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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about the country. For other uses, see France (disambiguation).

French Republic
République française (French)

Flag National Emblem


Motto: Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité

(Liberty, Equality, Fraternity)

Anthem: La Marseillaise

Location of Metropolitan France (dark green)

– on the European continent (green & dark grey)

– in the European Union (green) — [Legend]
Territory of the French Republic in the world
(excl. Antarctica where sovereignty is suspended)

Capital Paris
(and largest city) 48°51.4′N 2°21.05′E

Official language(s) French

Regional languages [show]

(both official
and not official)

Ethnic groups ~85% French (included ~15% people with at

least one ancestor from
other Europeancountries),
~15% other
(Arab, Berber,Black, Asian, Multiracial...)

Demonym French

Government Unitary semi-presidentialrepublic

- President Nicolas Sarkozy (UMP)

- Prime Minister François Fillon (UMP)

Legislature Parliament

- Upper House Senate

- Lower House National Assembly

- Traditional date 496 (baptism of Clovis)

- Western Francia 10 August 843 (Treaty of Verdun)

- Current constitution 5 October 1958 (5th Republic)

EU accession 25 March 1957

- Total[3] 674,843 km2 (43rd)
260,558 sq mi
- Metropolitan France

- IGN[4] 551,695 km2 (47th)

213,010 sq mi
- Cadastre 543,965 km2 (47th)
210,026 sq mi

(1 January 2010 estimate)

- Total[3] 65,447,374[7] (20th)

- Metropolitan France 62,793,432[6] (22nd)
- Density[8] 115/km2 (89th)
299/sq mi

GDP (PPP) 2009 estimate

- Total $2.108 trillion[9]

- Per capita $33,678[9]

GDP (nominal) 2009 estimate

- Total $2.676 trillion[9]
- Per capita $42,747[9]

Gini (2008) 32.7[10]

HDI (2007) ▲ 0.961[11] (very high) (8th)

Euro,[12] CFP Franc[13]


Time zone CET[8] (UTC+1)

- Summer (DST) CEST[8] (UTC+2)

Drives on the right

ISO 3166 code FR

Internet TLD .fr[14]

Calling code 331

The overseas regions and collectivities form part of theFrench telephone numbering

plan, but have their own country calling

codes: Guadeloupe +590; Martinique +596; French

Guiana +594, Réunion and Mayotte +262; Saint Pierre et Miquelon +508. The

overseas territories are not part of the French telephone numbering plan; their

country calling codes are: New Caledonia +687, French Polynesia +689; Wallis and

Futuna +681
Spoken mainly in overseas territories

France ( i
/ˈfræns/ franss or /ˈfrɑːns/ frahnss; French pronunciation (help·info): [f ɑs]), officially the French
Republic (French: République française, pronounced: [ epyblik f ɑsɛz]), is astate in Western Europe with

several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific,
and Atlantic oceans.[15] Metropolitan France extends from theMediterranean Sea to the English Channel and
the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is often referred to as L’Hexagone ("The Hexagon")
because of the geometric shape of its territory. It is bordered (clockwise starting from the northeast)
by Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Monaco; with Spain and Andorra to the south. France is
linked to the United Kingdom by the Channel Tunnel, which passes underneath the English Channel.

France is a founding member state of the European Union and is the largest one by area.[16] France has been a major
power for several centuries with strong cultural, economic, military and political influence in Europe and in the
world. During the 17th and 18th centuries, France colonised great parts of North America; during the 19th and early
20th centuries, France built thesecond largest empire of the time, including large portions
of North, West and Central Africa, Southeast Asia, and many Pacific islands.

France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its main ideals expressed in the Declaration of the Rights of Man
and of the Citizen. France is one of the most developed countries[17] and possesses the fifth largest economy
by nominal GDP[18] and seventh largest economy by purchasing power parity.[19] France enjoys a high standard of
living as well as a high public education level, and has also one of the world's highest life expectancies.[20] It is the
most visited country in the world, receiving 82 million foreign tourists annually. [21] France is a founding member of
the United Nations, and a member of the Francophonie, the G8, G20, NATO, OECD, WTO, and the Latin Union. It
is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and possesses the third largest nuclear weapons
stockpile in the world [22] with ~300 active warheads as of May 25 2010. In 2009, France was listed 8th on
the Human Development Index and 24th on the Corruption Perception Index.


 1 Etymology

 2 History

o 2.1 Rome to Revolution

o 2.2 Monarchy to Republic

 3 Geography

 4 Environment

 5 Administrative divisions
o 5.1 Metropolitan regions and departments

o 5.2 Overseas regions/departments, collectivities, and territories

 6 Government

 7 Law

 8 Foreign relations

o 8.1 Development aid

 9 Military

 10 Transport

 11 Economy

o 11.1 Agriculture and agrobusiness

o 11.2 Labour market

o 11.3 Tourism

 12 Demographics

o 12.1 Population

o 12.2 Religion

o 12.3 Public health

o 12.4 Education

o 12.5 Media

o 12.6 Society and reputation

o 12.7 Gastronomy

o 12.8 Sports

o 12.9 Conventions and notations

 13 Culture and arts

o 13.1 Painting

o 13.2 Architecture

o 13.3 Literature

o 13.4 Music

o 13.5 Cinema

 14 See also

 15 Notes and references

 16 External links

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