Europe :: FRANCE
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  • Introduction :: FRANCE

  • 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-7, 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 withdraw French forces from 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.
  • Geography :: FRANCE

  • 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 halfway between northern Madagascar and northern Mozambique
    Reunion: Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar
    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
    metropolitan France: Europe
    French Guiana: South America
    Guadeloupe: Central America and the Caribbean
    Martinique: Central America and the Caribbean
    Mayotte: Africa
    Reunion: World
    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
    country comparison to the world: 44
    slightly more than four times the size of Georgia; slightly less than the size of Texas
    Area comparison map:
    metropolitan France - total: 2,751 km
    border countries (8): 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 (2): Brazil 649 km, Suriname 556 km
    total: 4,853 km
    metropolitan France: 3,427 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm (does not apply to the Mediterranean Sea)
    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
    mean elevation: 375 m
    elevation extremes: lowest point: Rhone River delta -2 m
    highest point: Mont Blanc 4,810 m
    note: 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
    metropolitan France: coal, iron ore, bauxite, zinc, uranium, antimony, arsenic, potash, feldspar, fluorspar, gypsum, timber, arable land, fish
    French Guiana: gold deposits, petroleum, kaolin, niobium, tantalum, clay
    agricultural land: 52.7%
    arable land 33.4%; permanent crops 1.8%; permanent pasture 17.5%
    forest: 29.2%
    other: 18.1% (2011 est.)
    total: 26,420 sq km 26,950 sq km
    metropolitan France: 26,000 sq km (2012)
    much of the population is concentrated in the north and southeast; although there are many urban agglomerations throughout the country, Paris is by far the largest city, with Lyon ranked a distant second
    metropolitan France: flooding; avalanches; midwinter windstorms; drought; forest fires in south near the Mediterranean
    overseas departments: hurricanes (cyclones); flooding
    volcanism: Montagne Pelee (1,394 m) on the island of Martinique in the Caribbean is the most active volcano of the Lesser Antilles arc, it last erupted in 1932; a catastrophic eruption in May 1902 destroyed the city of St. Pierre, killing an estimated 30,000 people; La Soufriere (1,467 m) on the island of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean last erupted from July 1976 to March 1977; these volcanoes are part of the volcanic island arc of the Lesser Antilles that extends from Saba in the north to Grenada in the south
    some forest damage from acid rain; air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; water pollution from urban wastes, agricultural runoff
    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
    largest West European nation; most major French rivers - the Meuse, Seine, Loire, Charente, Dordogne, and Garonne - flow northward or westward into the Atlantic Ocean, only the Rhone flows southward into the Mediterranean Sea
  • People and Society :: FRANCE

  • 67,106,161
    note: the above figure is for metropolitan France and five overseas regions; the metropolitan France population is 62,814,233 (July 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    noun: Frenchman(men), Frenchwoman(women)
    adjective: French
    Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Indochinese, Basque minorities
    overseas departments: black, white, mulatto, East Indian, Chinese, Amerindian
    French (official) 100%, declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish, Occitan, Picard)
    overseas departments: French, Creole patois, Mahorian (a Swahili dialect)
    Christian (overwhelmingly Roman Catholic) 63-66%, Muslim 7-9%, Buddhist 0.5-0.75%, Jewish 0.5-0.75%, other 0.5-1.0%, none 23-28%
    note: France maintains a tradition of secularism and has not officially collected data on religious affiliation since the 1872 national census, which complicates assessments of France's religious composition; an 1872 law prohibiting state authorities from collecting data on individuals' ethnicity or religious beliefs was reaffirmed by a 1978 law emphasizing the prohibition of the collection or exploitation of personal data revealing an individual's race, ethnicity, or political, philosophical, or religious opinions; a 1905 law codified France's separation of church and state (2015 est.)
    0-14 years: 18.53% (male 6,360,218/female 6,076,598)
    15-24 years: 11.79% (male 4,045,901/female 3,864,395)
    25-54 years: 37.78% (male 12,773,900/female 12,578,256)
    55-64 years: 12.42% (male 4,020,507/female 4,315,407)
    65 years and over: 19.48% (male 5,648,888/female 7,422,091) (2017 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 59.2
    youth dependency ratio: 29.1
    elderly dependency ratio: 30.2
    potential support ratio: 3.3 (2015 est.)
    total: 41.4 years
    male: 39.6 years
    female: 43.1 years (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    0.39% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    12.2 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    9.3 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    1.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    much of the population is concentrated in the north and southeast; although there are many urban agglomerations throughout the country, Paris is by far the largest city, with Lyon ranked a distant second
    urban population: 80% of total population (2017)
    rate of urbanization: 0.76% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    PARIS (capital) 10.843 million; Lyon 1.609 million; Marseille-Aix-en-Provence 1.605 million; Lille 1.027 million; Nice-Cannes 967,000; Toulouse 938,000 (2015)
    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: 0.93 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    28.1 years (2010 est.)
    8 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    total: 3.2 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 3.6 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 2.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 213
    total population: 81.9 years
    male: 78.8 years
    female: 85.2 years (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    2.07 children born/woman (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    83% (2010/11)
    11.5% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 8
    3.23 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
    6.5 beds/1,000 population (2013)
    urban: 100% of population
    rural: 100% of population
    total: 100% of population
    urban: 0% of population
    rural: 0% of population
    total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
    urban: 98.6% of population
    rural: 98.9% of population
    total: 98.7% of population
    urban: 1.4% of population
    rural: 1.1% of population
    total: 1.3% of population (2015 est.)
    0.4% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    180,000 (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    <1000 (2016 est.)
    21.6% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    5.5% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    total: 16 years
    male: 16 years
    female: 17 years (2014)
    total: 24.6%
    male: 25%
    female: 24% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
  • Government :: FRANCE

  • conventional long form: French Republic
    conventional short form: France
    local long form: Republique francaise
    local short form: France
    etymology: name derives from the Latin "Francia" meaning "Land of the Franks"; the Franks were a group of Germanic tribes located along the middle and lower Rhine River in the 3rd century A.D. who merged with Gallic-Roman populations in succeeding centuries and to whom they passed on their name
    semi-presidential republic
    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
    18 regions (regions, singular - region); Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, Bourgogne-Franche-Comte (Burgundy-Free County), Bretagne (Brittany), Centre-Val de Loire (Center-Loire Valley), Corse (Corsica), Grand Est (Grand East), Guadeloupe, Guyane (French Guiana), Hauts-de-France (Upper France), Ile-de-France, Martinique, Mayotte, Normandie (Normandy), Nouvelle-Aquitaine (New Aquitaine), Occitanie (Occitania), Pays de la Loire (Lands of the Loire), Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, Reunion
    note: France is divided into 13 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)
    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 Government 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)
    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)
    history: many previous; latest effective 4 October 1958
    amendments: proposed by the president of the republic (upon recommendation of the prime minister and Parliament) or by Parliament; proposals submitted by Parliament members require passage by both houses followed by approval in a referendum; passage of proposals submitted by the government can bypass a referendum if submitted by the president to Parliament and passed by at least three-fifths majority vote by Parliament’s National Assembly; amended many times, last in 2008 (2016)
    civil law; review of administrative but not legislative acts
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of France
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Emmanuel MACRON (since 14 May 2017)
    head of government: Prime Minister Edouard PHILIPPE (since 15 May 2017)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president at the suggestion of the prime minister
    elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 23 April with a runoff on 7 May 2017 (next to be held in April 2022); prime minister appointed by the president
    election results: Emmanuel MACRON elected president in second round; percent of vote in first round - Emmanuel MACRON (EM) 24.0%, Marine LE PEN (FN) 21.3%, Francois FILLON (LR) 20.0%, Jean-Luc MELENCHON (FI) 19.6%, Benoit HAMON (PS) 6.4%, other 8.7%; percent of vote in second round - MACRON 66.1%, LE PEN 33.9%
    description: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat (348 seats - 328 for metropolitan France and overseas departments and regions of Guadeloupe, Martinque, French Guiana, Reunion, and Mayotte, 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 departmental electoral colleges using absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed for departments with 1-3 members and proportional representation vote in departments with 4 or more members; members serve 6-year terms with one-half of the membership renewed every 3 years) and the National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (577 seats - 556 for metropolitan France, 10 for overseas departments, and 11 for citizens abroad; members directly elected by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed to serve 5-year terms)
    elections: Senate - last held on 24 September 2017 (next to be held on 24 September 2020); National Assembly - last held on 11 and 18 June 2017 (next to be held in June 2022)
    election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - LR 146, SOC 78, UC 49, REM 21, CRC 21, other 32
    National Assembly - percent of vote by party first round - EM 28.2%, LR 15.8%. FN 13.2%, FI 11.0%, PS 7.4%, other 24.4%; percent of vote by party second round - EM 43.1%, LR 22.2%, FN 8.8%, MoDEM 6.1%, PS 5.7%. FI 4.9%, other 9.2%; seats by party - EM 308, LR 112, MoDEM 42, PS 29, UDI 18, FI 17, PCF 10, FN 8, other 33
    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 over by the Court of Cassation and 15 appointed members; judges appointed for life; Constitutional Council members - 3 appointed 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; administrative courts
    Democratic Movement or MoDEM [Francois BAYROU]
    Europe Ecology - The Greens or EELV [David CORMAND]
    French Communist Party or PCF [Pierre LAURENT]
    La France Insoumise or FI [Jean-Luc MELENCHON]
    Left Front Coalition or FDG [Jean-Luc MELENCHON]
    Left Party or PG [linked with the movement La France Insoumise or FI [Jean-Luc MELENCHON]]
    Left Radical Party or PRG [Sylvia PINEL] (formerly 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; presidential candIdate Philippe POUTOU]
    Rally for France or RPF [Igor KUREK]
    Republican and Citizen Movement or MRC [Jean-Luc LAURENT]
    Socialist Party or PS [Rachid TEMAL, interim leader]
    Stand Up France (Debout La France) [Nicolas DUPONT-AIGNAN]
    The Centrists [Herve MORIN] (formerly new Center of NC)
    The Republic on the Move (La Republique en Marche) or REM [Christophe CASTANER]
    The Republicans or LR (formerly Union for a Popular Movement or UMP) [Laurent WAUQUIEZ]
    Union des Democrates et Independants or UDI [Jean-Christohe LAGARDE] and Democratic Movement or MoDem [Francois BAYROU] (previously Union for French Democracy or UDF); together known as UDI-Modem; Radical Party [Laurent HENART] is a member of UDI
    United Republic or RS [Dominique DE VILLEPIN]
    Worker's Struggle (Lutte Ouvriere) or LO; also known as Communist Union; [collective leadership; spokespersons Nathalie ARTHAUD and Arlette LAGUILLER]
    French Confederation of Management - General Confederation of Executives) or CFE-CGC (Confederation francaise de l'encadrement - Confederation generale des cadres) [Francois HOMMERIL] (independent white-collar union with 140,000 members)
    French Democratic Confederation of Labor or CFDT (Confederation Francaise Democratique du Travail) [Laurent BERGER] (left-leaning labor union with approximately 875,000 members)
    French Confederation of Christian Workers or CFTC (Confederation francaise des travailleurs chretiens) [Philippe LOUIS] (independent labor union founded by Catholic workers that claims 142,000 members)
    General Confederation of Labor or CGT (Confederation generale du travail) [Philippe MARTINEZ] (historically communist labor union with approximately 710,000 members)
    General Confederation of Labor - Worker's Force) or FO (Confederation generale du travail - Force ouvriere) [Jean-Claude MAILLY] (independent labor union with an estimated 300,000 members)
    Mouvement des entreprises de France or MEDEF [Pierre GATTAZ] (employers' union with claimed 750,000 companies as members)
    French Guiana:
    conservationists; gold mining pressure groups; hunting pressure groups
    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
    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
    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-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, 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, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNRWA, UNSC (permanent), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
    chief of mission: Ambassador Gerard Roger ARAUD (since 18 September 2014)
    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, Washington DC
    chief of mission: Ambassador Jamie D. McCOURT (since 18 December 2017); 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
    consulate(s): Bordeaux, Lyon, Rennes, Toulouse
    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
    Gallic rooster, fleur-de-lis, Marianne (female personification); national colors: blue, white, red
    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 :: FRANCE

  • 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. France is the most visited country in the world with 83 million foreign tourists in 2016, including 530,000 visitors for the 2016 Euro Cup. 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 grew by 1.6% in 2017, up from 1.2% the year before. The unemployment rate (including overseas territories) increased from 7.8% in 2008 to 10.2% in 2015, before falling to 9.5% in 2017. Youth unemployment in metropolitan France decreased from 24.6% in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 24% in the fourth quarter of 2016.
    France’s public finances have historically been strained by high spending and low growth. Despite measures to restore public finances, the budget deficit rose from 3.3% of GDP in 2008 to 7.5% of GDP in 2009. In 2017, the budget deficit improved to 2.9% of GDP, bringing it in compliance with the EU-mandated 3% deficit target. Meanwhile, France's public debt rose from 89.5% of GDP in 2012 to 96.9% in 2017.
    Since entering office in May 2017, President Emmanuel MACRON launched a series of economic reforms to improve competitiveness and boost economic growth. President MACRON campaigned on reforming France’s labor code and in late 2017 implemented a range of reforms to increase flexibility in the labor market by making it easier for firms to hire and fire and simplifying negotiations between employers and employees. In addition to labor reforms, President MACRON’s proposed 2018 budget cuts public spending, taxes, and social security contributions to spur private investment and increase purchasing power.
    $2.826 trillion (2017 est.)
    $2.783 trillion (2016 est.)
    $2.75 trillion (2015 est.)
    note: data are in 2017 dollars
    country comparison to the world: 11
    $2.575 trillion (2017 est.)
    1.6% (2017 est.)
    1.2% (2016 est.)
    1.1% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    $43,600 (2017 est.)
    $43,100 (2016 est.)
    $42,700 (2015 est.)
    note: data are in 2017 dollars
    country comparison to the world: 39
    22.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
    22% of GDP (2016 est.)
    22.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    household consumption: 54.8%
    government consumption: 23.5%
    investment in fixed capital: 22%
    investment in inventories: 1.3%
    exports of goods and services: 30.3%
    imports of goods and services: -32% (2017 est.)
    agriculture: 1.6%
    industry: 19.4%
    services: 78.9% (2017 est.)
    wheat, cereals, sugar beets, potatoes, wine grapes; beef, dairy products; fish
    machinery, chemicals, automobiles, metallurgy, aircraft, electronics; textiles, food processing; tourism
    1.1% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    30.68 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    agriculture: 2.4%
    industry: 18.3%
    services: 79.3% (2015 est.)
    9.5% (2017 est.)
    10% (2016 est.)
    note: includes overseas territories
    country comparison to the world: 135
    14% (2013 est.)
    lowest 10%: 3.6%
    highest 10%: 25.4% (2013 est.)
    29.2 (2015 est.)
    30.5 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    revenues: $1.334 trillion
    expenditures: $1.412 trillion (2017 est.)
    51.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    -3.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    96.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
    96.4% of GDP (2016 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
    country comparison to the world: 20
    calendar year
    1.2% (2017 est.)
    0.3% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    0% (31 December 2016 est.)
    0.05% (31 December 2015 est.)
    note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area
    country comparison to the world: 159
    1.4% (31 December 2017 est.)
    1.6% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    $1.372 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $1.139 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
    note: see entry for the European Union for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 18 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
    country comparison to the world: 6
    $2.338 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $1.982 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    $4.225 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $3.646 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    $1.591 trillion (31 March 2017 est.)
    $2.088 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $2.086 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    -$28.92 billion (2017 est.)
    -$24.66 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    $541.3 billion (2017 est.)
    $507 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    machinery and transportation equipment, aircraft, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, iron and steel, beverages
    Germany 16%, Spain 7.6%, US 7.3%, Italy 7.2%, UK 7%, Belgium 6.8% (2016)
    $576.3 billion (2017 est.)
    $536.7 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    machinery and equipment, vehicles, crude oil, aircraft, plastics, chemicals
    Germany 19.3%, Belgium 10.6%, Netherlands 7.9%, Italy 7.8%, Spain 7%, US 5.8%, China 5.1%, UK 4.2% (2016)
    $146.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    $138.2 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    $5.36 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
    $5.25 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    $842.5 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $807.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    $1.452 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $1.379 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    euros (EUR) per US dollar -
    0.885 (2017 est.)
    0.903 (2016 est.)
    0.9214 (2015 est.)
    0.885 (2014 est.)
    0.7634 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: FRANCE

  • electrification - total population: 100% (2016)
    536.1 billion kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    436.1 billion kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    61.41 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    20.79 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    129.3 million kW (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    16.1% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    48.8% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    14% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    16.9% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    16,420 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    1.096 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    72.35 million bbl (1 January 2017 es)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    1.27 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    1.661 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    433,400 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    854,200 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    28 million cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    42.51 billion cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    5.419 billion cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    44.38 billion cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    8.608 billion cu m (1 January 2017 es)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    385.6 million Mt (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
  • Communications :: FRANCE

  • total subscriptions: 39.006 million
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 58 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    total: 67.571 million
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 101 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    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 (2015)
    a mix of both publicly operated and privately owned TV stations; state-owned France television stations operate 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, 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)
    metropolitan France - .fr; French Guiana - .gf; Guadeloupe - .gp; Martinique - .mq; Mayotte - .yt; Reunion - .re
    total: 57,226,585
    percent of population: 85.6% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
  • Transportation :: FRANCE

  • number of registered air carriers: 30
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 485
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 65,039,503
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 4,098.31 million mt-km (2015)
    F (2016)
    464 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    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 (2017)
    total: 170
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 64
    under 914 m: 105 (2013)
    1 (2013)
    gas 15,322 km; oil 2,939 km; refined products 5,084 km (2013)
    total: 29,640 km
    standard gauge: 29,473 km 1.435-m gauge (15,561 km electrified)
    narrow gauge: 167 km 1.000-m gauge (63 km electrified) (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    total: 1,028,446 km (metropolitan France)
    paved: 1,028,446 km (includes 11,416 km of expressways)
    note: not included are 5,100 km of roadways in overseas departments (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 8
    metropolitan France: 8,501 km (1,621 km navigable by craft up to 3,000 metric tons) (2010)
    total: 555
    by type: container ship 24, general cargo 72, oil tanker 28, other 431
    note: includes Monaco (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    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
    LNG terminal(s) (import): Fos Cavaou, Fos Tonkin, Montoir de Bretagne
  • Military and Security :: FRANCE

  • 2.26% of GDP (2016)
    2.27% of GDP (2015)
    2.23% of GDP (2014)
    2.22% of GDP (2013)
    2.24% of GDP (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    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)
    18-25 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription; 1-year service obligation; women serve in noncombat posts (2013)
  • Terrorism :: FRANCE

  • Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA):
    aim(s): establish an independent Basque homeland based on Marxist principles in what is now southwestern France and northern Spain
    area(s) of operation: maintains a presence in the southwest, where the French and Spanish governments collaborate to arrest members and demand disarmament before engaging in negotiations; responsible for hundreds of deaths in France since it inception in 1959; continues to refrain from conducting attacks since its 20 October 2011 communique declaring a permanent cessation of violence, but had not formally disbanded or given up its weapons arsenal by early 2017; 79 members are currently in French prisons, with an unknown number present in the country; remains outlawed in France
    Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL):
    aim(s): destabilize France's economy and government
    area(s) of operation: remains operational with known activities in at least Paris, Lyon, Nice, Tours, and Magnanville, where ISIL has either directed or inspired lethal attacks; three coordinated teams of suicide bombers and shooters conducted attacks on 13 November 2015 in Paris and its northern suburb Saint-Denis, killing at least 130 people and wounding approximately 360; as of early 2017, approximately 1,800 to 1,850 French citizens were fighting in Syria or Iraq alongside ISIL, planning to go to fight, or had returned from the fight; France is a top source country in Europe for ISIL recruits; recruits heavily in prisons
  • Transnational Issues :: FRANCE

  • 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 (country of origin): 24,326 (Sri Lanka); 15,232 (Russia); 15,037 (Democratic Republic of the Congo); 13,154 (Serbia and Kosovo); 11,566 (Cambodia); 10,615 (Turkey); 8,991 (Syria); 8,008 (Vietnam); 7,685 (Afghanistan); 7,049 (Sudan); 6,841 (Laos); 6,823 (Guinea); 6,043 (Iraq); 5,183 (Mauritania) (2016)
    stateless persons: 1,370 (2016)
    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