France

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

France is one of the most modern countries in the world and a leader among European nations. It plays an influential global role as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, NATO, the G-7, the G-20, the EU, and other multilateral organizations.

Geography

Area

total: 643,801 sq km

land: 640,427 sq km

water: 3,374 sq km

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 the 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)

Natural resources

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

People and Society

Population

68,305,148 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African (Algerian, Moroccan, Tunisian), Indochinese, Basque minorities

Languages

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

Religions

Roman Catholic 47%, Muslim 4%, Protestant 2%, Buddhists 2%, Orthodox 1%, Jewish 1%, other 1%, none 33%, unspecified 9%

Population growth rate

0.32% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

semi-presidential republic

Capital

name: Paris

Executive branch

chief of state: President Emmanuel MACRON (since 14 May 2017)

head of government: Prime Minister Élisabeth BORNE (since 16 May 2022)

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of:
Senate or Senat (348 seats - 328 for metropolitan France and overseas departments and regions of Guadeloupe, Martinique, 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)
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)

Economy

Economic overview

high-income, advanced and diversified EU economy and euro user; strong tourism, aircraft manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and industrial sectors; ongoing pension reform protests; high public debts and COVID-19 spending increases; global environmental leader

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$2,832,170,000,000 (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$42,000 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

wheat, sugar beet, milk, barley, maize, potatoes, grapes, rapeseed, pork, apples

Industries

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

Exports

$746.91 billion (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

Germany 14%, United States 8%, Italy 7%, Spain 7%, Belgium 7%, United Kingdom 7% (2019)

Exports - commodities

aircraft, packaged medicines, cars and vehicle parts, gas turbines, wine (2019)

Imports

$803.66 billion (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

Germany 18%, Belgium 9%, Italy 9%, Spain 7%, China 7%, Netherlands 6%, United Kingdom 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

cars, crude petroleum, refined petroleum, packaged medicines, aircraft machinery (2019)


Page last updated: Tuesday, May 17, 2022