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facts & figures about France
Key facts and statistical
France, with selected international comparisons
Technically speaking, "France" includes a number of overseas
departments and territories (known in French as the DOM-TOMs),
including Tahiti in the Pacific and French Guyana in South America.
This guide however is concerned with Metropolitan France,
which means continental France, together with the offshore islands,
The Government of
France is a republic
the head of the executive is the President
elected by universal suffrage, currently Emmanuel Macron.
determines policy with the aid of his Council of Ministers (Conseil des ministres
Ministers cannot sit in parliament, and if an elected member of
is appointed minister, he or she has to hand over parliamentary duties
to his / her deputy (adjoint
Since each elected member has a deputy, by-elections are unusual in
The lower and principal house of parliament
is the Assemblée
or national assembly; the second chamber is the Sénat
Senate. Députés (members of parliament) are
elected to the National Assembly by universal suffrage, in general
that take place every five years. Senators are chosen by an electoral
college of "grand electors", who are mostly other local
The electoral system
for presidential and parliamentary elections involves two rounds; a
candidate can be elected on the first round by obtaining an absolute
majority of votes cast. The second round is a runoff between the
leading two candidates from round one (presidential election), or two
or more candidates (parliamentary elections).
Click here for further
facts and information about the French
Constitution and political system
Metropolitan France is administered as 13 regions (reduced from 22 as
from 2016) , 96
"départements" or departments, and some 36,000 "communes".
See maps of regions and departments.
(There are also 4 overseas regions - French Guyana, Guadeloupe,
Martinique, and Ile de la Réunion - and other overseas territories
as "TOM" )
is administered by a Regional council (Conseil régional
and each department
is administered by a county council (Conseil
départemental - formerly Conseil
). The central government is
represented in each department and region by a Prefect
with powers over the police and public security. The Prefect's other
main role is to make sure that local authorities administer their area
in compliance with national law.
appointed by the President, regional councils are elected by universal
suffrage every six years, involving a complex two-round
semi-proportional voting system.
Departmental councils, conseils
, are elected by universal
suffrage every six years, in elections known as canton elections
are run by municipal councils (conseils
elected every six years by universal suffrage. Increasingly,
important business of small communes, and issues that involve communes
and their neighbours are dealt with by groupings of communes, known as
"Communauté de communes"
Geography of metropolitan France (France in Europe): key data.
547,030 sq km, of which 545,630
sq km of land and 1,400 sq km of rivers and lakes.
France compared to the UK
France's surface area is about double the surface area of the United
Kingdom, and just over four times the surface area of England.
For more geographic details see the About-France.com Maps of France
page and links
of land border; 2889 km. Neighbouring countries: Belgium,
Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Spain, Andorra.
of coastline: 4,668 km
elevation: the peak of Mont Blanc, 4,807 metres or 15,782
farmland: 33.5% of the total surface area.
/ Population information and statistics
- Population: 65.6 million total
estimated population of
Metropolitan France, in January 2022.
- This is about the same as the population
of the United
growth rate: 0.3% (2021)
rate: 12.49 births per 1000 (2014 estimate)
ratio: Average ratio 0.93 males per female (though 1.05
males per female in the under 15 age group).
expectancy at birth: Average: 82.4 years (males: 79.3
years, females: 85.4 years – 2021) -
with: UK 71.1, Germany 80.9, Netherlands 81.4,
Switzerland 82.9, USA 78.7, Belgium 80.7 (Source Eurostat and OECD)
density: 110 people per sq km
This is just less than the EU average of
112 /km², and less than half the density of the UK
Click here for population
of the main French
towns and cities
facts and key statistical data
for an overview)
: 2018 :
: 32,900 €
(Source: European commission)
UK 32,400 €, Ireland 59,400 €,
Belgium 35,300 €, Germany
Spain 25,000 €, Portugal 17,900
: agriculture: 2.2% industry:21%
services: 76.7% (2007)
growth 2018 :
2012 : France 2.2
Ireland 6.7% , Belgium 1.4%, Germany 1.4%
, Spain 2.6%, Portugal 2.1 % .
Unemployment: Jan 2019 : France: 8.8%
Ireland +1.9% , Belgium
+2.1 % , Spain + 2.4 %, Portugal +2.8 %.
European union average: +2.6%
by sector: 2011
Ireland 5.3% , Belgium 5.6%, UK 4.0%, Germany 3.2 % ,
Spain 14.1 %, Portugal 6.7 % .
European union average: 7.8 %
Agriculture: 2.9%, industry: 22.1%, services: 75%
► More facts,
figures, information and statistical data about France
U.K.: Agriculture: 1.2%, industry: 19.1%, services: 79.7%
Germany: Agriculture: 1.6%, industry: 28.3%, services: 70.1% .
Spain: Agriculture: 4.2%, industry: 21.8%,
services: 74% .
Czech republic: Agriculture: 32%, industry: 38.4%,
services: 58.6% .
Visit the website of the French national statistical office INSEE
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