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INTRODUCTION


 
Although ultimately a victor in World Wars I and II, France suffered extensive losses in its empire, wealth, manpower, and rank as a dominant nation-state. Nevertheless, France today is one of the most modern countries in the world and is a leader among European nations. 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 exchange 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... See More



GEOGRAPHY


Location:

 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:

 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:

 Slightly less than the size of Texas

Land Boundaries:

 Metropolitan France - total: 2,889 km
Border countries: Andorra 56.6 km, Belgium 620 km, Germany 451 km, Italy 488 km, Luxembourg 73 km, Monaco 4.4 km, Spain 623 km, Switzerland 573 km
French Guiana - total: 1,183 km
Border countries: Brazil 673 km, Suriname 510 km

Coastline:

 Total: 4,853 km
Metropolitan France: 3,427 km (Rank: )

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

Climate:

 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)

Terrain:

 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:

 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: 33.46%
Permanent crops: 2.03%
Other: 64.51%

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% (2005)

Irrigated Land:

 Total: 26,950 sq km;
Metropolitan France: 26,700 sq km (2008)

Total Renewable Water Resources:

 189 cu km (2005)

Freshwater Withdrawal:

 Total: 33.16 cu km/yr (16%/74%/10%)
Per capita: 548 cu m/yr (2000)

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

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PEOPLE AND SOCIETY


Nationality:

 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

Population:

 65,312,249 (July 2011 est.)

Note: the above figure is for metropolitan France and five overseas regions; the metropolitan France population is 62,814,233

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 18.5% (male 6,180,905/female 5,886,849)
15-64 years: 64.7% (male 21,082,175/female 21,045,867)
65 years and over: 16.8% (male 4,578,089/female 6,328,834) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 39.9 years
Male: 38.4 years
Female: 41.5 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 0.5% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 12.29 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 8.76 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 1.46 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Urbanization:

 Urban population: 85% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 1% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 PARIS (capital) 10.41 million; Marseille-Aix-en-Provence 1.457 million; Lyon 1.456 million; Lille 1.028 million; Nice-Cannes 977,000 (2009)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.051 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate:

 8 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 3.29 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 3.61 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 2.96 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 81.19 years
Male: 78.02 years
Female: 84.54 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 1.96 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Health Expenditures:

 3.5% of GDP (2009)

Physicians Density:

 3.497 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Hospital Bed Density:

 7.11 beds/1,000 population (2008)

Drinking Water Source:

 Urban: 100% of population
Rural: 100% of population
Total: 100% of population (2008)

Sanitation Facility Access:

 Urban: 100% of population
Rural: 100% of population
Total: 100% of population (2008)

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:

 16.9% (2007)

Education Expenditures:

 5.6% of GDP (2007)

Literacy:

 Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 99%
Male: 99%
Female: 99% (2003 est.)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 16 years
Male: 16 years
Female: 16 years (2008)

Unemployment, Youth Ages 15-24:

 Total: 22.6%
Male: 23.4%
Female: 21.7% (2009)

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GOVERNMENT


Country Name:

 Conventional long form: French Republic
Conventional short form: France
Local long form: Republique francaise
Local short form: France

Government Type:

 Republic

Capital:

 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

Independence:

 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)

Constitution:

 Adopted by referendum 28 September 1958; effective 4 October 1958; amended many times

Note: amended in 1962 concerning election of president; amended to comply with provisions of 1992 EC Maastricht Treaty, 1997 Amsterdam Treaty, 2003 Treaty of Nice; amended in 1993 to tighten immigration laws; amended in 2000 to change the seven-year presidential term to a five-year term; amended in 2005 to make the EU constitutional treaty compatible with the Constitution of France and to ensure that the decision to ratify EU accession treaties would be made by referendum

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

Suffrage:

 18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: President Nicolas SARKOZY (since 16 May 2007)

Head of government: Prime Minister Francois FILLON (since 17 May 2007)

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 2007 (next to be held in the spring of 2012); prime minister appointed by the president

Election results: Nicolas SARKOZY elected; first round: percent of vote - Nicolas SARKOZY 31.2%, Segolene ROYAL 25.9%, Francois BAYROU 18.6%, Jean-Marie LE PEN 10.4%, others 13.9%; second round: SARKOZY 53.1%, ROYAL 46.9%

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); note - between 2006 and 2011, 15 new seats will be added to the Senate for a total of 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; Mayotte's previously held 2 seats as an overseas collectivity are now included in the total as an overseas department; starting in 2008, members will be indirectly elected by an electoral college to serve six-year terms with one-half 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 2007 (next to be held in June 2012)

Election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PS/Greens 140, UMP 132, PCF/MRC 21, PRG 17, other 7; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - UMP 46.4%, PS 42.2%, miscellaneous left wing parties 2.5%, PCF 2.3%, NC 2.1%, PRG 1.6%, miscellaneous right wing parties 1.2%, the Greens 0.4%, other 1.2%; seats by party - UMP 313, PS 186, NC 22, miscellaneous left wing parties 15, PCF 16, miscellaneous right wing parties 9, PRG 7, the Greens 3, other 6

Judicial Branch:

 Supreme Court of Appeals or Cour de Cassation (judges are appointed by the president from nominations of the High Council of the Judiciary); Constitutional Council or Conseil Constitutionnel (three members appointed by the president, three appointed by the president of the National Assembly, and three appointed by the president of the Senate); Council of State or Conseil d'Etat

Political Parties and Leaders:

 Centrist Union or UDF [Nicolas ABOUT]; Democratic Movement or MoDem [Francois BAYROU] (previously Union for French Democracy or UDF); French Communist Party or PCF [Pierre LAURENT]; Greens [Cecile DUFLOT]; Left Party or PG [Jean-Luc MELENCHON]; 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 [Jean-Marie LE PEN]; New Anticapitalist Party or NPA [Olivier BESANCENOT]; New Center or NC [Herve MORIN]; Radical Party [Yvon COLLIN]; Rally for France or RPF [Charles PASQUA]; Republican and Citizen Movement or MRC [Jean-Luc LAURENT]; Socialist Party or PS [Martine AUBRY]; Union for a Popular Movement or UMP [Nicolas SARKOZY]; Worker's Struggle or LO [Nathalie ARTHAUD]

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders:

 Confederation francaise democratique du travail or CFDT, left-leaning labor union with approximately 803,000 members; Confederation francaise de l'encadrement - Confederation generale des cadres or CFE-CGC, independent white-collar union with 196,000 members; Confederation francaise des travailleurs chretiens of CFTC, independent labor union founded by Catholic workers that claims 132,000 members; Confederation generale du travail or CGT, historically communist labor union with approximately 700,000 members; Confederation generale du travail - Force ouvriere or FO, independent labor union with an estimated 300,000 members; Mouvement des entreprises de France or MEDEF, employers' union with 750,000 companies as members (claimed)
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, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, FZ, G-20, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), Schengen Convention, SECI (observer), SPC, UN, UN Security Council, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Francois M. DELATTRE
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 Charles H. RIVKIN
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 Symbols:

 Gallic rooster

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

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ECONOMY


Economy - Overview:

 France is in the midst of transition from a well-to-do modern economy that has featured extensive government ownership and intervention to one that relies more on market mechanisms. The government has partially or fully privatized many large companies, banks, and insurers, and has ceded stakes in such leading firms as Air France, France Telecom, Renault, and Thales. It maintains a strong presence in some sectors, particularly power, public transport, and defense industries. With at least 75 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 reduce income disparity and the impact of free markets on public health and welfare. France has weathered the global economic crisis better than most other big EU economies because of the relative resilience of domestic consumer spending, a large public sector, and less exposure to the downturn in global demand than in some other countries. Nonetheless, France's real GDP contracted 2.5% in 2009, but recovered somewhat in 2010, while the unemployment rate increased from 7.4% in 2008 to 9.5% in 2010. The government pursuit of aggressive stimulus and investment measures in response to the economic crisis, however, are contributing to a deterioration of France's public finances. The government budget deficit rose sharply from 3.4% of GDP in 2008 to 6.9% of GDP in 2010, while France's public debt rose from 68% of GDP to 82% over the same period. Paris is terminating stimulus measures, eliminating tax credits, and freezing most government spending to bring the budget deficit under the 3% euro-zone ceiling by 2013, and to highlight France's commitment to fiscal discipline at a time of intense financial market scrutiny of euro zone debt levels. President SARKOZY - who secured passage of pension reform in 2010 - is expected to seek passage of some tax reforms in 2011, but he may delay additional, more costly, reforms until after the 2012 election.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $2.145 trillion (2010 est.)
$2.114 trillion (2009 est.)
$2.169 trillion (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $2.583 trillion (2010 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 1.5% (2010 est.)
-2.5% (2009 est.)
0.1% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $33,100 (2010 est.)
$32,800 (2009 est.)
$33,900 (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 1.7%
Industry: 18.6%
Services: 79.7% (2010 est.)

Labor Force:

 29.32 million (2010 est.)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: 3.8%
Industry: 24.3%
Services: 71.8% (2005)

Unemployment Rate:

 9.3% (2010 est.)
9.1% (2009 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line:

 6.2% (2004)

Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: 3%
Highest 10%: 24.8% (2004)

Distribution of Family Income - Gini Index:

 32.7 (2008)
32.7 (1995)

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 19.3% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget:

 Revenues: $1.26 trillion
Expenditures: $1.44 trillion (2010 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 48.8% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 -7% of GDP (2010 est.)

Public Debt:

 82.4% of GDP (2010 est.)
79% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 1.7% (2010 est.)
0.1% (2009 est.)

Central Bank Discount Rate:

 1.75% (31 December 2010)
1.75% (31 December 2009)

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:

 3.373% (31 December 2010 est.)
4.249% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Money:

 $NA

Note: see entry for the European Union for money supply in the euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 16 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money and quasi money circulating within their own borders

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $887.3 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$886.4 billion (31 December 2009 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:

 $2.57 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)
$2.336 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $4.319 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)
$4.121 trillion (31 December 2008 est.)

Market Value of Publicly Traded Shares:

 $1.926 trillion (31 December 2010)
$1.972 trillion (31 December 2009)
$1.492 trillion (31 December 2008)

Agriculture - Products:

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

Industries:

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

Industrial Production Growth Rate:

 5.1% (2010 est.)

Electricity - Production:

 510 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 8.2%
Hydro: 14%
Nuclear: 77.1%
Other: 0.7% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 460.9 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 44.91 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 25.7 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - Production:

 84,820 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 1.861 million bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 487,200 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 2.22 million bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 91.63 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 721 million cu m (2010 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 49.78 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 2.945 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 46.2 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 6.796 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 -$54.4 billion (2010 est.)
-$39.87 billion (2009 est.)

Exports:

 $517.2 billion (2010 est.)
$475.9 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - Commodities:

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

Exports - Partners:

 Germany 16.4%, Italy 8.2%, Belgium 7.7%, Spain 7.6%, UK 6.8%, US 5.1%, Netherlands 4.2% (2010)

Imports:

 $588.4 billion (2010 est.)
$535.8 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

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

Imports - Partners:

 Germany 19.3%, Belgium 11.4%, Italy 8%, Netherlands 7.5%, Spain 6.8%, China 5.1%, UK 5% (2010)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold:

 $166.2 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$133.1 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - External:

 $5.633 trillion (30 June 2011)
$4.698 trillion (30 June 2010)

Stock of Direct Foreign Investment - Abroad:

 $1.746 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)
$1.662 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Direct Foreign Investment - At Home:

 $1.161 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)
$1.128 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert Euro to Any Currency

Euros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.755 (2010)
0.7198 (2009)
0.6827 (2008)
0.7345 (2007)
0.7964 (2006)

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COMMUNICATIONS


Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 36.154 million; 35.2 million (metropolitan France) (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 64 million; 62.6 million (metropolitan France) (2010)

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

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)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 41, FM about 3,500 (this figure is an approximation and includes many repeaters), shortwave 2 (1998)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 584 (plus 9,676 repeaters) (1995)

Internet Country Code:

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

Internet Hosts:

 15,182,001; 15.161 million (metropolitan France) (2010)

Internet Users:

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

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TRANSPORTATION


Airports:

 475 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 297
Over 3,047 m: 14
2,438 to 3,047 m: 27
1,524 to 2,437 m: 98
914 to 1,523 m: 83
Under 914 m: 76 (2010)

Airports - With Unpaved Runways:

 Total: 177
914 to 1,523 m: 69
Under 914 m: 108 (2010)

Heliports:

 1 (2010)

Pipelines:

 Gas 15,276 km; oil 2,939 km; refined products 5,084 km (2010)

Railways:

 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) (2009)

Roadways:

 Total: 951,200 km (metropolitan France; includes 11,100 km of expressways)

Note: there are another 5,100 km of roadways in overseas departments (2008)

Waterways:

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

Merchant Marine:

 Total: 167
By type: bulk carrier 2, cargo 8, chemical tanker 36, container 25, liquefied gas 12, passenger 11, passenger/cargo 44, petroleum tanker 17, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 11
Foreign-owned: 57 (Belgium 7, China 5, Denmark 12, French Polynesia 12, Germany 1, New Caledonia 3, Norway 1, NZ 1, Singapore 3, Spain 1, Sweden 6, Switzerland 5)
Registered in other countries: 146 (Bahamas 19, Belgium 5, Bermuda 1, Canada 1, Cyprus 16, Egypt 1, Hong Kong 3, Indonesia 1, Italy 2, Luxembourg 16, Malta 13, Morocco 4, Netherlands 2, Norway 4, Panama 13, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2, Singapore 3, South Korea 1, Taiwan 1, UK 33, US 4, unknown 1) (2010)

Ports and Terminals:

 Calais, Dunkerque, Le Havre, Marseille, Nantes, Paris, Rouen

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MILITARY


Military Branches:

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

Military Service Age and Obligation:

 17-40 years of age for male and female voluntary military service (with parental consent); no conscription; 12-month service obligation; women serve in noncombat posts (2010)

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:

 2.6% of GDP (2005 est.)

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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

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

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Last Updated: December 2011

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