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Introduction France
Background:
Although ultimately a victor in World Wars I and II, France suffered extensive losses in its empire, wealth, manpower, and rank as a dominant nation-state. Nevertheless, France today is one of the most modern countries in the world and is a leader among European nations. Since 1958, it has constructed a presidential democracy resistant to the instabilities experienced in earlier parliamentary democracies. In recent years, its reconciliation and cooperation with Germany have proved central to the economic integration of Europe, including the introduction of a common exchange currency, the euro, in January 1999. At present, France is at the forefront of efforts to develop the EU's military capabilities to supplement progress toward an EU foreign policy.
People France
Population:
total: 63,713,926
note: 60,876,136 in metropolitan France (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 18.6% (male 6,063,181/female 5,776,272)
15-64 years: 65.2% (male 20,798,889/female 20,763,283)
65 years and over: 16.2% (male 4,274,290/female 6,038,011) (2007 est.)
Median age:
total: 39 years
male: 37.5 years
female: 40.4 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.588% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:
12.91 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:
8.55 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:
1.52 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.002 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.708 male(s)/female
total population: 0.956 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 3.41 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.76 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.04 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 80.59 years
male: 77.35 years
female: 84 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.98 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.4% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
120,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less than 1,000 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
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
Religions:
Roman Catholic 83%-88%, Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 5%-10%, unaffiliated 4%
overseas departments: Roman Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, pagan
Languages:
French 100%, rapidly declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish)
overseas departments: French, Creole patois
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)
Government France
Country name:
conventional long form: French Republic
conventional short form: France
local long form: Republique francaise
local short form: France
Government type:
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
Administrative divisions:
26 regions (regions, singular - region); Alsace, Aquitaine, Auvergne, Basse-Normandie (Lower Normandy), Bourgogne, 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, Reunion, Midi-Pyrenees, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Pays de la Loire, Picardie, Poitou-Charentes, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, Rhone-Alpes
note: France is divided into 22 metropolitan regions (including the "territorial collectivity" of Corse or Corsica) and 4 overseas regions and is subdivided into 96 metropolitan departments and 4 overseas departments
Dependent areas:
Bassas da India, Clipperton Island, Europa Island, French Polynesia, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, Glorioso Islands, Juan de Nova Island, New Caledonia, Tromelin Island, Wallis and Futuna
note: the US does not recognize claims to Antarctica; New Caledonia has been considered a "sui generis" collectivity of France since 1999, a unique status falling between that of an independent country and a French overseas department
Independence:
486 (unified by CLOVIS)
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)
Constitution:
adopted by referendum 28 September 1958, effective 4 October 1958
note: amended concerning election of president in 1962; amended to comply with provisions of 1992 EC Maastricht Treaty, 1996 Amsterdam Treaty, 2000 Treaty of Nice; amended to tighten immigration laws in 1993; amended in 2000 to change the seven-year presidential term to a five-year term; amended in 2005 to make the EU constitutional treaty compatible with the Constitution of France and to ensure that the decision to ratify EU accession treaties would be made by referendum
Legal system:
civil law system with indigenous concepts; review of administrative but not legislative acts
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Jacques CHIRAC (since 17 May 1995)
head of government: Prime Minister Dominique DE VILLEPIN (since 31 May 2005)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president at the suggestion of the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (changed from seven-year term in October 2000); election last held 21 April and 5 May 2002 (next to be held, first round 22 April 2007, second round 6 May 2007); prime minister nominated by the National Assembly majority and appointed by the president
election results: Jacques CHIRAC reelected president; percent of vote, second ballot - Jacques CHIRAC 81.96%, Jean-Marie LE PEN 18.04%
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat (331 seats - 305 for metropolitan France, 9 for overseas departments, 5 for dependencies, and 12 for French nationals abroad; members are indirectly elected by an electoral college to serve nine-year terms; elected by thirds every three years); note - between 2006 and 2010, 15 new seats will be added to the Senate for a total of 346 seats - 326 for metropolitan France and overseas departments, 2 for New Caledonia, 2 for Mayotte, 1 for Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, 3 for overseas territories, and 12 for French nationals abroad; starting in 2008, members will be indirectly elected by an electoral college to serve six-year terms, with one-half the seats being renewed every three years; and the National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (577 seats - 555 for metropolitan France, 15 for overseas departments, 7 for dependencies; members are elected by popular vote under a single-member majority system to serve five-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 26 September 2004 (next to be held in September 2008); National Assembly - last held 8-16 June 2002 (next to be held on 10 and 17 June 2007)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 156, PS 97, UDF 33, PCF 23, RDSE 15, other 7; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 355, PS 140, UDF 29, PCF 21, Left Radical Party 7, Greens 3, other 22
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court of Appeals or Cour de Cassation (judges are appointed by the president from nominations of the High Council of the Judiciary); Constitutional Council or Conseil Constitutionnel (three members appointed by the president, three appointed by the president of the National Assembly, and three appointed by the president of the Senate); Council of State or Conseil d'Etat
Political parties and leaders:
Citizen and Republican Movement or MRC [Jean Pierre CHEVENEMENT]; Democratic and European Social Rally or RDSE [Jacques PELLETIER] (mainly Radical Republican and Socialist Parties, and PRG); French Communist Party or PCF [Marie-George BUFFET]; Greens [Yann WEHRLING]; 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 [Jean-Marie LE PEN]; Rally for France or RPF [Charles PASQUA]; Socialist Party or PS [Francois HOLLANDE]; Union for French Democracy or UDF [Francois BAYROU]; Union for a Popular Movement or UMP [Nicolas SARKOZY]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
historically-Communist labor union (Confederation Generale du Travail) or CGT, approximately 700,000 members (claimed); left-leaning labor union (Confederation Francaise Democratique du Travail) or CFDT, approximately 889,000 members (claimed); independent labor union (Confederation Generale du Travail - Force Ouvriere) or FO, 300,000 members (est.); independent white-collar union (Confederation Generale des Cadres) or CGC, 196,000 members (claimed); employers' union (Mouvement des Entreprises de France) or MEDEF, 750,000 companies as members (claimed)
French Guiana: NA
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 of Independent Guadeloupe or MPGI; The Socialist Renewal Movement
Martinique: Caribbean Revolutionary Alliance or ARC; Central Union for Martinique Workers or CSTM [Marc PULVAR]; Frantz Fanon Circle; League of Workers and Peasants; Proletarian Action Group or GAP
Reunion: NA
International organization participation:
ABEDA, ACCT, AfDB, Arctic Council (observer), AsDB, Australia Group, BDEAC, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FZ, G- 5, G- 7, G- 8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IFTU, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, MONUC, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), SECI (observer), SPC, UN, UN Security Council, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNITAR, UNMEE, UNMIL, UNMOVIC, UNOCI, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (nonregional), WCL, WCO, WEU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Jean-David LEVITTE
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
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Craig R. STAPLETON
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; the design and/or colors are similar to a number of other flags, including those of Belgium, Chad, Ireland, Cote d'Ivoire, Luxembourg, and Netherlands; the official flag for all French dependent areas
Communications France
Telephones - main lines in use:
38.433 million; 35.7 million (metropolitan France) (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
49.37 million; 48.058 million (metropolitan France) (2005)
Telephone system:
general assessment: highly developed
domestic: extensive cable and microwave radio relay; extensive introduction of fiber-optic cable; domestic satellite system
international: country code - 33; satellite earth stations - 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; Reunion - 262
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 41, FM about 3,500 (this figure is an approximation and includes many repeaters), shortwave 2 (1998)
Radios:
55.3 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
584 (plus 9,676 repeaters) (1995)
Televisions:
34.8 million (1997)
Internet country code:
metropolitan France - .fr; French Guiana - .gf; Guadeloupe - .gp; Martinique - .mq; Reunion - .re
Internet hosts:
3.149 million; 3.148 million (metropolitan France) (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
62 (2000)
Internet users:
29.945 million; 29.521 million (metropolitan France) (2006)
Transportation France
Airports:
total: 501
metropolitan France: 477 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 292 (metropolitan France) 15 (overseas departments)
over 3,047 m: 13 (metropolitan France) 3 (overseas departments)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 28 (metropolitan France) 1 (overseas departments)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 96 (metropolitan France)
914 to 1,523 m: 81 (metropolitan France) 5 (overseas departments)
under 914 m: 74 (metropolitan France) 6 (overseas departments) (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 185 (metropolitan France) 9 (overseas departments)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (metropolitan France)
914 to 1,523 m: 73 (metropolitan France) 2 (overseas departments)
under 914 m: 108 (metropolitan France) 7 (overseas departments) (2006)
Heliports:
3 (2006)
Pipelines:
gas 14,588 km; oil 3,024 km; refined products 4,889 km (2006)
Railways:
total: 29,085 km
standard gauge: 28,918 km 1.435-m gauge (14,481 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 167 km 1.000-m gauge (2005)
Roadways:
total: 956,303 km (includes 5,083 km of roads in the overseas departments)
paved: 951,220 km (metropolitan France; including 10,490 km of expressways) (2004)
Waterways:
metropolitan France: 8,500 km (1,686 km accessible to craft of 3,000 metric tons)
French Guiana: 3,760 km (460 km navigable by small oceangoing vessels and coastal and river steamers, 3,300 km by native craft) (2000)
Merchant marine:
total: 61 ships (1000 GRT or over) 875,777 GRT/1,318,605 DWT
by type: cargo 1, chemical tanker 3, container 5, liquefied gas 6, passenger 3, passenger/cargo 32, petroleum tanker 10, roll on/roll off 1
foreign-owned: 13 (Denmark 1, Hong Kong 1, Italy 2, Monaco 1, Norway 1, NZ 1, Singapore 2, Sweden 2, Switzerland 2)
registered in other countries: 154 (Antigua and Barbuda 1, Australia 3, Bahamas 37, Bermuda 1, Cameroon 1, French Polynesia 1, French Southern and Antarctic Lands 36, Gibraltar 1, Indonesia 1, Isle of Man 2, Italy 1, South Korea 12, Liberia 3, Luxembourg 14, Malta 6, Mexico 1, Morocco 1, Panama 15, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 8, UK 4, Wallis and Futuna 5)
note: Reunion owns one ship registered in the Bahamas (2006)
Ports and terminals:
Basse-Terre (Guadeloupe), Bordeaux, Calais, Degrad de Cannes (French Guiana), Dunkerque, Fort-de-France (Martinique), Gustavia (Guadeloupe), La Pallice, La Trinite (Martinique), Le Havre, Le Port (Reunion), Marin (Martinique), Marseille, Nantes, Paris, Pointe-a-Pitre (Guadeloupe), Rouen, Strasbourg
Military France
Military branches:
Army (includes marines, Foreign Legion, light aviation), Navy (includes naval air), Air Force (includes air defense), National Gendarmerie
Military service age and obligation:
17 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription ended in the 1990s; women serve in non-combat military posts (2001)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 17-49: 13,676,509
females age 17-49: 13,504,539 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 17-49: 11,262,661
females age 17-49: 11,079,472 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males age 17-49: 389,204
females age 17-49: 372,719 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$45 billion FY06 (2005)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
2.6% (2005 est.)
Transnational Issues France
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
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

This page was last updated on 17 April, 2007


 

Source: CIA World Factbook










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