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France (2004)

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France 2004 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 5,724,185; female 5,446,716)

15-64 years: 65.1% (male 19,698,497; female 19,663,776)

65 years and over: 16.4% (male 4,049,970; female 5,841,069) (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products wheat, cereals, sugar beets, potatoes, wine grapes; beef, dairy products; fish
Airports 477 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total: 283

over 3,047 m: 13

2,438 to 3,047 m: 28

1,524 to 2,437 m: 95

914 to 1,523 m: 82

under 914 m: 65 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 195

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3

914 to 1,523 m: 72

under 914 m: 120 (2004 est.)
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 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.
Birth rate 12.34 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Budget revenues: $882.8 billion

expenditures: $955.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $23 billion (2003 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 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
Country name conventional long form: French Republic

conventional short form: France

local long form: Republique Francaise

local short form: France
Currency euro (EUR)

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 9.06 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Debt - external NA
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 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
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, and Juan de Nova 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, $5.4 billion (2002)
Economy - overview France is in the midst of 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 Socialist-led government partially or fully privatized many large companies, banks, and insurers, but the government retains controlling stakes in several leading firms, including Air France, France Telecom, Renault, and Thales, and is dominant in some sectors, particularly 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 current government has lowered income taxes and introduced measures to boost employment. The government is focusing on the problems of the high cost of labor and labor market inflexibility resulting from the 35-hour workweek and restrictions on lay-offs. The government is also pushing for pension reforms and simplification of administrative procedures. The tax burden remains one of the highest in Europe (43.8% of GDP in 2003). The current economic slowdown and inflexible budget items have pushed the 2003 deficit to 4% of GDP, above the EU's 3% debt limit. Business investment remains listless because of low rates of capital utilization, sluggish demand, high debt, and the steep cost of capital.
Electricity - consumption 415.3 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports 72.6 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports 4.2 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production 520.1 billion kWh (2001)
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; 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-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: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants
Ethnic groups Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Indochinese, Basque minorities
Exchange rates euros per US dollar - 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002), 1.1175 (2001), 1.0854 (2000), 0.9386 (1999)
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 October 2000); election last held 21 April and 5 May 2002 (next to be held, first round April 2007, second round 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 72.6 billion kWh (2001)
Exports $346.5 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports 1.725 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Exports 409,600 bbl/day (2001)
Exports - commodities machinery and transportation equipment, aircraft, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, iron and steel, beverages
Exports - partners Germany 14.9%, Spain 9.6%, UK 9.4%, Italy 9.3%, Belgium 7.2%, US 6.8% (2003)
Fiscal year calendar year
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
GDP purchasing power parity - $1.661 trillion (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 2.7%

industry: 24.4%

services: 72.9% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $27,600 (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 0.5% (2003 est.)
Geographic coordinates 46 00 N, 2 00 E
Geography - note largest West European nation
Heliports 3 (2003 est.)
Highways total: 894,000 km

paved: 894,000 km (including 11,500 km of expressways)

unpaved: 0 km (2000)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 2.8%

highest 10%: 25.1% (1995)
Illicit drugs transshipment point for and consumer of South American cocaine, Southwest Asian heroin, and European synthetics
Imports 4.2 billion kWh (2001)
Imports $339.9 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports 40.26 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Imports 2.281 million bbl/day (2001)
Imports - commodities machinery and equipment, vehicles, crude oil, aircraft, plastics, chemicals
Imports - partners Germany 19.1%, Belgium 9.4%, Italy 9%, Spain 7.4%, Netherlands 7%, UK 7%, US 5.4% (2003)
Independence 486 (unified by Clovis)
Industrial production growth rate -0.3% (2003)
Industries machinery, chemicals, automobiles, metallurgy, aircraft, electronics; textiles, food processing; tourism
Infant mortality rate total: 4.31 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 4.83 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 3.78 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2.1% (2003 est.)
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 27.39 million (2003 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 4.1%, industry 24.4%, services 71.5% (1999)
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: 33.53%

permanent crops: 2.07%

other: 64.4% (2001)
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); note - between now and 2010, 25 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; 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; members are elected by popular vote under a single-member majoritarian system to serve five-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held 26 September 2004 (next to be held September 2007); National Assembly - last held 8-16 June 2002 (next to be held not later than 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, Radical Party 7, Greens 3, other 22
Life expectancy at birth total population: 79.44 years

male: 75.8 years

female: 83.27 years (2004 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 territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

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

continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Merchant marine total: 32 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 703,639 GRT/889,705 DWT

by type: cargo 3, chemical tanker 6, container 2, liquefied gas 4, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 10, roll on/roll off 2, short-sea/passenger 4

foreign-owned: Germany 1, Monaco 2, New Caledonia 1, Sweden 5

registered in other countries: 118 (2004 est.)
Military branches Army (includes Marines, Foreign Legion, Army Light Aviation), Navy (including naval air), Air Force (including Air Defense), National Gendarmerie
Military expenditures - dollar figure $45,238.1 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 2.6% (2003)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49: 14,487,165 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 12,044,827 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males: 394,413 (2004 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, uranium, antimony, arsenic, potash, feldspar, fluorospar, gypsum, timber, fish
Net migration rate 0.66 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Pipelines gas 14,232 km; oil 3,024 km; refined products 4,889 km (2004)
Political parties and leaders Citizen and Republican Movement or MCR [Jean Pierre CHEVENEMENT]; Democratic and European Social Rally or RDSE (mainly RAD. and PRG) [Jacques PELLETIER]; French Communist Party or PCF [Marie-George BUFFET]; Left Radical Party or PRG (previously Radical Socialist Party or PRS and the Left Radical Movement or MRG) [Jean-Michel BAYLET]; Movement for France or MPF [Philippe DE VILLIERS]; Rally for France or RPF [Charles PASQUA]; Socialist Party or PS [Francois HOLLANDE]; Greens [Gilles LEMAIRE, Francine BAVAY, Jean DESESSARD, Christophe PORQUIER, Maud LELIEVRE]; Union for French Democracy or UDF [Francois BAYROU]; Union for a Popular Movement or UMP (including RPR, DL, and a part of UDF) [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)
Population 60,424,213 (July 2004 est.)
Population below poverty line 6.5% (2000)
Population growth rate 0.39% (2004 est.)
Ports and harbors Bordeaux, Boulogne, Cherbourg, Dijon, Dunkerque, La Pallice, Le Havre, Lyon, Marseille, Mulhouse, Nantes, Paris, Rouen, Saint Nazaire, Saint Malo, Strasbourg (2003)
Radio broadcast stations AM 41, FM about 3,500 (this figure is an approximation and includes many repeaters), shortwave 2 (1998)
Railways total: 32,175 km

standard gauge: 32,008 km 1.435-m gauge (14,320 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 167 km 1.000-m gauge (2003)
Religions Roman Catholic 83%-88%, Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 5%-10%, unaffiliated 4%
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 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 (2004 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: 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
Telephones - main lines in use 33,905,400 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular 41,683,100 (2003)
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 1.85 children born/woman (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate 9.7% (2003 est.)
Waterways 8,500 km (1,686 km accessible to craft of 3,000 metric tons) (2000)
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