Statistical information France 1996France

Map of France | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
Military | Transportation | Transnational Issues | Year:  | More stats

France in the World
France in the World

World Nomads

France - Introduction 1996
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Background: Although ultimately a victor in World Wars I and II, France lost many men, much wealth, its extensive empire, and its rank as a dominant nation-state. France has struggled since 1958_arguably with success_to construct a presidential democracy resistant to the severe instabilities inherent in the parliamentary democracy of early 20th century France. In recent years, its reconciliation and cooperation with Germany have proved central to the economic integration of Europe.

France - Geography 1996
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Location: Western Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay and English Channel, between Belgium and Spain southeast of the U.K.; bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Italy and Spain

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 547,030 km²
Land: 545,630 km²
Comparative: slightly more than twice the size of Colorado
Comparative note: Includes Corsica and the rest of metropolitan France, but excludes the overseas administrative divisions

Land boundaries: Total 2,892.4 km, Andorra 60 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 (mainland 2,783 km, Corsica 644 km)

Maritime claims
Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: Generally cool winters and mild summers, but mild winters and hot summers along the Mediterranean

Terrain: Mostly flat plains or gently rolling hills in north and west; remainder is mountainous, especially Pyrenees in south, Alps in east

Extremes lowest point: Rhone River delta -2 m
Extremes highest point: Mont Blanc 4,807 m

Natural resources:
Iron ore

Land use

Land use
Arable land: 32%
Permanent crops: 2%
Permanent pastures: 23%
Forests and woodland: 27%
Other: 16%

Irrigated land: 11,600 km² (1989 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


France - People 1996
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58,317,450 (July 1996 est.)
58,109,160 (July 1995 est.)

Growth rate:
0.34% (1996 est.)
0.46% (1995 est.)

Noun: Frenchman(men), Frenchwoman(women)
Adjective: French

Ethnic groups: Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Indochinese, Basque minorities

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

Roman Catholic 90%
Protestant 2%
Jewish 1%
Muslim (North African workers) 1%
Unaffiliated 6%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years:
19.04% (male 5,688,505; female 5,417,355) (July 1996 est.)
19% (male 5,700,143; female 5,438,447) (July 1995 est.)

15-64 years:
65.62% (male 19,147,369; female 19,120,935) (July 1996 est.)
65% (male 19,001,536; female 18,889,771) (July 1995 est.)

65 years and over:
15.34% (male 3,589,100; female 5,354,186) (July 1996 est.)
16% (male 3,645,987; female 5,433,276) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate:
0.34% (1996 est.)
0.46% (1995 est.)

Birth rate:
10.82 births/1000 population (1996 est.)
13 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate:
9.27 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.)
9.29 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate:
1.88 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)
0.86 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: some forest damage from acid rain; air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; water pollution from urban wastes, agricultural runoff
Current issues Natural hazards: flooding
International agreements: party to_Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands, Whaling; signed, but not ratified_Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Desertification, Law of the Sea
International agreements note: Largest West European nation; occasional warm tropical wind known as mistral

Air pollutants

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: 0.67 male(s)/female
All ages:
0.95 male(s)/female (1996 est.) Infant Mortality Rate:5.3 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)
6.5 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 77.93 years (1996 est.), 78.37 years (1995 est.)
Male: 73.98 years (1996 est.), 74.5 years (1995 est.)
Female: 82.11 years (1996 est.), 82.44 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.49 children born/woman (1996 est.)
1.8 children born/woman (1995 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over that can read and write (1991 est.)
Total population: 99%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

France - Government 1996
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Country name
Conventional long form: French Republic
Conventional short form: France
Local long form: Republique Francaise
Local short form: La France

Government type: Republic

Capital: Paris

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
The 22 regions are subdivided into 96 departments; see separate entries for the overseas departments (French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Réunion) and the territorial collectivities (Mayotte, Saint Pierre and Miquelon) 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
The U.S. does not recognize claims to Antarctica

Dependent areas

Independence: 486 (unified by Clovis)

National holiday: National Day, Taking of the Bastille, 14 July (1789)

Constitution: 28 September 1958, amended concerning election of president in 1962, amended to comply with provisions of EU Maastricht Treaty in 1992; amended to tighten immigration laws 1993

Legal system: Civil law system with indigenous concepts; review of administrative but not legislative acts

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Jacques CHIRAC (since 17 May 1995) was elected for a seven-year term by direct universal suffrage; election last held 17 May 1995 (next to be held by May 2002); results_Second Ballot Jacques CHIRAC 52.64%, Lionel JOSPIN 47.36%
Head of government: Prime Minister Alain JUPPE (since 18 May 1995) was appointed by the president
Cabinet: Council of Ministers; appointed by the president on the suggestion of the prime minister

Legislative branch: Bicameral Parliament (Parlement) Senate (Senat):Elections last held 24 September 1995 (next to be held September 1998; nine-year term, elected by thirds every three years; results_percent of vote by party NA; seats_(321 total; 296 metropolitan France, 13 for overseas departments and territories, and 12 for French nationals abroad) RPR 91, UDF 132, PS 75, PCF 16, other 7 National Assembly (Assemblee Nationale):Elections last held 21 and 28 March 1993 (next to be held NA 1998; results_percent of vote by party NA; seats_(577 total) RPR 247, UDF 213, PS 67, PCF 24, independents 26; note_seating as of 24 September 1995:RPR 247, UDF 208, PS 71, PCF 24, independents 27

Judicial branch: Constitutional Court (Cour Constitutionnelle)

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ACCT, AfDB, AG (observer), AsDB, Australia Group, BDEAC, BIS, CCC, CDB (non-regional), CE, CERN, EBRD, ECA (associate), ECE, ECLAC, EIB, ESA, ESCAP, EU, FAO, FZ, G- 5, G- 7, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, MTCR, NACC, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OSCE, PCA, SPC, UN, UN Security Council, UNAVEM III, UNCRO, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNIKOM, UNITAR, UNMIH, UNOMIG, UNPREDEP, UNPROFOR, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WEU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of France: Three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), white, and red; known as the French Tricouleur (Tricolor; the design and colors are similar to a number of other flags, including those of Belgium, Chad, Ireland, Côte d'Ivoire, and Luxembourg; the official flag for all French dependent areas

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

France - Economy 1996
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Economy overview: One of the four West European trillion-dollar economies, the French economy features considerable_albeit diminishing_state control over its capitalistic market system. In running important industrial segments (railways, airlines, electricity, telecommunications), administrating an exceptionally generous social welfare system, and staffing an enormous bureaucracy, the state spends about 55% of GDP. France has substantial agricultural resources and a diversified modern industrial sector. Large tracts of fertile land, the application of modern technology, and subsidies have combined to make it the leading agricultural producer in Western Europe. Largely self-sufficient in agricultural products, France is a major exporter of wheat and dairy products. The industrial sector generates about one-quarter of GDP, and the growing services sector has become crucial to the economy. Following stagnation and recession in 1991-93, French GDP expanded 2.4% in 1994 and in 1995. Persistently high unemployment still poses a major problem for the government, as will the need to cut back on welfare benefits and bureaucratic budgets. Paris remains committed to maintaining the franc-deutsche mark parity, which has kept French interest rates high at the expense of jobs. Although the pace of economic and financial integration within the European Union has slowed down, integration will remain a major force in France, shaping the fortunes of the various economic sectors over the next few years.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate:
2.8% (1999 est.)
2.9% (1998 est.)
2.4% (1997)
1.5% (1996)
2.1% (1985-1995)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: Accounts for 4% of GDP (including fishing and forestry; one of the world's top five wheat producers; other principal products_beef, dairy products, cereals, sugar beets, potatoes, wine grapes; self-sufficient for most temperate-zone foods; shortages include fats and oils and tropical produce, but overall net exporter of farm products; fish catch of 850,000 metric tons ranks among world's top 20 countries and is all used domestically

Food processing

Industrial production growth rate: Growth rate 2.6% (1994 est.)

Labor force: 24.17 million
By occupation Services: 61.5%
By occupation Industry: 31.3%
By occupation Agriculture: 7.2% (1987)
Labor force

Unemployment rate:
12.4% (1997)
12.4% (1996)
11.7% (1995)
12.3% (1994)
11.7% (1993)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $220.5 billion
Expenditures: $249.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $47 billion (1993 budget)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: Calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: total value. $235.5 billion (f.o.b., 1994)
Machinery and transportation equipment
Agricultural products
Iron and steel products
Textiles and clothing

Germany 17.1%
Italy 9.3%
Spain 7.1%
Belgium-Luxembourg 8.7%
U.K. 9.9%
Netherlands 4.6%
U.S. 7.0%
Japan 2.0%
Russia 0.5% (1994 est.)

Imports: total value:$229.3 billion (c.i.f., 1994)
Crude oil
Machinery and equipment
Agricultural products
Iron and steel products

Germany 17.8%
Italy 10.1%
U.S. 8.5%
Netherlands 4.9%
Spain 8.8%
Belgium-Luxembourg 9.1%
U.K. 7.9%
Japan 3.7%
Russia 1.2% (1994 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $300 billion (1993 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: French francs (F) per US$1_5.0056 (January 1996), 4.9915 (1995), 5.5520 (1994), 5.6632 (1993), 5.2938 (1992), 5.6421 (1991), 5.4453 (1990)

France - Energy 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 447 billion kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 6,149 kWh (1993)

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

France - Communication 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 35 million telephones (1987 est.); highly developed; extensive cable and microwave radio relay networks; large-scale introduction of optical-fiber systems; satellite systems for domestic traffic
Local: NA
Intercity: microwave radio relay, optical fiber cable, and domestic satellites
International: 2 INTELSAT earth stations (with total of 5 antennas_2 Indian Ocean and 3 for Atlantic Ocean); HF radio communications with more than 20 countries; INMARSAT service; EUTELSAT TV service

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

France - Military 1996
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $47.7 billion, 2.5% of GDP (1995), $47.1 billion, 3.1% of GDP (1995)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

France - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

With paved runways over 3047 m: 13
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 26
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 3
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 75
With paved runways under 914 m: 179

Airports with paved runways
Over 3047 m: 13
2438 to 3047 m: 26
15-24 to 2437 m: 3
914 to 1523 m: 75
Under 914 m: 179

Airports with unpaved runways

Heliports: :3 (1995 est.)

Pipelines: Crude oil 3,059 km; petroleum products 4,487 km; natural gas 24,746 km



Waterways: 14,932 km; 6,969 km heavily traveled

Merchant marine
Total: 460
Ships by type: bulk 6, cargo 5, chemical tanker 5, container 7, liquefied gas tanker 3, oil tanker 16, passenger 1, roll-on/roll-off cargo 6, short-sea passenger 5, specialized tanker 1
Note: France also maintains a captive register for French-owned ships in the Kerguelen Islands (French Southern and Antarctic Lands) (1995 est.) Airports:

Ports and terminals

France - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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