France: Background,GEOGRAPHY,Location,Geographic coordinates,Map references,Coastline,Maritime claims,Climate,Terrain,Natural resources,Natural hazards,Ethnic groups,Languages,Government type,polirtical system,Religions,Demographic profile,Population,Land use


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Background: 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 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. I n 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 Franceproper.

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

halfway 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, 6100 W

Mayotte: 12 50 S, 45 10 E

Reunion: 21 06 S, 55 36 E

Map references: metropolitan France: Europe

French Guiana: South America Guadeloupe: Central America and the Caribbean Martinique: Central America and the Caribbean Mayotte: Africa Reunion: World

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

country comparison to the world: 43 Area—comparative: slightly more than four times the size of Georgia; slightly less than the size of Texas

Land boundaries: 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 Coastline: 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 M editerranean Sea) 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










Elevation: mean elevation: 375 m elevation extremes: lowest point: Rhone River delta -2 m

highest point: Mont Blanc 4,807 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

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

Land use: agricultural land: 52.7%

arable land: 33.4%

permanent crops: 1.8%

permanent pasture: 17.5%

forest: 29.2%

other: 18.1% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land: total: 26,420 sq km 26,950 sq km

metropolitan France: 26,000 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources: 211 cu km (2011) Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricult

total: 31.62 cu km/yr (19%/71%/10%)

per capita: 512.1 cu m/yr (2009)







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; 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 M editerranean Sea

Nationality: noun:

Frenchman(men), French woman(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: 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.)

Population: 66,553,766

note: the above figure is for metropolitan France and five overseas regions; the metropolitan France population is 62,814,233 (July 2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 22

Age structure: 0–14 years:

18.66% (male 6,350,008/female


15–24 years: 11.82% (male

4,025,283/female 3,842,989)

25–54 years: 38.31% (male

12,823,675/female 12,671,013)

55–64 years: 12.48% (male

4,008,672/female 4,294,218)

65 years and over: 18.74% (male 5,360,078/female 7,111,423) (2015 est.) Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 60.3%

youth dependency ratio: 29.6%

elderly dependency ratio: 30.6%

potential support ratio: 3.3% (2015


Median age: total: 41.1 years

male: 39.4 years

female: 42.6 years (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 38

Population growth rate:

0.43% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 163 Birth rate: 12.38 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 160 Death rate: 9.16 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 65

Net migration rate:

1.09 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 62 Urbanization: urban population: 79.5% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 0.84% annual rate of change (2010–15 est.)

Major urban areas— population: 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)

Sex ratio: 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 (2015 est.)

Mother’s mean age at first birth: 28.1 (2010 est.)

Maternal mortality rate: 8 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.) country comparison to the world: 158 Infant mortality rate: total:

3.28 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 3.6 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 2.94 deaths/1,000 live births

(2015 est.) country comparison to the world: 213

Life expectancy at birth: total popu lati on: 81.75 years

male: 78.65 years

female: 85.01 years (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 19 Total fertility rate: 2.08 children born/woman (2015 est.) country comparison to the world: 110

Contraceptive prevalence rate: 76.4%

note: percent of women aged 20–49 (2008)

Health expenditures: 11.7% of

GDP (2013)

country comparison to the world: 9

Physicians density: 3.19

physicians/1,000 population (2013) Hospital bed density: 6.4 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source:


urban: 100% o f population rural: 100% of population total: 100% of population unimproved:

urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access:


urban: 98.6% of population rural: 98.9% of population total: 98.7% of population unimproved:

urban: 1.4% of population

rural: 1.1% of population

total: 1.3% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS—adult prevalence rate: NA HIV/AIDS—people living with HIV/AIDS: NA HIV/AIDS—deaths: 1,500

(2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 59

Obesity—adult prevalence rate: 25.7% (2014)

country comparison to the world: 108

Education expenditures: 5.5%

of GDP (2012)

country comparison to the world: 43

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 16 years

male: 16 years

female: 17 years (2014)

Unemployment, youth ages

15–24: total: 23.9%

male: 23.7%

female: 24.2% (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 39

Country name: 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

Government type: semi- presidential 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-Val de Loire, 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 1: 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); on 1 January 2016 the number of metropolitan regions was reduced from 22 to 13 through amalgamation, but the names of many of the new regions have not been finalized note 2: on 1 January 2016 the number of metropolitan regions was reduced from 22 to 13 through amalgamation, but the names of many of the new regions have not been finalized; new permanent names are due

to be confirmed by 1 J uly 2016 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: Fetedela 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: many previous;

latest effective 4 October 1958;

amended many times, last in 2008 (2016)

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 Citizenship: citizenship by birth:


citizenship by descent only: at least one

parent must be a citizen of France

dual citizenship recognized: yes residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Suffrage: 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/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 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 president; percent of vote in first round—Francois HOLLANDE (PS) 28.6%, Nicolas SARKOZY (UMP)

27.2%, Marine LEPEN (FN) 17.9%, Jean-Luc MELENCHON (PG) 11.1%,

Francois BAYROU (moDem) 9.1%, other 6.1%; percent of vote in second round -HOLLANDE 51.6%, SARKOZY 48.4%

Legislative branch: 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 two 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 two rounds if n eeded to serve 5-year terms)

elections: Senate—last held on 28 September 2014 (next to be held in September 2017); 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— UMP 187, PS 152, other 9; 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] The Republicans (formerly Union for a Popular Movement or UMP) [Nicolas SARKOZY]

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

United Republic or RS [Dominique DE VILLEPIN]

Worker’s Struggle (Lutte Ouvriere) or LO [collective leadership; spokespersons Nathalie ARTHAUD and Arlette LAQUILLER]

Political pressure groups and leaders: Confederation francaise de l’encadrement— Confederation generale des cadres (French Confederation of Management—

General Confederation of Executives) or CFE-CGC [Carole COUVERT,

president] (independent white-collar union with 140,000 members) Confederation Francaise Democratique du Travail (French Democratic Confederation of Labor) or CFDT [Laurent BERGER, secretary general] (left-leaning labor union with approximately 875,000 members) Confederation francaise des travailleurs chretiens (French Confederation of Christian Workers) or CFTC [Philippe LOUIS, president] (independent labor union founded by Catholic workers that claims 142,000 members) Confederation generale du travail (General

Confederation of Labor) or CGT [Bernard TH I BAU LT, secretary general] (historically com m unist labor union with approximately 710,000 members) Confederation generale du travail—Force ouvriere (General Confederation of Labor—Worker’s Force) or FO [Jean-Claude MAILLY, secretary general] (independent labor union with an estimated 300,000 members) Mouvement des entreprises de France or MEDEF [Pierre GATTAZ, president] (employers’ union with claim ed 750,000 companies as members)

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-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national


NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific

Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PI F (partner), Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIF IL,


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Gerard ARAUD (since 18 September 2014) chancery: 4101 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007

telephone: [1] (202) 944–6000

FAX: [1] (202) 944–6166

consu late(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San F rancisco, Washington DC

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Jane D. HARTLEY (since 31 October 2014); 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’lvoire, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, and


National symbol(s): Gallic rooster, fleur-de-lis, Marianne (female personification); national colors: blue, white, red

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 more than 84 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 increased by 1.1% in 2015. The unemployment rate (including overseas territories) increased from 7.8% in 2008 to 9.9% in the fourth quarter of 2014. Youth unemployment in metropolitan France decreased from a high of 25.4% in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 24.3% in the fourth quarter of 2014. 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% of GDP in 2014 and 2015, while France’s public debt rose from 68% of GD P to more than 98% in 2015, and may hit 100% in 2016. Elected on a conventionally leftist platform, President F rancois HOLLANDE surprised and angered many supporters with a January 2014 speech announcing a sharp change in his economic policy, recasting himself as a liberalizing reformer. The government’s budget for 2014 shifted the balance of fiscal consolidation from taxes to a total of $24 billion in spending cuts. In December 2014, HOLLANDE announced additional reforms, including a plan to extend commercial business

hours, liberalize professional services, and sell off $6.2–12.4 billion in state owned assets. France’s tax burden remains well above the EU average and income tax cuts over the past decade are being partly reversed, particularly for higher earners. The top rate of income tax is 41%. The government is allowing a 75% payroll tax on salaries over $1.24 million to lapse.

GDP (purchasing power parity): $2.647 trillion (2015 est.)

$2.617 trillion (2014 est.)

$2.612 trillion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars country comparison to the world: 11

GDP (official exchange rate): $2.422 trillion (2015 est.) GDP—real growth rate: 1.1% (2015 est.)

0.2% (2014 est.)

0.7% (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 168

GDP—per capita (PPP):

$41,200 (2015 est.)

$40,900 (2014 est.)

$41,000 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars country comparison to the world: 38 Gross national saving: 21.4% of GDP (2015 est.)

21.2% of GDP (2014 est.)

21.5% of GDP (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 73

GDP—composition, by end use:

household consumption: 55.6%

government consumption: 24.3% investment in fixed capital: 21.2% investment in inventories: 0.3% exports of g oods and servi ces: 29.3%

imports of goods and services: -30.7% (2015 est.)

GDP—composition, by sector of origin:

agriculture: 1.7%

industry: 19.3%

services: 79% (2015 est.) 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: 0.5% (2015 est.) country comparison to the world: 161

Labor force: 29.84 million (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 20

Labor force—by occupation:

agriculture: 3%

industry: 21.3%

services: 75.7% (2013 est.)

Unemployment rate: 9.9%

(2015 est.)

9.9% (2014 est.)

note: includes overseas territories

country comparison to the world: 114

Population below poverty line: 8.1% (2012 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest: 10%: 3.6%

highest: 10%: 25.4% (2013)

Distribution of family income—Gini index: 30.1

(2013) 30.5 (2012)

country comparison to the world: 122 Budget: revenues: $1.253 trillion expenditures: $1.351 trillion (2015 est.) Taxes and other revenues: 51.7% of GDP (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 12

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (–): -4% of GDP (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 143 Public debt: 98.2% of GDP (2015 est.)

95.5% of GDP (2014 est.)

note: data cover general government debt and include 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: 19

Fiscal year: calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

0.1% (2015 est.)

0.6% (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 48

Central bank discount rate:

0.05% (31 December 2014)

0.25% (31 December 2013)

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: 145

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

2.1% (31 December 2015 est.)

2.6% (31 December 2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 177

Stock of narrow money:

$981.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$989.7 billion (31 December 2014 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: 7

Stock of broad money:

$2.541 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)

$2.771 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 7

Stock of domestic credit:

$3.593 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)

$3.831 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 6

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.) country comparison to the world: 8 Current account balance: –

$3.041 billion (2015 est.)

-$26.24 billion (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 159

Exports: $509.1 billion (2015 est.)

$584.5 billion (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 7


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

Exports—partners: Germany 15.9%, Spain 7.3%, US 7.2%, Italy

7.1%, UK 7.1%, Belgium 6.8% (2015)

Imports: $539 billion (2015 est.)

$631.1 billion (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 7


machinery and equipment, vehicles, crude oil, aircraft, plastics, chemicals Imports—partners: Germany

19.5%, Belgium 10.7%, Italy 7.7%,

Netherlands 7.5%, Spain 6.8%, US

5.5%, China 5.4%, UK 4.3% (2015)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$143.5 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$144.9 billion (31 December 2013 est.) country comparison to the world: 17 Debt—external: $5.496 trillion

(31 December 2014 est.)

$5.549 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 5

Stock of direct foreign investment—at home:

$1.124 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)

$1.103 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 9

Stock of direct foreign investment—abroad:

$1.542 trillion (31 D ecember 2015 est.)

$1.532 trillion (31 December 2014 est.) country comparison to the world: 6 Exchange rates: euros (EU R) per US dollar—

0.885 (2015 est.)

0.7525 (2014 est.)

0.7634 (2013 est.)

0.7752 (2012 est.)

0.7185 (2011 est.)

Electricity—production: 568 billion kWh (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 9


451.1 billion kWh (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 11 Electricity—exports: 60.15 billion kWh (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 3

Electricity—imports: 11.69 billion kWh (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 18

Electricity—installed generating capacity: 129.3 million kW (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 9

Electricity—from fossil fuels: 20.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 195

Electricity—from nuclear fuels: 48.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 2

Electricity—from hydroelectric plants: 14.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 103

Electricity—from other renewable sources: 11.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 29

Crude oil—production:

15,340 bbl/day (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 76

Crude oil—exports: 3,664

bbl/day (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 75

Crude oil—imports: 1.129 million bbl/day (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 12

Crude oil—proved reserves:

84.08 million bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 74

Refined petroleum products

—production: 1.27 million

bbl/day (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 18

Refined petroleum products

—consumption: 1.706 million

bbl/day (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 15

Refined petroleum products

—exports: 411,100 bbl/day (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 18

Refined petroleum products

—imports: 888,800 bbl/day (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 7 Natural gas—production: 18 million cu m (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 90

Natural gas—consumption:

35.76 billion cu m (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 27

Natural gas—exports: 3.544 billion cu m (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 33 Natural gas—imports: 41.18 billion cu m (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 10

Natural gas—proved reserves: 9.656 billion cu m (1

January 2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 82

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 385.6 million Mt (2013 est.) country comparison to the world: 19

Telephones—fixed lines: total subscriptions: 38.81 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 59 (2014 est.) country comparison to the world: 8

Telephones—mobile cellular: total: 64.9 million subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 98

(2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 24 Telephone system: general assessment: highly developed

domestic: extensive cable and microwave radio relay; extensive use of fiber-optic cable; domestic satellite


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 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)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 41, F M 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: 17.266 million (2012)

country comparison to the world: 7

Internet users: total: 56.8 million percent of population: 85.8% (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 11

Airports: 464 (2013)

country comparison to the world: 17

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)

Heliports: 1 (2013)

Pipelines: gas 15,322 km; oil 2,939

km; refined products 5,084 km (2013) Railways: 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

Roadways: 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 Waterways: metropolitan France: 8,501 km (1,621 km navigable by craft

up to 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


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)

country comparison to the world: 36

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

LNG terminal(s) (import): Fos Cavaou, Fos Tonkin, Montoir de Bretagne

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

Military expenditures: 1.8% of GDP (2014)

1.9% of GDP (2013)

1.9% of GDP (2012)

country comparison to the world: 47


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): 23,966 (Sri Lanka); 13,727 (Democratic Republic of the Congo); 13,644 (Russia); 12,003

(Cambodia); 12,119 (Serbia and Kosovo); 10,699 (Turkey); 8,281

(Vietnam); 7,036 (Laos); 5,201

(Guinea); 5,058 (Mauritania) (2014)

stateless persons: 1,326 (2015)

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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