France facts on every entity in the world

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. In recent decades, its reconciliation and cooperation with Germany have proved central to the economic integration of Europe, including the introduction of a common currency, the euro, in January 1999. In the early 21st century, five French overseas entities - French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Reunion - became French regions and were made part of France proper.



metropolitan France: Western Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay and English Channel, between Belgium and Spain, southeast of the UK; bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Italy and Spain

French Guiana: Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Brazil and Suriname

Guadeloupe: Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Puerto Rico

Martinique: Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago

Mayotte: Southern Indian Ocean, island in the Mozambique Channel, about 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, 61.00° W

Mayotte: 12.50° S, 45.10° E

Reunion: 21.06° S, 55.36° E

Area 43/257

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 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


total: 4,853 km

metropolitan France: 3,427 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm (does not apply to the Mediterranean 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:

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/agricultural)

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

per capita: 512.1 cu m/yr (2009)

Natural hazards

metropolitan France: flooding; avalanches; midwinter windstorms; drought; forest fires in south near the Mediterranean

overseas departments: hurricanes (cyclones); flooding; volcanic activity (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion)

Environment - current issues

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

Environment - international agreements

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note

largest West European nation

People and Society


noun: Frenchman(men), Frenchwoman(women)

adjective: French

Ethnic groups

Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Indochinese, Basque minorities

overseas departments: black, white, mulatto, East Indian, Chinese, Amerindian


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)


Christian (overwhelmingly Roman Catholic) 63-66%, Muslim 7-9%, Jewish .5-.75%, Buddhist .5-.75%, other .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 22/238


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

Age structure

0-14 years: 18.66% (male 6,350,008/female 6,066,407)

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 est.)

Median age

total: 41.1 years

male: 39.4 years

female: 42.6 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 163/233

0.43% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 160/224

12.38 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 65/225

9.16 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 62/222

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


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 158/184

8 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 213/224

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.)

Life expectancy at birth 19/224

total population: 81.75 years

male: 78.65 years

female: 85.01 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 110/224

2.08 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate


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

Health expenditures 9/191

11.7% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

3.19 physicians/1,000 population (2013)

Hospital bed density

6.4 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source


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.)

Sanitation facility access


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.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS


HIV/AIDS - deaths

1,500 (2013 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 108/191

25.7% (2014)

Education expenditures 43/173

5.9% of GDP (2011)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 16 years

male: 16 years

female: 16 years (2012)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 39/134

total: 23.9%

male: 23.7%

female: 24.2% (2013 est.)


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 living along the middle and lower Rhine River in the 3rd century A.D. that merged with Gallic-Roman populations in succeeding centuries and to whom they passed on their name

Government type



name: Paris

geographic coordinates: 48.52° N, 2.20° E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

note: applies to metropolitan France only, not to its overseas departments, collectivities, or territories

Administrative divisions

27 regions (regions, singular - region); Alsace, Aquitaine, Auvergne, Basse-Normandie (Lower Normandy), Bourgogne (Burgundy), Bretagne (Brittany), Centre, Champagne-Ardenne, Corse (Corsica), Franche-Comte, Guadeloupe, Guyane (French Guiana), Haute-Normandie (Upper Normandy), Ile-de-France, Languedoc-Roussillon, Limousin, Lorraine, Martinique, Mayotte, Midi-Pyrenees, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Pays de la Loire, Picardie, Poitou-Charentes, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, Reunion, Rhone-Alpes

note: France is divided into 22 metropolitan regions (including the "territorial collectivity" of Corse or Corsica) and 5 overseas regions (French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Reunion) and is subdivided into 96 metropolitan departments and 5 overseas departments (which are the same as the overseas regions)

Dependent areas

Clipperton Island, French Polynesia, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, New Caledonia, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna

note: the US does not recognize claims to Antarctica; New Caledonia has been considered a "sui generis" collectivity of France since 1998, a unique status falling between that of an independent country and a French overseas department


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

National holiday

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


many previous; latest effective 4 October 1958; amended many times, last in 2008 (2015)

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 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

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 LE PEN (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 needed 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 THIBAULT, secretary general] (historically communist 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 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



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 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

Flag description

three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), white, and red; known as the "Le drapeau tricolore" (French Tricolor), the origin of the flag dates to 1790 and the French Revolution when the "ancient French color" of white was combined with the blue and red colors of the Parisian militia; the official flag for all French dependent areas

note: the design and/or colors are similar to a number of other flags, including those of Belgium, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, and Netherlands

National symbol(s)

Gallic rooster, fleur-de-lis, Marianne (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 1.2% in 2015. The unemployment rate (including overseas territories) increased from 7.8% in 2008 to 10.4% 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 GDP to more than 98% in 2015, and may hit 100% in 2016.

Elected on a conventionally leftist platform, President Francois 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) 11/230

$2.647 trillion (2015 est.)

$2.617 trillion (2014 est.)

$2.612 trillion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$2.423 trillion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 169/225

1.2% (2015 est.)

0.2% (2014 est.)

0.7% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 38/230

$41,400 (2015 est.)

$40,900 (2014 est.)

$40,900 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 76/179

21.5% of GDP (2015 est.)

21.2% of GDP (2014 est.)

21.5% of GDP (2013 est.)

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 goods and services: 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


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

Industrial production growth rate 160/202

0.5% (2015 est.)

Labor force 20/233

29.84 million (2015 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 3%

industry: 21.3%

services: 75.7% (2013 est.)

Unemployment rate 112/207

9.9% (2015 est.)

9.9% (2014 est.)

note: includes overseas territories

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 121/144

30.1 (2013)

30.5 (2012)


revenues: $1.253 trillion

expenditures: $1.351 trillion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 13/219

51.7% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 146/220

-4% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 19/176

98.2% of GDP (2015 est.)

95.5% of GDP (2014 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

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 35/226

0.1% (2015 est.)

0.6% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 137/156

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

Commercial bank prime lending rate 177/184

2.1% (31 December 2015 est.)

2.6% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 7/192

$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

Stock of broad money 7/193

$2.541 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)

$2.771 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 6/191

$3.593 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)

$3.831 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares 8/121

$1.762 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)

$1.538 trillion (31 December 2011)

$1.983 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)

Current account balance 169/197

-$5.24 billion (2015 est.)

-$26.24 billion (2014 est.)

Exports 7/224

$509.1 billion (2015 est.)

$584.5 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

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

Exports - partners

Germany 16.9%, Belgium 7.5%, Italy 7.4%, Spain 7.3%, UK 7.2%, US 5.8%, Netherlands 4.1% (2014)

Imports 7/223

$539 billion (2015 est.)

$631.1 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

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

Imports - partners

Germany 19.9%, Belgium 11.4%, Italy 7.8%, Netherlands 7.7%, Spain 6.7%, China 5%, UK 4.4% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 17/170

$143.5 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$144.9 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Debt - external 5/206

$5.496 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)

$5.549 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 9/120

$1.124 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)

$1.103 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 6/105

$1.542 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)

$1.532 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)

Exchange rates

euros (EUR) per US dollar -

0.89 (2015 est.)

0.75 (2014 est.)

0.76 (2013 est.)

0.78 (2012 est.)

0.72 (2011 est.)


Electricity - production 9/220

568 billion kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - consumption 11/219

451.1 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 4/218

60.15 billion kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports 17/219

11.69 billion kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 9/214

129.3 million kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 195/214

20.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 1/214

48.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 104/214

14.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 30/212

11.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 76/214

15,340 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 75/214

3,664 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - imports 12/214

1.129 million bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 74/215

84.08 million bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 17/214

1.27 million bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 15/212

1.706 million bbl/day (2014 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 18/214

411,100 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 7/213

888,800 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Natural gas - production 90/216

18 million cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 28/215

35.76 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - exports 33/215

3.544 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - imports 10/214

41.18 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 82/212

9.656 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 19/212

385.6 million Mt (2013 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines 8/219

total subscriptions: 38.81 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 59 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 24/217

total: 64.9 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 98 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: highly developed

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

international: country code - 33; numerous submarine cables provide links throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and US; satellite earth stations - more than 3 (2 Intelsat (with total of 5 antennas - 2 for Indian Ocean and 3 for Atlantic Ocean), NA Eutelsat, 1 Inmarsat - Atlantic Ocean region); HF radiotelephone communications with more than 20 countries

overseas departments: country codes: French Guiana - 594; Guadeloupe - 590; Martinique - 596; Mayotte - 262; Reunion - 262 (2011)

Broadcast media

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

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 7/232

17.266 million (2012)

Internet users 11/217

total: 56.8 million

percent of population: 85.8% (2014 est.)


Airports 17/236

464 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 294

over 3,047 m: 14

2,438 to 3,047 m: 25

1,524 to 2,437 m: 97

914 to 1,523 m: 83

under 914 m: 75 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 170

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 64

under 914 m: 105 (2013)


1 (2013)


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

Railways 9/136

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)

Roadways 8/223

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)


metropolitan France: 8,501 km (1,621 km navigable by craft up to 3,000 metric tons) (2010)

Merchant marine 36/156

total: 162

by type: bulk carrier 3, cargo 7, chemical tanker 34, container 27, liquefied gas 12, passenger 10, passenger/cargo 41, petroleum tanker 16, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 11

foreign-owned: 50 (Belgium 7, Bermuda 5, Denmark 11, French Polynesia 11, Germany 1, New Caledonia 3, Singapore 3, Sweden 4, Switzerland 5)

registered in other countries: 151 (Bahamas 15, Belgium 7, Bermuda 1, Canada 1, Cyprus 16, Egypt 1, Hong Kong 4, Indonesia 1, Ireland 2, Italy 2, Luxembourg 15, Malta 8, Marshall Islands 7, Mexico 1, Morocco 3, Netherlands 2, Norway 5, Panama 7, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2, Singapore 3, South Korea 2, Taiwan 2, UK 39, US 4, unknown 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Brest, Calais, Dunkerque, Le Havre, Marseille, Nantes,

river port(s): Paris, Rouen (Seine); Strasbourg (Rhine); Bordeaux (Garronne)

container port(s): Le Havre (2,215,262)(2011)

cruise/ferry port(s): Calais, Cherbourg, Le Havre

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

Military and Security

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 47/132

1.8% of GDP (2014)

1.9% of GDP (2013)

1.9% of GDP (2012)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

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

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 23,966 (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: 1,288 (2014)

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