<!–^~^28|left|French territory includes Tahiti^~^–>  General

Population :
58.3 million (1 January 1996)
Population density :
105 persons per sq km
Life expectancy:
Men: 73.8, Women: 81.9
Birth rate (1995) :
12 per 1000
Death rate (1995) :
9 per 1000
Marriages (1995) :
255 000
Divorces (1995) :
108 000
Education (1995) : 
Pre-school – high school: 12.6 million pupils 
Higher education: 2.075 million students
Active population :
26 million working, of which 19 million in salaried positions (December 1995)
Socio-professional groups:
Farmers: 2.7% of the active pop. (a.p.)
Artisans, storekeepers,
and self-employed: 6.5% of a.p.
Middle managers
and professionals: 10.7% of a.p.
Intermediate occupations: 17.6% of a.p.
White-collar workers: 23.5% of a.p.
Manual workers: 30% of the active population.
The French abroad
1.7 million French people live outside France (1995)
52% in Europe
25.2% in North America
10.8% in Africa
5% in the Middle East
4.5% in Oceania
2.5% in Asia

Territory

Area :
550 000 sq km
Relief :
2/3 of the area is plains
Major ranges : Alps, Pyrenees, Jura, Ardennes, the Massif Central, Vosges
5 500 sq km of coastline
Forest : 26% of the territory
Climate :
maritime in the west, Mediterranean in the south, continental in the center and the east
Administrative divisions :
Metropolitan France is divided into 22 regions and 96 departments
4 Overseas departments: Guadalupe, Martinique, French Guyana, Reunion
4 Overseas territories: French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna Islands, the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (comprising Adelie Land), the Crozet and Kerguelen archipelagos and the islands of Amsterdam and Saint-Paul
2 possessions with the status of collectivit} territoriale: Mayotte and Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon

Economy

GNP (1995) :
7,600 billion Francs (world’s fourth economic power)
Inflation (1995) :
2.1 %.
Balance of payments (1995):
surplus of 104.5 billion Francs

Energy

Self-sufficiency :
51,6 %
Primary energy consumption :
231 million equivalent tons oil equivalent
Distribution :
Oil : 41.2%
Primary electricity : 37.8%
Gas : 13%
Coal : 6.2%
Renewable energies : 1.8%

Transportation

Roads :
964,356 km of roads, of which 7 396 km of superhighways
Railroads :
31 940 km of rails, of which 1 268 reserved for the high-speed TGV
55.5 (US) billion travellers/km and 48.9 billion tons of freight/km in 1995
Air travel :
98.7 million passengers per year and 1.4 billion tons of freight per year
Merchant marine :
91.5 million tons of merchandise per year

Tourism

Over 61million foreign tourists in 1996, making France the number one worlwide destination!


Also See:

Introduction

Social Customs

Modern Politics

Modern Life