France (GPS: 46 00 N, 2 00 E) located in metropolitan France: Western Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel, between Belgium and Spain, southeast of the UK; bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Italy and Spain. French Guiana: Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Brazil and Suriname. Guadeloupe: the Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Puerto Rico. Martinique: the Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago. Mayotte: Southern Indian Ocean, an island in the Mozambique Channel, about halfway between northern Madagascar and northern Mozambique. Reunion: Southern Africa, an island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar. The country’s area measurements are total: 643,801 sq km; land: 640,427 sq km; 549,970 sq km, water: 3,374 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly more than four times the size of Georgia, slightly less than Texas’s size. The total irrigated land is 26,000 sq km (2012).
One of the important features of France: Largest West European nation. Most major French rivers – the Meuse, Seine, Loire, Charente, Dordogne, and Garonne – flow northward or westward into the Atlantic Ocean. Only the Rhone flows southward into the Mediterranean Sea.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Paris’s GPS coordinates are 48 52 N 2 20 E. Paris’s local time is 6 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+1, note; Daylight saving time: +1hr begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October. Note: applies to metropolitan France only, not to its overseas department’s collectives.
France today is one of the world’s most modern countries and is a leader among European nations. It plays an influential global role as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, NATO, the G-7, the G-20, the EU, and other multilateral organizations. France rejoined NATO’s integrated military command structure in 2009, reversing DE GAULLE’s 1966 decision to withdraw French forces from NATO. Since 1958, it has constructed a hybrid presidential-parliamentary governing system resistant to the instabilities experienced in earlier, more purely parliamentary administrations. In recent decades, its reconciliation and cooperation with Germany have proved central to Europe’s economic integration, including introducing a common currency, the euro, in January 1999. In the early 21st century, five French overseas entities – French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Reunion – became French regions and made France proper.
France’s names conventional long form: the French Republic, conventional short form: France, local long form: Republique Francaise, local short form: France, etymology: name derives from the Latin “Francia” meaning “Land of the Franks”; the Franks were a group of Germanic tribes located along the middle and lower Rhine River in the 3rd century A.D. who merged with Gallic-Roman populations in succeeding centuries and to whom they passed on their name. The name derives from the Latin “Francia,” meaning “Land of the Franks”; The Franks were a group of Germanic tribes located along the middle and lower Rhine River in the 3rd century A.D. who merged with Gallic-Roman populations in succeeding centuries and to whom they passed on their Name.
France’s terrain is typically metropolitan France: mostly flat plains or gently rolling hills in north and west; the remainder is mountainous, especially the Pyrenees in the south, the Alps in east french Guiana: low-lying coastal plains rising to hills and small mountainsGuadeloupe: Basse-Terre is volcanic in origin with interior mountains; Grande-Terre is low limestone formation; most of the seven other islands are volcanic in originMartinique: mountainous with indented coastline; dormant volcanoMayotte: generally undulating, with deep ravines and ancient volcanic peaksReunion: mostly rugged and mountainous; fertile lowlands along the coast. The country’s mean elevation: 375 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: Rhone River delta -2 m, highest point: Mont Blanc 4,807 m.
The general climate in the country; metropolitan France: 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. French Guiana: tropical: hot, humid: little seasonal temperature variation. Guadeloupe and Martinique: subtropical tempered by trade winds: moderately high humidity: rainy season (June to October): vulnerable to devastating cyclones (hurricanes) every eight years on average. Mayotte: tropical: marine: hot, humid, rainy season during northeastern monsoon (November to May): the dry season is cooler (May to November). Reunion: tropical, but temperature moderates with elevation: cool and dry (May to November), hot and rainy (November to April).
The total number of border countries is 8, Andorra 55 km, Belgium 556 km, Germany 418 km, Italy 476 km, Luxembourg 69 km, Monaco 6 km, Spain 646 km, Switzerland 525 km. French Guiana; total: 1,205 km. Border countries total; 2; Brazil 649 km, Suriname 556 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. France’s coastline is total: 4,853 km; metropolitan France: 3,427 km, while its marital claims are: territorial sea: 12 nautical miles, contiguous zone: 24 nautical miles, exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles (does not apply to the Mediterranean Sea) continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation. Waterways: metropolitan France: 8,501 km (1,621 km navigable by craft up to 3,000 metric tons) (2010). Land use: agricultural land: 52.7%; arable land 33.4%; permanent crops 1.8%; permanent pasture 17.5%; forest: 29.2%; other: 18.1% (2011 estimate).
The population in France 67,364,357 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 79.5% of total population (2015), major urban area’s population: PARIS (capital) 10.843 million; Lyon 1.609 million; Marseille-Aix-en-Provence 1.605 million; Lille 1.027 million; Nice-Cannes 967,000; Toulouse 938,000 (2015), while France has much of the population is concentrated in the north and southeast; although there are many urban agglomerations throughout the country, Paris is by far the largest city, with Lyon ranked a distant second.
Their spoken languages are French (official language) 100%, rapidly declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish) overseas departments: French, Creole patois, Mahorian (a Swahili dialect). Main religions in France are Christian (overwhelmingly Roman Catholic) 63-66%, Muslim 7-9%, Buddhist 0.5-0.75%, Jewish 0.5-0.75%, other 0.5-1.0%, none 23-28%. Note: France maintains a tradition of secularism and has not officially collected data on religious affiliation since the 1872 national census, which complicates assessments of France’s religious composition; an 1872 law prohibiting state authorities from collecting data on individuals’ ethnicity or religious beliefs was reaffirmed by a 1978 law emphasizing the prohibition of the collection or exploitation of personal data revealing an individual’s race, ethnicity, or political, philosophical, or religious opinions; a 1905 law codified France’s separation of church and state (2015 estimate).
The nation uses civil law, review of administrative but not legislative acts. It is a(n) semi-presidential republic, National holiday(s) Fete de la Federation, 14 July (1790) abolishment of a constitutional monarchy; other names for the holiday are Fete Nationale (National Holiday) and quatorze Juillet (14th of July).
Economic overview for the country: The French economy is diversified across all sectors. The government has partially or fully privatized many large companies, including Air France, France Telecom, Renault, and Thales. However, the government maintains a strong presence in some sectors, particularly power, public transport, and defense industries. France is the most visited country in the world, with 89 million foreign tourists in 2017. France’s leaders remain committed to a capitalism in which they maintain social equity using laws, tax policies, and social spending that mitigate economic inequality. France’s real GDP grew by 1.9% in 2017, up from 1.2% the year before.
The unemployment rate (including overseas territories) increased from 7.8% in 2008 to 10.2% in 2015, before falling to 9.0% in 2017. Youth unemployment in metropolitan France decreased from 24.6% in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 20.6% in 2017. France’s public finances have historically been strained by high spending and low growth. In 2017, the budget deficit improved to 2.7% of GDP, bringing it in compliance with the EU-mandated 3% deficit target. Meanwhile, France’s public debt rose from 89.5% of GDP in 2012 to 97% in 2017. Since entering office in May 2017, President Emmanuel MACRON launched a series of economic reforms to improve competitiveness and boost economic growth.
President MACRON campaigned on reforming France’s labor code. In late 2017 implemented a range of reforms to increase flexibility in the labor market by making it easier for firms to hire and fire and simplify negotiations between employers and employees. In addition to labor reforms, President MACRON’s 2018 budget cuts public spending, taxes, and social security contributions to spur private investment and increase purchasing power. The government plans to gradually reduce the corporate tax rate for businesses from 33.3% to 25% by 2022.
Natural resources of France: metropolitan France: coal, iron ore, bauxite, zinc, uranium, antimony, arsenic, potash, feldspar, fluorspar, gypsum, timber, arable land, fish French Guiana: gold deposits, petroleum, kaolin, niobium, tantalum, clay.
Main export partners for France, Europe are Germany 15.9%, Spain 7.3%, US 7.2%, Italy 7.1%, UK 7.1%, Belgium 6.8% (2015) for machinery and transportation equipment, aircraft, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, iron and steel, beverages, while the main import partners for the country are: Germany 19.5%, Belgium 10.7%, Italy 7.7%, Netherlands 7.5%, Spain 6.8%, US 5.5%, China 5.4%, UK 4.3% (2015) for machinery and equipment, vehicles, crude oil, aircraft, plastics, chemicals.
When you visit this country in Europe, consider the natural hazards in France: Metropolitan France: flooding, avalanches, midwinter windstorms, drought, forest fires in the south near the Mediterranean overseas departments: hurricanes (cyclones), flooding, volcanic activity (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion), while infectious diseases are N/A. Also, note that France faces the following environmental issues: Some forest damage from acid rain, Air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions, water pollution from urban wastes, agricultural runoff.