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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.



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

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


total: 643,801 sq km
land: 640,427 sq km
water: 3,374 sq km
551,500 sq km (metropolitan France) 549,970 sq km (metropolitan France) 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

Area - comparative

slightly more than four times the size of Georgia; slightly less than the size of Texas

Land boundaries

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
metropolitan France - total: 2751
French Guiana - total: 1205


4,853 km
metropolitan France:  3,427 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12nm
exclusive economic zone: 200nm (does not apply to the Mediterranean Sea)
contiguous zone: 24nm
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 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)


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
lowest point: Rhone River delta -2 m
highest point: Mont Blanc 4,810
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% (2011 est.)
arable land: 33.4% (2011 est.)/permanent crops: 1.8% (2011 est.)/permanent pasture: 17.5% (2011 est.)
forest: 29.2% (2011 est.)
other: 18.1% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

26,420 sq km26,950 sq km (2012)
metropolitan France: 26,000 sq km (2012)

Population distribution

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

Natural hazards

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

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 Mediterranean Sea

People and Society


67,364,357 (July 2018 est.)
note: the above figure is for metropolitan France and five overseas regions; the metropolitan France population is 62,814,233
country comparison to the world: 21


noun: Frenchman(men), Frenchwoman(women)
adjective: French

Ethnic groups

Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Indochinese, Basque minorities
note: 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)
note: 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% (2015 est.)
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

Age structure

0-14 years: 18.48%(male 6,366,789 /female 6,082,729)
15-24 years: 11.8%(male 4,065,780 /female 3,884,488)
25-54 years: 37.48%(male 12,731,825 /female 12,515,501)
55-64 years: 12.42%(male 4,035,073 /female 4,331,751)
65 years and over: 19.82%(male 5,781,410 /female 7,569,011) (2018 est.)
population pyramid:

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Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 59.2 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 29.1 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 30.2 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 3.3 (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 41.5 years (2018 est.)
male: 39.7 years
female: 43.2 years
country comparison to the world: 40

Population growth rate

0.37% (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 166

Birth rate

12.1 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 162

Death rate

9.4 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51

Net migration rate

1.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60

Population distribution

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: 80.7% of total population(2019)
rate of urbanization: 0.72% annual rate of change(2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population

10.958 million PARIS (capital), 1.705 million Lyon, 1.603 million Marseille-Aix-en-Provence, 1.058 million Lille, 1.011 million Toulouse, 957,000 Bordeaux (2019)

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: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2018 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

28.1 years (2010 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

8 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 151

Infant mortality rate

total: 3.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
male: 3.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.9 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 209

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 82 years (2018 est.)
male: 78.9 years
female: 85.3 years
country comparison to the world: 19

Total fertility rate

2.06 children born/woman (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106

Contraceptive prevalence rate

78.4% (2010/11)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved: urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)

Current Health Expenditure

11.5% (2016)

Physicians density

3.23 physicians/1,000 population (2016)

Hospital bed density

6.5 beds/1,000 population (2013)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 98.6% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 98.9% of population (2015 est.)
total: 98.7% of population (2015 est.)
unimproved: urban: 1.4% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 1.1% of population (2015 est.)
total: 1.3% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.3% (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 87

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

180,000 (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31

HIV/AIDS - deaths

<500 (2018 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

21.6% (2016)
country comparison to the world: 87

Education expenditures

5.4% of GDP (2016)
country comparison to the world: 42

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 15 years
male: 15 years
female: 16 years (2016)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 22.3%
male: 23.1%
female: 21.3% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60


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


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; for its overseas regions the time difference is UTC-4 for Guadeloupe and Martinique, UTC-3 for French Guiana, UTC+3 for Mayotte, and UTC+4 for Reunion

name derives from the Parisii, a Celtic tribe that inhabited the area from the 3rd century B.C., but who were conquered by the Romans in the 1st century B.C.; the Celtic settlement became the Roman town of Lutetia Parisiorum (Lutetia of the Parisii); over subsequent centuries it became Parisium and then just Paris

Administrative divisions

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 "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 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)

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)


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; note - in May 2018, the prime minister submitted a bill to the National Assembly to amend several provisions of the constitution (2018)

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 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.%, Marine LE PEN (FN) 21.3%, Francois FILLON (LR) 20.%, 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%

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)
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 political caucus (party or group of parties)  - LR 144, PS 73, UC 51. LREM 23, RDSE 22, CRCE 16, RTLI 13, other 6; composition - men 246, women 102, percent of women 29.3%
National Assembly - percent of vote by party first round - LREM 28.2%, LR 15.8%. FN 13.2%, FI 11%, PS 7.4%, other 24.4%; percent of vote by party second round - LREM 43.1%, LR 22.2%, FN 8.8%, MoDEM 6.1%, PS 5.7%. FI 4.9%, other 9.2%; seats by political caucus (party or group of parties) - LREM 306, LR 104, MoDEM 46, UDI/Agir 29, PS 29, UDI 18, FI 17, Liberties and Territories 16, PCF 16, other 14; composition - men 349, women 228, percent of women 39.5%; note - total Parliament percent of women 35.7%

Judicial branch

highest courts: 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
note: in April 2018, the French Government announced its intention to reform the country's judicial system

Political parties and leaders

Presidential majority Parties [Edouard PHILIPPE]
     La Republique en Marche! or REM [Richard FERRAND]
     Democratic Movement or MoDem [Francois BAYROU]
     Movement of Progressives or MDP  Robert HUE]
Parliamentary right Parties [Francois BAROIN]
     The Republicans or LR [Annie GENEVARD]
     Union of Democrats and Independents or UDI [Jean-Christophe CAMBADELIS]
      Hunting, Fishing, Nature and Tradition or (CPNT) [Eddie PUYJAION]
Parliamentary left Parties [Bernard CAZENEUVE]
     Sociatlist Party or PS [Jean-Christophe CAMBADEMAND]
     Radical Party of the Left or PRG [Sylvia PINEL]
     Citizen and Republican Movement or MRC [Jean-Luc LAURENT]
     Martinican Progressive Party or PPM [Aiem CESAIRE]
National Front or FN [Marine LE PEN]
La France Insoumise or FI [Jean-Luc MELENCHONLIS]
Europe Ecologists - the Greens or EELV [David CORMAND]
French Communist Party or PCF [Pierre LAURENT]
Debout la France or DLF [Nicolas DUPONT-AIGNAN]

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, UN Security Council (permanent), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US

Ambassador Philippe ETIENNE (since 8 July 2019)
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

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Jamie D. McCOURT (since 18 December 2017); note - also accredited to Monaco
telephone: [33] (1) 43-12-22-22
embassy: 2 Avenue Gabriel, 75008 Paris
mailing address: PSC 116, APO AE 09777
FAX: [33] (1) 42 66 97 83
consulate(s) general: Marseille, Strasbourg
consulate(s): Bordeaux, Lyon, Rennes

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. France is the most visited country in the world with 89 million foreign tourists in 2017. 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 1.9% 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 9.0% in 2017. Youth unemployment in metropolitan France decreased from 24.6% in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 20.6% in the fourth quarter of 2017.France’s public finances have historically been strained by high spending and low growth. In 2017, the budget deficit improved to 2.7% 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 97% 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 2018 budget cuts public spending, taxes, and social security contributions to spur private investment and increase purchasing power. The government plans to gradually reduce corporate tax rate for businesses from 33.3% to 25% by 2022.

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$2.856 trillion (2017 est.)
$2.791 trillion (2016 est.)
$2.761 trillion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
country comparison to the world: 10

GDP (official exchange rate)

$2.588 trillion (2017 est.)

GDP - real growth rate

2.3% (2017 est.)
1.1% (2016 est.)
1% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 141

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$44,100 (2017 est.)
$43,200 (2016 est.)
$42,900 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
country comparison to the world: 40

Gross national saving

22.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
21.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
22.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 54.1% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 23.6% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 22.5% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 0.9% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 30.9% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -32% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 1.7% (2017 est.)
industry: 19.5% (2017 est.)
services: 78.8% (2017 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

2% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130

Labor force

30.68 million (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 20

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 2.8% (2016 est.)
industry: 20% (2016 est.)
services: 77.2% (2016 est.)

Unemployment rate

9.4% (2017 est.)
10.1% (2016 est.)
note: includes overseas territories
country comparison to the world: 136

Population below poverty line

14.2% (2015 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.6%
highest 10%: 25.4% (2013)

Distribution of family income - Gini index

29.3 (2016)
29.2 (2015)
country comparison to the world: 137


revenues: 1.392 trillion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 1.459 trillion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

53.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 10

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-2.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 116

Public debt

96.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
96.6% of GDP (2016 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 intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental 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

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

1.2% (2017 est.)
0.3% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64

Central bank discount rate

0% (31 December 2016)
0.05% (31 December 2015)
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: 153

Commercial bank prime lending rate

1.29% (31 December 2017 est.)
1.6% (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 193

Stock of narrow money

$1.465 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: 5

Stock of broad money

$1.465 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.139 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 5

Stock of domestic credit

$4.334 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.646 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 5

Market value of publicly traded shares

$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: 8

Current account balance

-$14.83 billion (2017 est.)
-$18.55 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 195


$549.9 billion (2017 est.)
$507 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 7

Exports - partners

Germany 14.8%, Spain 7.7%, Italy 7.5%, US 7.2%, Belgium 7%, UK 6.7% (2017)

Exports - commodities

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


$601.7 billion (2017 est.)
$536.7 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6

Imports - commodities

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

Imports - partners

Germany 18.5%, Belgium 10.2%, Netherlands 8.3%, Italy 7.9%, Spain 7.1%, UK 5.3%, US 5.2%, China 5.1% (2017)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$156.4 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$138.2 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15

Debt - external

$5.36 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
$5.25 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

$858.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$807.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 12

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad

$1.429 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.259 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9

Exchange rates

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.)


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Electricity - production

529.1 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9

Electricity - consumption

450.8 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 10

Electricity - exports

61.41 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3

Electricity - imports

19.9 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 10

Electricity - installed generating capacity

130.8 million kW (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9

Electricity - from fossil fuels

17% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 198

Electricity - from nuclear fuels

50% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants

15% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102

Electricity - from other renewable sources

19% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 42

Crude oil - production

16,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71

Crude oil - exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 126

Crude oil - imports

1.147 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9

Crude oil - proved reserves

65.97 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75

Refined petroleum products - production

1.311 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15

Refined petroleum products - consumption

1.705 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13

Refined petroleum products - exports

440,600 bbl/day (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19

Refined petroleum products - imports

886,800 bbl/day (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8

Natural gas - production

16.99 million cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90

Natural gas - consumption

41.88 billion cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 24

Natural gas - exports

6.031 billion cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 26

Natural gas - imports

48.59 billion cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 10

Natural gas - proved reserves

8.41 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy

341.2 million Mt (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 22


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 38.687 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 58 (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 69.017 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 103 (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 22

Telephone system

general assessment: extensive cable and microwave radio relay; extensive use of fiber-optic cable; domestic satellite system; highly developed; 3rd largest in Europe; broadband subscriber rate remains strong at 4% (2018)
domestic: 58 per 100 persons for fixed-line and 103 per 100 for mobile-cellular subscriptions (2018)
international: country code - 33; landing points for Circe South, TAT-14, INGRID, FLAG Atlantic-1, Apollo, HUGO, IFC-1, ACE, SeaMeWe-3 & 4, Dunant, Africa-1, AAE-1, Atlas Offshore, Hawk, IMEWE, Med Cable, PEACE Cable, and TE North/TGN-Eurasia/SEACOM/Alexandros/Medex submarine cables providing links throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Africa 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 (2019)
overseas departments: country codes: French Guiana - 594; landing points for Ella Link, Kanawa, Americas II to South America, Europe, Caribbean and US; Guadeloupe - 590; landing points for GCN, Southern Caribbean Fiber, and ECFS around the Caribbean and US; Martinique - 596; landing points for Ameicas II, ECFS, and Southern Caribbean Fiber to South America, US and around the Caribbean;  Mayotte - 262; landing points for FLY-LION3 and LION2 to East Africa and East African Islands in Indian Ocean; Reunion - 262; landing points for SAFE, METISS, and LION submarine cables to Asia, South and East Africa, Southeast Asia and nearby Indian Ocean Island countries of Mauritius, and Madagascar  (2019)

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

Internet country code

metropolitan France - .fr; French Guiana - .gf; Guadeloupe - .gp; Martinique - .mq; Mayotte - .yt; Reunion - .re

Internet users

total: 57,226,585
percent of population: 85.6% (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 12

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 28.429 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 42 (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 7

Military and Security

Military expenditures

1.84% of GDP (2019 est.)
1.82% of GDP (2018)
1.78% of GDP (2017)
1.79% of GDP (2016)
1.78% of GDP (2015)
country comparison to the world: 61

Military and security forces

Army (Armee de Terre; includes Foreign Legion), Navy (Marine Nationale), Air Force (Armee de l'Air (AdlA); includes Air Defense), National Guard (Reserves), National Gendarmerie (paramilitary police force that is a branch of the Armed Forces but under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior; also has additional duties to the Ministry of Defense) (2019)

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)


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 30 (2015)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 485 (2015)
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 65,039,503 (2015)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 4,098,310,000mt-km (2015)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

F (2016)


464 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 17

Airports - with paved runways

total: 294 (2017)
over 3,047 m: 14 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 25 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 97 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 83 (2017)
under 914 m: 75 (2017)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 170 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 64 (2013)
under 914 m: 105 (2013)


1 (2013)


15322 km gas, 2939 km oil, 5084 km refined products (2013)


total: 29,640 km (2014)
standard gauge: 29,473 km1.435-m gauge (15,561 km electrified) (2014)
narrow gauge: 167 km1.000-m gauge (63 km electrified) (2014)
country comparison to the world: 10


total: 1,053,215 km (2011)
urban: 654,201 km (2011)
non-urban: 399,014 km (2011)
country comparison to the world: 7


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

Merchant marine

total: 555
by type: container ship 24, general cargo 73, oil tanker 29, other 429 (2018)
note: includes Monaco
country comparison to the world: 39

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Brest, Calais, Dunkerque, Le Havre, Marseille, Nantes,
container port(s) (TEUs): Le Havre (2,870,000) (2017)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Fos Cavaou, Fos Tonkin, Montoir de Bretagne
river port(s): Paris, Rouen (Seine)
cruise/ferry port(s): Calais, Cherbourg, Le Havre
Strasbourg (Rhine) Bordeaux (Garronne)

Transportation - note

begun in 1988 and completed in 1994, the Channel Tunnel (nicknamed the Chunnel) is a 50.5-km (31.4-mi) rail tunnel beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover that runs from Folkestone, Kent, England to Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais in northern France; it is the only fixed link between the island of Great Britain and mainland Europe

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): 23,918 (Sri Lanka), 18,534 (Afghanistan), 16,484 (Democratic Republic of the Congo), 15,898 (Russia), 15,822 (Syria), 14,700 (Sudan), 13,778 (Serbia and Kosovo), 11,196 (Turkey), 11,193 (Cambodia), 9,264 (Guinea), 8,131 (Iraq), 7,821 (Vietnam), 6,617 (Laos), 5,419 (Mauritania) (2018)
stateless persons: 1,493 (2018)

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

Flag of France

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