islands, east of New Caledonia

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 23,762 (Sri Lanka); 13,513 (Democratic Republic of the Congo); 12,795 (Russia); 12,560 (Cambodia); 11,738 (Serbia); 10,867 (Turkey); 8,528 (Vietnam); 7,261 (Laos); 5,101 (Mauritania) (2013)
stateless persons: 1,210 (2012)

Illicit drugs

metropolitan France: transshipment point for South American cocaine, Southwest Asian heroin, and European synthetics
French Guiana: small amount of marijuana grown for local consumption; minor transshipment point to Europe
Martinique: transshipment point for cocaine and marijuana bound for the US and Europe

Largest cities of France

These are the 50 largest cities of France ordered based on their number of inhabitants.

# City Population
1 Paris 2,110,694
2 Marseille 792,823
3 Lyon 463,700
4 Toulouse 411,145
5 Nice 341,621
6 Nantes 284,677
7 Strasbourg 273,506
8 Montpellier 238,887
9 Bordeaux 219,311
10 Rennes 213,334
11 Reims 192,688
12 Lille 189,746
13 Le Havre 188,605
14 Saint-Étienne 170,416
15 Angers 158,585
16 Grenoble 154,853
17 Toulon 154,465
18 Dijon 153,692
19 Brest 150,554
20 Le Mans 147,413
21 Aix-en-Provence 142,133
22 Amiens 138,816
23 Nîmes 137,532
24 Clermont-Ferrand 137,364
25 Tours 135,143
26 Limoges 134,549
27 Metz 128,021
28 Villeurbanne 126,230
29 Besançon 120,139
30 Orléans 118,190
31 Caen 115,358
32 Mulhouse 111,972
33 Boulogne-Billancourt 109,765
34 Rouen 108,101
35 Nancy 106,857
36 Perpignan 104,783
37 Roubaix 96,806
38 Argenteuil 95,075
39 Tourcoing 93,835
40 Montreuil 89,125
41 Poitiers 86,639
42 Avignon 85,848
43 Versailles 85,134
44 Nanterre 84,448
45 Créteil 84,133
46 Saint-Denis 84,027
47 La Rochelle 80,406
48 Aulnay-sous-Bois 79,622
49 Calais 79,010
50 Rueil-Malmaison 78,645