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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
total: 547,030 sq km
land: 545,630 sq km
water: 1,400 sq km
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
mostly flat plains or gently rolling hills in north and west; remainder is mountainous, especially Pyrenees in south, Alps in east
GDP: $1.816 trillion (2005 est.)
GDP growth rate: 1.4% (2005 est.)
GDP per capita: $29,900 (2005 est.)
Inflation rate: 1.7% (2005 est.)
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
euros per US dollar - 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002), 1.1175 (2001)
Population: 60,876,136 (July 2006 est.)
Growth rate: 0.35% (2006 est.)
Roman Catholic 83%-88%, Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 5%-10%, unaffiliated 4%
French 100%, rapidly declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish)
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
486 (unified by Clovis)
Note: Information on France was mainly sourced from CIA's World Factbook and may represent an American point of view. To learn more about France, please visit one of the links below.
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