Fact File: France

Fact File: France
Eiffel tower, Paris
ET staff writer
ET staff writer
01 June, 2000 1 min read

Area: 210,000 square miles. The largest nation in West Europe, Metropolitan France includes the island of Corsica.

Neighbouring countries: Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Andorra and Spain.

Climate: Generally cool winters and mild summers; but mild winters and hot summers along the Mediterranean. An occasional strong, cold, northerly wind is known as the mistral.

Terrain: Mainly flat plains or gently rolling hills, with the Pyrenees mountains in the south and Alps in the east. There is a central plateau called the Massif Central.

Population: 60 million. Life expectancy: 79 years.

Ethnic groups: A variety of indigenous (Celtic and Latin) and immigrant (both legal and illegal) populations. Immigrants include European, North African and Indo-Chinese peoples.

Languages: French 100%. Also regional dialects and languages – Provençal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque and Flemish.

Capital: Paris (11 million). Other cities:Lyons (1.7 million), Marseilles (1.5 million).

Economy: France has a growing services sector and a diversified industrial base, as well as substantial mineral and agricultural resources. Fertile land, subsidies and modern technology have combined to make France practically self-sufficient in agriculture. Industry generates more than 80% of export earnings.

Religion: Roman Catholic 70%, Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 8%, non-religious/other 19%.

Protestant denominations: Over 100 denominations, including various Reformed and Protestant, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Baptist and Brethren churches; also independent Evangelical churches. About one third (200,000) of Protestants profess to be Evangelical.

ET staff writer
Articles View All

Join the discussion

Read community guidelines
Let the news come to you. Sign up for free emails.