- Art Gallery -



France, See : Flags, Maps

Aix-les-Bains : Images

Amiens : Images

Angers : Images

Annecy : Images

Audierne : Images

Bayeux : Images

Bordeaux : Images

Caen : Images

Calais : Images

Cannes : Images

Chambéry : Images

Cherbourg : Images

Lille : Images

Lyon : Images

Marseille : Images

Paris : Images,

Toulouse : Images

Versailles : Images

A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times, Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

, Volume 1 , Volume 2 , Volume 3, Volume 4, Volume 5, Volume6,

Winged Wheels in France, by Michael Myers Shoemaker

Cathedral Cities of France, Herbert Marshall and Hester Marshall

The Churches of Paris, S. Sophia Beale

Cathedrals and Cloisters of the South of France, Volume 1, Elise Whitlock Rose

The Cathedrals of Southern France, Francis Miltoun

Castles and Chateaux of Old Touraine and the Loire Country, Francis Miltoun

Royal Palaces and Parks of France, Milburg Francisco Mansfield, Illustrated by Blanche McManus

France, Normandy , Gordon Cochrane Home

Wanderings in Corsica, Vol. 1 of 2 by Ferdinand Gregorovius

Account of a Tour in Normandy, Vol. I. , Vol. II., Dawson Turner

Architectural Antiquities of Normandy, John Sell Cotman

The Story of Rouen , Theodore Andrea Cook

The Private Life of Napoleon Bonaparte, Constant

Dictionnaire raisonné de l'architecture française du XIe au XVIe siècle , Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-Le-Duc : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,

Cyrano de Bergerac, Edmond Rostand

L'Iliade , Homer

L'Odyssée , Homer

Aphrodite, Pierre Louÿs

L'archeologie egyptienne, Gaston Maspero



Artist, France

Paul Gauguin, His Life and Art, John Gould Fletcher

The French Impressionists (1860-1900), Camille Mauclair

Ingres and his critics, Andrew Carrington Shelton

Ingres then, and now, Adrian Rifkin

Jacques-Louis David: Empire to Exile, Philippe Bordes

Jacques-Louis David, Revolutionary Artist: Art, Politics, and the French Revolution, Warren Roberts

Emulation: David, Drouais, and Girodet in the art of revolutionary France, Thomas E. Crow

Eugène Delacroix, 1798-1863: the prince of romanticism, Gilles Néret

Poussin's paintings: a study in art-historical methodology, David Carrier, Nicolas Poussin

Nicolas Poussin: Dialectics of Painting, Oskar Bätschmann

Image of the people: Gustave Courbet and the 1848 revolution, T. J. Clark, Timothy J. Clark

Courbet's realism, Michael Fried

Matisse on art, Jack D. Flam

Cézanne's early imagery, Mary Tompkins Lewis

Fantasy and faith: the art of Gustave Doré, Eric Zafran, Robert Rosenblum, Lisa Small

The Doré Bible illustrations

Dore's Illustrations of the Crusades

Doré's Spain: all 236 illustrations from Spain

Edgar Degas: Waiting, Richard Thomson

Degas Drawings of Dancers

Degas in New Orleans: Encounters in the Creole World of Kate Chopin and George Washington Cable, Christopher Benfey

Manet's modernism, or, The face of painting in the 1860s, Michael Fried

The joy of life: the idyllic in French art, circa 1900, Margaret Werth

Dialogues with Marcel Duchamp, Pierre Cabanne

Drawing on art: Duchamp and company, Dalia Judovitz

Unpacking Duchamp: art in transit, Dalia Judovitz

The Duchamp effect, Martha Buskirk, Mignon Nixon

Marcel Duchamp: artist of the century, Rudolf E. Kuenzli, Francis M. Naumann

Pictorial Nominalism: On Marcel Duchamp's Passage from Painting to the Readymade, Thierry De Duve

Marcel Duchamp in perspective, Joseph Masheck

Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst: the bride shared, David Hopkins

The private worlds of Marcel Duchamp: desire, liberation, and the self in modern culture, Jerrold E. Seigel

Marcel Duchamp, appearance stripped bare, Octavio Paz

Infinite Regress: Marcel Duchamp 1910-1941, David Joselit

Duchamp: love and death, even, Juan Antonio Ramírez

Contemporary French Art: Eleven studies, Michael Bishop

Auguste Rodin: sculptures and drawings, Gilles Néret

Rodin on art and artists: conversations with Paul Gsell, Paul Gsell


French master drawings from the collection of Muriel Butkin , Carter E. Foster, Sylvain Bellenger, Patrick Shaw Cable, Cleveland Museum of Art, Dahesh Museum

The impact of art on French literature: from de Scudéry to Proust, Helen Osterman Borowitz

From Rodin to Giacometti: sculpture and literature in France, 1880-1950, Keith Aspley, Elizabeth Cowling, Peter Sharratt

Art nouveau: the French aesthetic, Victor Arwas


Art in the service of colonialism: French art education in Morocco, 1912-1956, Hamid Irbouh

@France (Europe)

Introduction ::France

French National Anthem - Marseillaise


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 hybrid presidential-parliamentary governing system resistant to the instabilities experienced in earlier more purely parliamentary administrations. 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.

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Geography ::France


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

Reunion: Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of

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

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

Reunion: World


total: 643,427 sq km; 551,500 sq km (metropolitan France) country comparison to the world: 42 land: 640,053 sq km; 549,970 sq km (metropolitan France)

water: 3,374 sq km; 1,530 sq km (metropolitan France)

note: the first numbers include the overseas regions of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Reunion

Area - comparative:

slightly less than the size of Texas

Land boundaries:

metropolitan France - 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

French Guiana - total: 1,183 km

border countries: Brazil 673 km, Suriname 510 km


total: 4,668 km

metropolitan France: 3,427 km

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


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 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

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

Reunion: mostly rugged and mountainous; fertile lowlands along coast

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Rhone River delta -2 m

highest point: Mont Blanc 4,807 m

note: in order to assess the possible effects of climate change on the ice and snow cap of Mont Blanc, its surface and peak have been extensively and periodically 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, fish

French Guiana: gold deposits, petroleum, kaolin, niobium, tantalum, clay

Land use:

arable land: 33.46%

permanent crops: 2.03%

other: 64.51%

note: French Guiana - arable land 0.13%, permanent crops 0.04%, other 99.83% (90% forest, 10% other); Guadeloupe - arable land 11.70%, permanent crops 2.92%, other 85.38%; Martinique - arable land 9.09%, permanent crops 10.0%, other 80.91%; Reunion - arable land 13.94%, permanent crops 1.59%, other 84.47% (2005)

Irrigated land:

total: 26,190 sq km;

metropolitan France: 26,000 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

189 cu km (2005)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 33.16 cu km/yr (16%/74%/10%)

per capita: 548 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

metropolitan France: flooding; avalanches; midwinter windstorms; drought; forest fires in south near the Mediterranean

overseas departments: hurricanes (cyclones); flooding; volcanic activity (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion)

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

People ::France


64,768,389 country comparison to the world: 21 note: the above figure is for metropolitan France and its four overseas regions; the metropolitan France population is 62,814,233 (July 2010 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 18.6% (male 6,129,729/female 5,838,925)

15-64 years: 65% (male 20,963,124/female 20,929,280)

65 years and over: 16.4% (male 4,403,248/female 6,155,767) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 39.7 years

male: 38.2 years

female: 41.2 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.525% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 152

Birth rate:

12.43 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 160

Death rate:

8.65 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 82

Net migration rate:

1.47 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 47


urban population: 77% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 0.8% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.051 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

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

65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female

total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 3.31 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 215 male: 3.63 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 2.98 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 81.09 years country comparison to the world: 12 male: 77.91 years

female: 84.44 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.97 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 131

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.4% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 83

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

140,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 38

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

1,600 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 65


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


Roman Catholic 83%-88%, Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 5%-10%, unaffiliated 4%

overseas departments: Roman Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, pagan


French (official) 100%, rapidly declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish)

overseas departments: French, Creole patois


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99%

male: 99%

female: 99% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 16 years

male: 16 years

female: 17 years (2008)

Education expenditures:

5.6% of GDP (2006) country comparison to the world: 42

Government ::France

Country name:

conventional long form: French Republic

conventional short form: France

local long form: Republique francaise

local short form: France

Government type:



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, not to its overseas departments, collectivities, or territories

Administrative divisions:

26 regions (regions, singular - region); Alsace, Aquitaine,
Auvergne, Basse-Normandie (Lower Normandy), Bourgogne (Burgundy),
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, Midi-Pyrenees, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Pays de la
Loire, Picardie, Poitou-Charentes, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur,
Reunion, Rhone-Alpes

note: France is divided into 22 metropolitan regions (including the "territorial collectivity" of Corse or Corsica) and 4 overseas regions (including French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Reunion) and is subdivided into 96 metropolitan departments and 4 overseas departments (which are the same as the overseas regions)

Dependent areas:

Clipperton Island, French Polynesia, French Southern and Antarctic
Lands, Mayotte, New Caledonia, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin,
Wallis and Futuna

note: the US 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)


adopted by referendum 28 September 1958; effective 4 October 1958; amended many times

note: amended concerning election of president in 1962; amended to comply with provisions of 1992 EC Maastricht Treaty, 1997 Amsterdam Treaty, 2003 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; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Nicolas SARKOZY (since 16 May 2007)

head of government: Prime Minister Francois FILLON (since 17 May 2007)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president at the suggestion of the prime minister (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held on 22 April and 6 May 2007 (next to be held in the spring of 2012); prime minister appointed by the president

election results: Nicolas SARKOZY elected; first round: percent of vote - Nicolas SARKOZY 31.2%, Segolene ROYAL 25.9%, Francois BAYROU 18.6%, Jean-Marie LE PEN 10.4%, others 13.9%; second round: SARKOZY 53.1%, ROYAL 46.9%

Legislative branch:

bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat (343 seats; 321 for metropolitan France and overseas departments, 2 for New Caledonia, 2 for Mayotte, 1 for Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, 1 for Saint-Barthelemy, 1 for Saint-Martin, 3 for overseas territories, and 12 for French nationals abroad; members indirectly elected by an electoral college to serve six-year terms; one third elected every three years); note - between 2006 and 2011, 15 new seats will be added to the Senate for a total of 348 seats - 326 for metropolitan France and overseas departments, 2 for New Caledonia, 2 for Mayotte, 1 for Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, 1 for Saint-Barthelemy, 1 for Saint-Martin, 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 elected every three years; and the National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (577 seats; 555 for metropolitan France, 15 for overseas departments, 7 for dependencies; members elected by popular vote under a single-member majority system to serve five-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held on 21 September 2008 (next to be held in September 2014); National Assembly - last held on 10 and 17 June 2007 (next to be held in June 2012)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 151, PS 102, PCF 22, MoDem 11, NC 11, Greens 5, PG 2, other 39; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - UMP 46.4%, PS 42.2%, miscellaneous left wing parties 2.5%, PCF 2.3%, NC 2.1%, PRG 1.6%, miscellaneous right wing parties 1.2%, the Greens 0.4%, other 1.2%; seats by party - UMP 313, PS 186, NC 22, miscellaneous left wing parties 15, PCF 16, miscellaneous right wing parties 9, PRG 7, the Greens 3, other 6

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:

Democratic Movement or MoDem [Francois BAYROU] (previously Union for
French Democracy or UDF); French Communist Party or PCF [Pierre
LAURENT]; Greens [Cecile DUFLOT]; Left Party or PG [Jean-Luc
MELENCHON]; 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]; New Anticapitalist Party
or NPA [Olivier BESANCENOT]; New Center or NC [Herve MORIN]; Radical
Party [Jean-Louis BORLOO]; Rally for France or RPF [Charles PASQUA];
Republican and Citizen Movement or MRC [Jean Pierre CHEVENEMENT];
Socialist Party or PS [Martine AUBRY]; Union for a Popular Movement
or UMP [Jean-Francois COPE]; Worker's Struggle or LO [Nathalie

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Confederation francaise democratique du travail or CFDT, left-leaning labor union with approximately 803,000 members; Confederation francaise de l'encadrement - Confederation generale des cadres or CFE-CGC, independent white-collar union with 196,000 members; Confederation francaise des travailleurs chretiens of CFTC, independent labor union founded by Catholic workers that claims 132,000 members; Confederation generale du travail or CGT, historically communist labor union with approximately 700,000 members; Confederation generale du travail - Force ouvriere or FO, independent labor union with an estimated 300,000 members; Mouvement des entreprises de France or MEDEF, employers' union with 750,000 companies as members (claimed)

French Guiana: conservationists; gold mining pressure groups; hunting pressure groups

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 for an Independent
Guadeloupe or MPGI; The Socialist Renewal Movement

Martinique: Caribbean Revolutionary Alliance or ARC; Central Union for Martinique Workers or CSTM; Frantz Fanon Circle; League of Workers and Peasants; Proletarian Action Group or GAP

Reunion: NA

International organization participation:

ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BDEAC, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, FZ, G-20, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), Schengen Convention, SECI (observer), SPC, UN, UN Security Council, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant)

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 Charles H. RIVKIN

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 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 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 ::France

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 government has partially or fully privatized many large companies, banks, and insurers, and has ceded stakes in such leading firms as Air France, France Telecom, Renault, and Thales. It maintains a strong presence in some sectors, particularly power, public transport, and defense industries. With at least 75 million foreign tourists per year, France is the most visited country in the world and maintains the third largest income in the world from tourism. 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. France has weathered the global economic crisis better than most other big EU economies because of the relative resilience of domestic consumer spending, a large public sector, and less exposure to the downturn in global demand than in some other countries. Nonetheless, France's real GDP contracted 2.5% in 2009, but recovered somewhat in 2010, while the unemployment rate increased from 7.4% in 2008 to 9.5% in 2010. The government pursuit of aggressive stimulus and investment measures in response to the economic crisis, however, are contributing to a deterioration of France's public finances. The government budget deficit rose sharply from 3.4% of GDP in 2008 to 7.8% of GDP in 2010, while France's public debt rose from 68% of GDP to 84% over the same period. Paris is terminating stimulus measures, eliminating tax credits, and freezing most government spending to bring the budget deficit under the 3% euro-zone ceiling by 2013, and to highlight France's commitment to fiscal discipline at a time of intense financial market scrutiny of euro zone debt levels. President SARKOZY - who secured passage of pension reform in 2010 - is expected to seek passage of some tax reforms in 2011, but he may delay additional, more costly, reforms until after the 2012 election.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$2.16 trillion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 10 $2.126 trillion (2009 est.)

$2.18 trillion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$2.555 trillion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

1.6% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 165 -2.5% (2009 est.)

0.1% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$33,300 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 40 $33,000 (2009 est.)

$34,000 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 1.8%

industry: 19.2%

services: 79% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

28.21 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 20

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 3.8%

industry: 24.3%

services: 71.8% (2005)

Unemployment rate:

9.5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 106 9.1% (2009 est.)

Population below poverty line:

6.2% (2004)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 3%

highest 10%: 24.8% (2004)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

32.7 (2008) country comparison to the world: 98 32.7 (1995)

Investment (gross fixed):

19.9% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 87

Public debt:

83.5% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 14 77.6% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

1.5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 39 0.1% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

1.75% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 116 3% (31 December 2008)

note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

7.46% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 116 8.13% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$858.6 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 8 $862.3 billion (31 December 2009 est)

note: see entry for the European Union for money supply in the euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 16 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

Stock of broad money:

$2.292 trillion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 8 $2.306 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$4.319 trillion (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 7 $4.121 trillion (31 December 2008 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$1.972 trillion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 6 $1.492 trillion (31 December 2008)

$2.771 trillion (31 December 2007)

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:

3.5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 93

Electricity - production:

535.7 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 9

Electricity - consumption:

447.2 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 9

Electricity - exports:

58.69 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

10.68 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

70,820 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 57

Oil - consumption:

1.875 million bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 13

Oil - exports:

597,800 bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 24

Oil - imports:

2.386 million bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 9

Oil - proved reserves:

101.2 million bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 67

Natural gas - production:

877 million cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 64

Natural gas - consumption:

44.84 billion cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 18

Natural gas - exports:

1.931 billion cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 33

Natural gas - imports:

45.85 billion cu m (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 5

Natural gas - proved reserves:

7.079 billion cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 83

Current account balance:

-$53.29 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 187 -$51.86 billion (2009 est.)


$508.7 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 6 $473.9 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

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

Exports - partners:

Germany 15.88%, Italy 8.16%, Spain 7.8%, Belgium 7.44%, UK 7.04%, US 5.65%, Netherlands 3.99% (2009)


$577.7 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 6 $535.8 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

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

Imports - partners:

Germany 19.41%, Belgium 11.61%, Italy 7.97%, Netherlands 7.15%,
Spain 6.68%, UK 4.9%, US 4.72%, China 4.44% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$NA (31 December 2010 est.)

$133.1 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$4.698 trillion (30 June 2010) country comparison to the world: 5 $4.935 trillion (31 December 2008)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$1.207 trillion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 2 $1.151 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$1.837 trillion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 2 $1.711 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates:

euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.7715 (2010), 0.7179 (2009), 0.6827 (2008), 0.7345 (2007), 0.7964 (2006)

Communications ::France

Telephones - main lines in use:

36.431 million; 35.5 million (metropolitan France) (2009) country comparison to the world: 7

Telephones - mobile cellular:

60.95 million; 59.543 million (metropolitan France) (2009) country comparison to the world: 18

Telephone system:

general assessment: highly developed

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

international: country code - 33; numerous submarine cables provide links throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, 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

overseas departments: country codes: French Guiana - 594; Guadeloupe - 590; Martinique - 596; Reunion - 262

Broadcast media:

a mix of both publicly-operated and privately-owned TV stations; state-owned France Televisions operates 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 (RFI), 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 (2008)

Internet country code:

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

Internet hosts:

15.182 million; 15.161 million (metropolitan France) (2010) country comparison to the world: 7

Internet users:

45.262 million; 44.625 million (metropolitan France) (2009) country comparison to the world: 8

Transportation ::France


474 (2010) country comparison to the world: 16

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 297

over 3,047 m: 14

2,438 to 3,047 m: 27

1,524 to 2,437 m: 97

914 to 1,523 m: 83

under 914 m: 76 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 177

914 to 1,523 m: 69

under 914 m: 108 (2010)


1 (2010)


gas 14,688 km; oil 2,943 km; refined products 5,080 km (2009)


total: 29,213 km country comparison to the world: 9 standard gauge: 29,046 km 1.435-m gauge (15,164 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 167 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)


total: 1,027,183 km (metropolitan France; includes 10,958 km of expressways) country comparison to the world: 7 note: there are another 5,100 km of roadways in overseas departments (2007)


metropolitan France: 8,501 km (1,621 km accessible to craft of 3,000 metric tons) country comparison to the world: 16 French Guiana: 3,760 km (460 km navigable by small oceangoing vessels and coastal and river steamers, 3,300 km by native craft) (2008)

Merchant marine:

total: 167 country comparison to the world: 38 by type: bulk carrier 2, cargo 8, chemical tanker 36, container 25, liquefied gas 12, passenger 11, passenger/cargo 44, petroleum tanker 17, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 11

foreign-owned: 57 (Belgium 7, China 5, Denmark 12, French Polynesia 12, Germany 1, New Caledonia 3, Norway 1, NZ 1, Singapore 3, Spain 1, Sweden 6, Switzerland 5)

registered in other countries: 146 (Bahamas 19, Belgium 5, Bermuda 1, Canada 1, Cyprus 16, Egypt 1, Hong Kong 3, Indonesia 1, Italy 2, Luxembourg 16, Malta 13, Morocco 4, Netherlands 2, Norway 4, Panama 13, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2, Singapore 3, South Korea 1, Taiwan 1, UK 33, US 4, unknown 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Calais, Dunkerque, Le Havre, Marseille, Nantes, Paris, Rouen

Military ::France

Military branches:

Army (Armee de Terre; includes Marines, Foreign Legion, Army Light
Aviation), Navy (Marine Nationale, includes Naval Air, Maritime
Gendarmerie (Coast Guard)), Air Force (Armee de l'Air (AdlA),
includes Air Defense), National Gendarmerie (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

17-40 years of age for male or female voluntary military service (with parental consent); no conscription; 12-month service obligation; women serve in noncombat military posts (2010)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 14,591,656

females age 16-49: 14,285,551 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 12,053,912

females age 16-49: 11,763,951 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 389,956

female: 372,312 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

2.6% of GDP (2005 est.) country comparison to the world: 57

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


Hellenica World