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France (2002)

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France 2002 year

Administrative divisions 22 regions (regions, singular - region); Alsace, Aquitaine, Auvergne, Basse-Normandie, Bourgogne, Bretagne, Centre, Champagne-Ardenne, Corse, Franche-Comte, Haute-Normandie, Ile-de-France, Languedoc-Roussillon, Limousin, Lorraine, Midi-Pyrenees, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Pays de la Loire, Picardie, Poitou-Charentes, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, Rhone-Alpes

note: metropolitan France is divided into 22 regions (including the "territorial collectivity" of Corse or Corsica) and is subdivided into 96 departments; see separate entries for the overseas departments (French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion) and the overseas territorial collectivities (Mayotte, Saint Pierre and Miquelon)
Age structure 0-14 years: 18.5% (male 5,675,269; female 5,401,661)

15-64 years: 65.2% (male 19,503,556; female 19,479,646)

65 years and over: 16.3% (male 3,948,433; female 5,757,418) (2002 est.)
Agriculture - products wheat, cereals, sugar beets, potatoes, wine grapes; beef, dairy products; fish
Airports 477 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways total: 273

over 3,047 m: 13

2,438 to 3,047 m: 28

1,524 to 2,437 m: 95

914 to 1,523 m: 80

under 914 m: 57 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 204

1,524 to 2,437 m: 2

914 to 1,523 m: 74

under 914 m: 128 (2002)
Area total: 547,030 sq km

land: 545,630 sq km

water: 1,400 sq km

note: includes only metropolitan France; excludes the overseas administrative divisions
Area - comparative slightly less than twice the size of Colorado
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 advent of the euro in January 1999. Presently, France is at the forefront of European states seeking to exploit the momentum of monetary union to advance the creation of a more unified and capable European defense and security apparatus.
Birth rate 11.94 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Budget revenues: $210 billion

expenditures: $240 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)
Capital Paris
Climate 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
Coastline 3,427 km
Constitution 28 September 1958, amended concerning election of president in 1962, amended to comply with provisions of EC Maastricht Treaty in 1992, Amsterdam Treaty in 1996, Treaty of Nice in 2000; amended to tighten immigration laws 1993
Country name conventional long form: French Republic

conventional short form: France

local long form: Republique Francaise

local short form: France
Currency euro (EUR); French franc (FRF)

note: on 1 January 1999, the European Monetary Union introduced the euro as a common currency to be used by financial institutions of member countries; on 1 January 2002, the euro became the sole currency for everyday transactions within the member countries
Death rate 9.04 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Debt - external $106 billion (1998)
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
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Howard H. LEACH

embassy: 2 Avenue Gabriel, 75008 Paris

mailing address: PSC 116, B210 APO AE 09777

telephone: [33] (1) 43-12-22-22

FAX: [33] (1) 42 66 97 83

consulate(s) general: Marseille, Strasbourg
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, and San Francisco
Disputes - international Madagascar claims Bassas da India, Europa Island, Glorioso Islands, Juan de Nova Island, and Tromelin Island; Comoros claims Mayotte; Mauritius claims Tromelin Island; territorial dispute between Suriname and French Guiana; territorial claim in Antarctica (Adelie Land); Matthew and Hunter Islands, east of New Caledonia, claimed by France and Vanuatu
Economic aid - donor ODA, $6.3 billion (1997) (1997)
Economy - overview France is in the midst of a gradual transition, from a well-to-do modern economy that has featured extensive government ownership and intervention to one that relies more on market mechanisms. The government has partially or fully privatized many large companies, banks, and insurers, but still retains large stakes in several leading firms, including Air France, France Telecom, and Renault, and remains dominant in some sectors, particularly the power, public transport, and defense industries. The telecommunications sector is gradually being opened to competition. France's leaders remain committed to a capitalism in which they maintain social equity by means of laws, tax policies, and social spending that reduce income disparity and the impact of free markets on public health and welfare. The government has lowered income taxes and introduced measures to boost employment but has done little to reform an overly expensive pension system, rigid labor market, and restrictive bureaucracy which discourage hiring and make the tax burden one of the highest in Europe. In addition to the tax burden, the reduction of the workweek to 35 hours has drawn criticism for lowering the competitiveness of French businesses. The current economic slowdown has thrown the government's goal of balancing the budget by 2004 off track.
Electricity - consumption 408.51 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports 73.172 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports 3.737 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production 513.92 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel: 10%

hydro: 13%

nuclear: 77%

other: 1% (2000)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Rhone River delta -2 m

highest point: Mont Blanc 4,807 m
Environment - current issues some forest damage from acid rain (major forest damage occurred as a result of severe December 1999 windstorm); 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-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, 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: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Ethnic groups Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Indochinese, Basque minorities
Exchange rates euros per US dollar - 1.1324 (January 2002), 1.1175 (2001), 1.0854 (2000), 0.9386 (1999); French francs per US dollar - 5.65 (January 1999), 5.8995 (1998), 5.8367 (1997)
Executive branch chief of state: President Jacques CHIRAC (since 17 May 1995)

head of government: Prime Minister Jean-Pierre RAFFARIN (since 7 May 2002)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the suggestion of the prime minister

elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (changed from seven-year term in 2001); election last held 21 April and 5 May 2002 (next to be held, first round NA April 2007, second round NA 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 (RPR) 81.96%, Jean-Marie LE PEN (FN) 18.04%
Exports 73.172 billion kWh (2000)
Exports $307.8 billion f.o.b. (2002)
Exports - commodities machinery and transportation equipment, aircraft, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, iron and steel, beverages
Exports - partners EU 61.3% (Germany 14.7%, UK 9.8%, Spain 9.6%, Italy 8.8%), US 8.7% (2001)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), white, and red; known as the French Tricouleur (Tricolor); 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
GDP purchasing power parity - $1.54 trillion (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 3%

industry: 26%

services: 71% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $25,700 (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 1.1% (2002 est.)
Geographic coordinates 46 00 N, 2 00 E
Geography - note largest West European nation
Heliports 3 (2002)
Highways total: 892,900 km

paved: 892,900 km (including 9,900 km of expressways)

unpaved: 0 km (1999)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 3%

highest 10%: 25% (1995)
Illicit drugs transshipment point for and consumer of South American cocaine, Southwest Asian heroin, and European synthetics
Imports 3.737 billion kWh (2000)
Imports $303.7 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities machinery and equipment, vehicles, crude oil, aircraft, plastics, chemicals
Imports - partners EU 58.6% (Germany 16.7%, Benelux 7.0%, Italy 9.1%, UK 7.5%), US 8.9% (2001)
Independence 486 (unified by Clovis)
Industrial production growth rate -0.3% (2002)
Industries machinery, chemicals, automobiles, metallurgy, aircraft, electronics; textiles, food processing; tourism
Infant mortality rate 4.41 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 1.8% (2002 est.)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 62 (2000)
Irrigated land 20,000 sq km (1998 est.)
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
Labor force 26.6 million (2001 est.)
Labor force - by occupation services 71%, industry 25%, agriculture 4% (1997)
Land boundaries total: 2,889 km

border countries: Andorra 56.6 km, Belgium 620 km, Germany 451 km, Italy 488 km, Luxembourg 73 km, Monaco 4.4 km, Spain 623 km, Switzerland 573 km
Land use arable land: 33.3%

permanent crops: 2.11%

other: 64.59% (1998 est.)
Languages French 100%, rapidly declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish)
Legal system civil law system with indigenous concepts; review of administrative but not legislative acts
Legislative branch bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat (321 seats - 296 for metropolitan France, 13 for overseas departments and territories, 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) and the National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (577 seats; members are elected by popular vote under a single-member majoritarian system to serve five-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held 23 September 2001 (next to be held NA September 2004); National Assembly - last held 8-16 June 2002 (next to be held NA June 2007)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - RPR 83, PS 68, UDC 37, DL 35, RDES 16, PCF 16, other 66; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - UMP 355, PS 140, UDF 29, PCF 21, Radical Party 7, The Greens 3, other 22
Life expectancy at birth total population: 79.05 years

male: 75.17 years

female: 83.14 years (2002 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99%

male: 99%

female: 99% (1980 est.)
Location 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
Map references Europe
Maritime claims contiguous zone: 24 NM

continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

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

territorial sea: 12 NM
Merchant marine total: 49 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,263,691 GRT/1,769,932 DWT

ships by type: bulk 3, cargo 4, chemical tanker 9, combination bulk 1, container 3, liquefied gas 3, passenger 3, petroleum tanker 15, roll on/roll off 4, short-sea passenger 4

note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: French Polynesia 2, Greece 1, Japan 1, Norway 1, Sweden 9 (2002 est.)
Military branches Army (includes marines), Navy (includes naval air), Air Force (includes Air Defense), National Gendarmerie
Military expenditures - dollar figure $46.5 billion (2000)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 2.57% (2002)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49: 14,534,480 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 12,092,938 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - military age 18 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males: 390,064 (2002 est.)
National holiday Bastille Day, 14 July (1789)
Nationality noun: Frenchman(men), Frenchwoman(women)

adjective: French
Natural hazards flooding; avalanches; midwinter windstorms; drought; forest fires in south near the Mediterranean
Natural resources coal, iron ore, bauxite, zinc, potash, timber, fish
Net migration rate 0.64 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Pipelines crude oil 3,059 km; petroleum products 4,487 km; natural gas 24,746 km
Political parties and leaders Citizen adn Republican Movement or MCR [Jean Pierre CHEVENEMENT]; Democratic and European Social Rally or RDES (mainly RAD and PRG) [leader NA]; Forum of Social Republicans or FRS (offshoot from UMP) [Christine BOUTIN]; French Communist Party or PCF [Marie-George BUFFET]; Generation Ecology [France GAMERRE]; Hunting, Fishing, Nature, and Tradition or CPNT [Jean SAINT-JOSSE]; Independent Ecological Movement or MEI [Antoine WAECHTER]; Left Radical Party or PRG (previously Radical Socialist Party or PRS and the Left Radical Movement or MRG) [Jean-Michel BAYLET]; Liberal-Christian Right [Charles MILLON]; Liberal Democracy or DL (originally Republican Party or PR) [Alain MADELIN]; Movement for France or MPF [Philippe DE VILLIERS]; National Front or FN [Jean-Marie LE PEN]; National Republican Movement or MNR [Bruno MEGRET]; Radical Party or RP [Francois LOOS]; Rally for France or RPF [Charles PASQUA]; Rally for the Republic or RPR [Michelle ALLIOT-MARIE]; Revolutionary Communists' League or LCR [Alain KRIVINE]; Socialist Party or PS [Francois HOLLANDE]; The Greens [Gilles LEMAIRE, national secretary]; Union for French Democracy or UDF (coalition of DL, CDS, UDF, RP, and other parties) [Francois BAYROU]; Union for a Popular Movement or UMP (including RPR, DL, and a part of UDF) [Alain JUPPE]; Union of the Center or UDC [leader NA]
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 865,000 members (claimed, of which 810,000 are actively employed); 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)
Population 59,765,983 (July 2002 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 0.35% (2002 est.)
Ports and harbors Bordeaux, Boulogne, Cherbourg, Dijon, Dunkerque, La Pallice, Le Havre, Lyon, Marseille, Mullhouse, Nantes, Paris, Rouen, Saint Nazaire, Saint Malo, Strasbourg
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)
Railways total: 31,939 km (operated by French National Railways (SNCF); 14,176 km of SNCF routes are electrified and 12,132 km are double- or multiple-track)

standard gauge: 31,840 km 1.435-m gauge

narrow gauge: 99 km 1.000-m gauge (2000 est.)
Religions Roman Catholic 83%-88%, Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 5%-10%, unaffiliated 4%
Sex ratio at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: highly developed

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

international: 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
Telephones - main lines in use 34.86 million (yearend 1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular 11.078 million (yearend 1998)
Television broadcast stations 584 (plus 9,676 repeaters) (1995)
Terrain mostly flat plains or gently rolling hills in north and west; remainder is mountainous, especially Pyrenees in south, Alps in east
Total fertility rate 1.74 children born/woman (2002 est.)
Unemployment rate 9.1% (2002 est.)
Waterways 14,932 km (6,969 km heavily traveled)
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