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Population - Local time - Languages - Religion - Political context - Climate - Tourism - Food


Total population (millions): 60
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Urban population: 76%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Average annual population growth: 0.4%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Surface area (km²) : 551,5

Main Cities Population
Paris 9 644 507
Marseille 1 349 772
Lyon 1 348 832
Lille 1 000 900
Nice 888 784
Toulouse 761 090
Bordeaux 753 931

Local time

It is  %T:%M %A  in Paris (GMT+1 in winter, GMT+2 in summer).
Summer time from March to October

Official language: French
French is the main business language, English is a little bit spoken depending on the business sectors.

Free translation tools

The European Union Dictionary (12 languages avalaible)

Babel Fish
Free French-English-French translation of texts and web pages

Grand dictionnaire terminologique
Free French-Engish-French dictionary with 3 billion terms

Religious practises : Catholics 89.8%
Protestants 1.9%
Jews 1.1%
Muslims 0.9%
No religion 6.9%

Political context

France is a unitary Republic with a limited degree of decentralization. The French Republic is based on the parliamentary democracy where the President enjoys immense powers.
The President of the country is elected through a direct voting system for a five-year term. The President holds the executive powers. He appoints the Prime Minister, presides over the Council of Ministers, commands the armed forces and signs on the treaties.
The legislature in France is bicameral. The parliament consists of two chambers: National Assembly (the lower house) and Senate (the upper house). The members of the National Assembly and the Senate are elected through general voting for a period of 5 and 6 years respectively. In case of any disagreement between the two houses, the vote of the National Assembly is supreme. The agenda of the parliament is mainly decided by the government.
The Judiciary is independent. The French laws originate from different sources: constitution, laws voted by the parliament, decrees and ministerial orders, international agreements and treaties ratified by France, etc. France being a member of the European Union, the national law in the country needs to comply with the conditions of the Community legislation. The judicial language in the country is French; but having an interpreter is always possible.
The country is ruled by law and foreign nationals in France enjoy equal treatment from the judiciary, which even includes the commercial disputes. The corruption is limited; however a few large companies can exert some influence on the political decisions.

Major political parties

The Right wing parties in France consist of: the UMP (Union for a Popular Movement) which is the party in majority right now, the UDF (Union for French Democracy) positioned more at the centre and the NF (National Front) seen as the extreme Right wing party.
The Left wing parties together consist of: the PS (Socialist Party), the Verts (Ecologist party), the PCF (French Communist Party) and various extreme Left parties.

Major political leaders

President: Nicolas Sarkozy (since May 2007) - UMP
Prime Minister: François Fillon (since May 2007) - UMP

Next political election dates

Presidential election: April 2012
Parliamentary election: June 2007
Senatorial election: September 2008






Number of visitors in France 2004 2005 2006 World rank
Number of visitors (1000) 75,121 75,908 79,083 2
Source : World Tourisme Organization, data available in November 2005


Tourist sites
-Paris: The Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, The Notre Dame Cathedral , The Arc de Triomphe.

For more information about tourism in France , check out the following web site(s) :
Tourism Board
Tourism Board


Traditional dishes
French are reputed for their very fine and varied cuisine, enriched by the contributions of the very different regional culinary specialties (Provence, Alsace, Aquitaine, etc.)
Among the most famous French specialties, we can list:
The leg of lamb
The beef bourguignon
The bow of Lyons
The blanquette of veal
Oysters and seafood
The tripou
The foie gras
The raclette, tartiflette, melted Savoyard etc.
The cassoulet
The sauerkraut
The "Pot au feu" (kind of stew)
Cakes: crêpes (pancakes), madeleines, charlottes in seasonal fruits etc.
Wines and champagnes are famous worldwide.

Last modified on December 2006

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