Area: 551,670 sq. km. (220,668 sq. mi.); largest west European country, about four-fifths the size of Texas.
Cities: Capital--Paris. Major cities--Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Nice, Rennes, Lille, Bordeaux.
Population (January 1, 2010 est.): 65.0 million (including overseas territories); 63.1 million (metropolitan) .Annual population growth rates (2011 est.): 0.55%.
Ethnic groups: Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Sub-Saharan African, Indochinese, and Basque minorities.
Religion: Roman Catholic (majority), Muslim, Protestant, Jewish.
Education: Years compulsory--10. Literacy-99%.
Health: Infant mortality rate (Jan. 2011)--3.7/1,000.
Work force (2009): 28.3 million (preliminary): Services--75%;
Industry and construction--21.7%; agriculture--2.9%.
Constitution: September 28, 1958.
Branches: Executive--president (chief of state); prime minister (head of government). Legislative--bicameral Parliament (577-member National Assembly, 319-member Senate). Judicial--Court of Cassation (civil and criminal law), Council of State (administrative court), Constitutional Council (constitutional law).
Subdivisions: 22 administrative regions containing 96 departments (metropolitan France). Thirteen territories outside metropolitan France: four overseas departments which are also regions (French abbreviation is DOM-ROM)--Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, and Reunion; six overseas collectivities ("Collectivites d'Outre-mer" or COM)--French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna Islands, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthelemy Island, and Mayotte, which became a full overseas department in March 2011; one overseas country of France ("Pays d'Outre-mer" or POM)--New Caledonia; and the French Southern and Antarctic Territories and the atoll of Clipperton.
Political parties: Union for a Popular Movement (UMP--a synthesis of center-right Gaullist/nationalist and free-market parties); Socialist Party; New Center (former UDF centrists now affiliated with the UMP); Democratic Movement (former UDF centrists loyal to MoDem President Francois Bayrou); Communist Party; extreme right National Front; Greens; various minor parties.
Suffrage: Universal at 18.
GDP (2010): $2.580 trillion.
Avg. annual growth rate (2010): 1.5%, compared with -2.5% in 2009.
Per capita GDP at PPP (2010): $34,077. [readon]More[/readon]
Agriculture: Products--grains (wheat, barley, corn); wines and spirits; dairy products; sugar beets; oilseeds; meat and poultry; fruits and vegetables.
Industry: Types--aircraft, electronics, transportation, textiles, clothing, food processing, chemicals, machinery, steel.
Services: Types--Services to companies and individuals, financial and real estate activities, tourism and transportation
Trade: Exports (2010)--$521 billion (f.o.b.): automobiles, aircraft and aircraft components, pharmaceuticals, automobile equipment, iron and steel products, refined petroleum products, cosmetics, organic chemicals, electronic components, wine and champagne. Imports (2010)--$588 billion (f.o.b.): oil and natural gas, automobiles, aircraft and aircraft components, refined petroleum products, automobile equipment, pharmaceuticals, iron and steel products, and computers/computer-related products. Major trading partners--EU and U.S.
Exchange rate: U.S. $1=0.6891 euro (€) in April 2011. France is a country whose metropolitan territory is located in western Europe and also comprises of various overseas islands, territories located in other continents. Metropolitan France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and Noeth Sea and from the Rhine to Atlantic Ocean.
The French republic is a democracy that is organised as a unitary semi-presidental republic. It is a developed country with 6th largest economy in the world.
France is the world's 3 leading host country for higher education with more than 300000 international students.
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