SPAMfighter information about
 

France

The data on this page is obtained from The World Factbook.
 Communications information 
SPAMfighters: 1,046,455
Internet users: 29.521 million (2006)
Internet hosts: 3,148,379 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 62 (2000)
Internet country code: .fr
Telephones - main lines in use: 35.7 million (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 48.058 million (2005)
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
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)
Television broadcast stations: 584 (plus 9,676 repeaters) (1995)
Televisions: 34.8 million (1997)
 Geographical information 
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
Geographic coordinates: 46 00 N, 2 00 E
Map references: Europe
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
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
Coastline: 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
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
Terrain: mostly flat plains or gently rolling hills in north and west; remainder is mountainous, especially Pyrenees in south, Alps in east
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Rhone River delta -2 m

highest point: Mont Blanc 4,807 m
Natural resources: coal, iron ore, bauxite, zinc, uranium, antimony, arsenic, potash, feldspar, fluorospar, gypsum, timber, fish
Land use: arable land: 33.46%

permanent crops: 2.03%

other: 64.51% (2005)
Irrigated land: 26,000 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards: flooding; avalanches; midwinter windstorms; drought; forest fires in south near the Mediterranean
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 information 
Population: 60,876,136 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 18.3% (male 5,704,152/female 5,427,213)

15-64 years: 65.3% (male 19,886,228/female 19,860,506)

65 years and over: 16.4% (male 4,103,883/female 5,894,154) (2006 est.)
Median age: total: 39.1 years

male: 37.6 years

female: 40.7 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.35% (2006 est.)
Birth rate: 11.99 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate: 9.14 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate: 0.66 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
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: 0.7 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 4.21 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 4.71 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 3.69 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 79.73 years

male: 76.1 years

female: 83.54 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.84 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.4% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 120,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: less than 1,000 (2003 est.)
Nationality: noun: Frenchman(men), Frenchwoman(women)

adjective: French
Ethnic groups: Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Indochinese, Basque minorities
Religions: Roman Catholic 83%-88%, Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 5%-10%, unaffiliated 4%
Languages: French 100%, rapidly declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99%

male: 99%

female: 99% (2003 est.)
 Governmental information 
Country name: conventional long form: French Republic

conventional short form: France

local long form: Republique francaise

local short form: France
Government type: republic
Capital: 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
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, Miquelon)
Independence: 486 (unified by Clovis)
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)
Constitution: adopted by referendum 28 September 1958, effective 4 October 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
Legal system: civil law system with indigenous concepts; review of administrative but not legislative acts
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Jacques CHIRAC (since 17 May 1995)

head of government: Prime Minister Dominique DE VILLEPIN (since 31 May 2005)

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%
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 2004 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; starting in 2008, 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 majority system to serve five-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held 26 September 2004 (next to be held September 2008); 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, Left Radical Party 7, Greens 3, other 22
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: Citizen and Republican Movement or MRC [Jean Pierre CHEVENEMENT]; Democratic and European Social Rally or RDSE (mainly Radical Republican and Socialist Parties, and PRG) [Jacques PELLETIER]; French Communist Party or PCF [Marie-George BUFFET]; Greens [Yan WEHRLING, national secretary]; 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]; National Front or FN [Jean-Marie LE PEN]; Rally for France or RPF [Charles PASQUA]; Socialist Party or PS [Francois HOLLANDE]; Union for French Democracy or UDF [Francois BAYROU]; Union for a Popular Movement or UMP [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)
International organization participation: ABEDA, ACCT, AfDB, Arctic Council (observer), AsDB, Australia Group, BDEAC, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FZ, G- 5, G- 7, G- 8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, MONUC, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), SECI (observer), SPC, UN, UN Security Council, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNITAR, UNMEE, UNMIL, UNMOVIC, UNOCI, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WADB (nonregional), WCL, WCO, WEU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO, ZC
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, San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Craig R. STAPLETON

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; 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
 Economical information 
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. It 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 government has lowered income taxes and introduced measures to boost employment and reform the pension system. In addition, it 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 tax burden remains one of the highest in Europe (nearly 50% of GDP in 2005). The lingering economic slowdown and inflexible budget items have pushed the budget deficit above the eurozone´s 3%-of-GDP limit; unemployment stands at 10%.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $1.794 trillion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $2.055 trillion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 1.2% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $29,600 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 2.2%

industry: 21.4%

services: 76.4% (2005 est.)
Labor force: 27.72 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 4.1%

industry: 24.4%

services: 71.5% (1999)
Unemployment rate: 9.9% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line: 6.5% (2000)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.8%

highest 10%: 25.1% (1995)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.7% (2005 est.)
Budget: revenues: $1.06 trillion

expenditures: $1.144 trillion; including capital expenditures of $23 billion (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products: wheat, cereals, sugar beets, potatoes, wine grapes; beef, dairy products; fish
Industries: machinery, chemicals, automobiles, metallurgy, aircraft, electronics; textiles, food processing; tourism
Industrial production growth rate: 0.2% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production: 536.9 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 8.2%

hydro: 14%

nuclear: 77.1%

other: 0.7% (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 433.3 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports: 72.2 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports: 6.2 billion kWh (2003)
Oil - production: 76,300 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption: 2.06 million bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports: 409,600 bbl/day (2001)
Oil - imports: 2.281 million bbl/day (2001)
Natural gas - production: 1.566 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 43.74 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Current account balance: $-38.78 billion (2005 est.)
Exports: $443.4 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities: machinery and transportation equipment, aircraft, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, iron and steel, beverages
Exports - partners: Germany 14.7%, Spain 9.6%, Italy 8.7%, UK 8.3%, US 7.2%, Belgium 7.1% (2005)
Imports: $473.3 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, vehicles, crude oil, aircraft, plastics, chemicals
Imports - partners: Germany 18.9%, Belgium 10.7%, Italy 8.2%, Spain 7%, Netherlands 6.5%, UK 5.9%, US 5.1% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $74.36 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external: $2.826 trillion (30 June 2005)
Currency (code): 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
Currency code: EUR
Exchange rates: euros per US dollar - 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002), 1.1175 (2001)
Fiscal year: calendar year
 Transportations information 
Airports: 477 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 292

over 3,047 m: 13

2,438 to 3,047 m: 28

1,524 to 2,437 m: 96

914 to 1,523 m: 81

under 914 m: 74 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 185

1,524 to 2,437 m: 4

914 to 1,523 m: 73

under 914 m: 108 (2006)
Heliports: 3 (2006)
Pipelines: gas 14,588 km; oil 3,024 km; refined products 4,889 km (2006)
Railways: total: 29,085 km

standard gauge: 28,918 km 1.435-m gauge (14,481 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 167 km 1.000-m gauge (2005)
Roadways: total: 891,290 km

paved: 891,290 km (including 10,390 km of expressways) (2003)
Waterways: 8,500 km (1,686 km accessible to craft of 3,000 metric tons) (2000)
Merchant marine: total: 61 ships (1000 GRT or over) 875,777 GRT/1,318,605 DWT

by type: cargo 1, chemical tanker 3, container 5, liquefied gas 6, passenger 3, passenger/cargo 32, petroleum tanker 10, roll on/roll off 1

foreign-owned: 13 (Denmark 1, Hong Kong 1, Italy 2, Monaco 1, Norway 1, NZ 1, Singapore 2, Sweden 2, Switzerland 2)

registered in other countries: 154 (Antigua and Barbuda 1, Australia 3, Bahamas 37, Bermuda 1, Cameroon 1, French Polynesia 1, French Southern and Antarctic Lands 36, Gibraltar 1, Indonesia 1, Isle of Man 2, Italy 1, South Korea 12, Liberia 3, Luxembourg 14, Malta 6, Mexico 1, Morocco 1, Panama 15, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 8, UK 4, Wallis and Futuna 5) (2006)
Ports and terminals: Bordeaux, Calais, Dunkerque, La Pallice, Le Havre, Marseille, Nantes, Paris, Rouen, Strasbourg
 Military information 
Military branches: Army (includes marines, Foreign Legion, light aviation), Navy (includes naval air), Air Force (includes air defense), National Gendarmerie
Military service age and obligation: 17 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription ended in the 1990s; women serve in non-combat military posts (2001)
Manpower available for military service: males age 17-49: 13,676,509

females age 17-49: 13,504,539 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 17-49: 11,262,661

females age 17-49: 11,079,472 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually: males age 18-49: 389,204

females age 17-49: 372,719 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $45 billion FY06 (2005)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 2.6% FY06 (2005 est.)
 Information about transnational issues 
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: transshipment point for and consumer of South American cocaine, Southwest Asian heroin, and European synthetics

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