France (/ˈfræns/ (help·info) or /ˈfrɑːns/; French pronunciation: [fʁɑ̃s]), officially the French Republic (French: République française, French pronunciation: [ʁepyblik fʁɑ̃sɛz]), is a country in Western Europe. It also includes various departments and territories of France overseas.
République française (French)
|Motto: "Liberté, égalité, fraternité"|
"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity"
|Anthem: "La Marseillaise"|
and largest city
and national language
|Government||Unitary semi-presidential constitutional republic|
|25 December 496|
|22 September 1792|
|1 January 1958|
|4 October 1958|
|640,679 km2 (247,368 sq mi)|
|551,695 km2 (213,011 sq mi)|
• Metropolitan France (Cadastre)
|543,940.9 km2 (210,016.8 sq mi)|
• Feb 2022 estimate
|104/km2 (270/sq mi) (106th)|
• Metropolitan France, estimate as of June 2020
|116/km2 (300.4/sq mi) (89th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2019 estimate|
|$3.061 trillion (10th)|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2019 estimate|
|$2.707 trillion (7th)|
• Per capita
|Gini (2018)|| 28.5|
|HDI (2018)|| 0.891|
very high · 26th
|Time zone||UTC+1 (Central European Time)|
• Summer (DST)
|UTC+2 (Central European Summer Time[upper-roman 10])|
|Note: various other time zones are observed in overseas France.[upper-roman 9]|
Although France is located in Western European Time/UTC (Z) zone, since 25 February 1940, upon WW2 German occupation, Central European Time/UTC+1 was enforced (without reversal to this day) as standard time, with a +0:50:39 offset (and +1:50:39 during DST) from Paris LMT (UTC+0:09:21).
|Date format||dd/mm/yyyy (AD)|
|Calling code||+33[upper-roman 11]|
|ISO 3166 code||FR|
|Internet TLD||.fr[upper-roman 12]|
Source gives area of metropolitan France as 551,500 km2 (212,900 sq mi) and lists overseas regions separately, whose areas sum to 89,179 km2 (34,432 sq mi). Adding these give the total shown here for the entire French Republic. The CIA reports the total as 643,801 km2 (248,573 sq mi).
Mainland France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is sometimes referred to as L’Hexagone ("The Hexagon") because of the shape of its territory.
France is a unitary semi-presidential republic. The head of state is the President, who is also a politician. The Prime Minister is secondary to the President. This slightly strange system was chosen by General Charles de Gaul in 1970. The main ideals are expressed in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.
Metropolitan France is bordered (clockwise from the North) by Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Andorra, and Spain. The overseas departments and collectives of France share land borders with Brazil and Suriname (bordering French Guiana), and the Netherlands Antilles (bordering Saint Martin). France is linked to the United Kingdom by the Channel Tunnel, which passes under the English Channel.
France is the largest country in the European Union and the second largest in Europe. It has been one of the world's most powerful countries for many centuries. During the 17th and 18th centuries, France colonized much of North America. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, France built one of the largest colonial empires of the time. This included large parts of North, West and Central Africa, Southeast Asia, and many Pacific Islands. France is a developed country and has a large economy.
It is the most visited country in the world, with 82 million foreign visitors every year.
France was one of the first members of the European Union, and has the largest land area of all members. It is also a founding member of the United Nations, and a member of the Francophonie, the G8, NATO, and the Latin Union. It is one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. France has the largest number of nuclear weapons with active warheads, and the largest number of nuclear power plants, in the European Union.
An interesting fact is that the French King Louis XIX only enjoyed 20 minutes of royal fame after his father Charles X abdicated, leaving him to ascend the French throne in July 1830.
Geography and climateEdit
France is in Western Europe. France shares its borders with Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Andorra, and Spain. France has two mountain ranges near its borders: the Alps in the east and the Pyrenees in the south. The climate of southern France is similar to Greece which both have Mediterranean climate. There are many rivers in France, including the Seine and the Loire. In the north and the west of France, there are low hills and river valleys.
In France there are many different climates. The Atlantic has a major effect on the weather in the north and west. This means the temperature is about the same most of the year. It is in the marine west coast climate region. In the east, winters are cold and the weather is good. Summers are hot and stormy. In the south, winters are cool and wet. Summers are hot and dry. The north has a temperate climate similar to that of the United Kingdom and other Northern European countries.
The borders of modern France are about the same as those of ancient Gaul. Celtic Gauls inhabited Ancient Gaul. Julius Caesar conquered Gaul for Rome in the 1st century BC. Eventually, the Gauls adopted Roman speech (Latin, from which the French language evolved) and Roman culture. Christianity first appeared in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. It became firmly established by the fourth and fifth centuries.
In the 4th century AD, the Germanic tribes, principally the Franks invaded the Gauls. This is how the name Francie appeared. The modern name "France" comes from the name of the Capetian Kings of France around Paris. The Franks were the first tribe of Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire to convert to Christianity rather than Arianism. The French called themselves "the most Christian Kingdom of France".
The Carolingian dynasty ruled France until 987, when Hugh Capet became King of France. His descendants, the Direct Capetians, the House of Valois and the House of Bourbon, unified the country with many wars and dynastic inheritance.
The monarchy was the most powerful during the 17th century and the reign of Louis XIV of France. At that time, France had the largest population in Europe. The country had a big influence over European politics, economy, and culture. French became the common language of diplomacy in international affairs. Much of the Enlightenment happened in France. French scientists made big scientific discoveries in the 18th century. France also conquered many overseas possessions in the Americas and Asia.
France had a monarchy until the French Revolution in 1789. King Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette, were executed in 1793. Thousands of other French citizens were killed. Napoleon Bonaparte took control of the Republic in 1799. He later made himself Emperor of the First Empire (1804–1814). His armies conquered most of continental Europe. The metric system was invented by French scientists during the French revolution. That time 3 estates were developed.
After Napoleon's final defeat in 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo, another monarchy arose. Later Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte created the Second Empire in 1852. Louis-Napoléon was removed after the defeat in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870. The Third Republic replaced his regime.
The large French colonial empire in the 19th century included parts of West Africa and Southeast Asia. The culture and politics of these regions were influenced by France. Many ex-colonies officially speak the French language.
The country actively took part in both the First and Second World Wars, with battles taking place on its soil. During the First World War, millions were killed in the trenches including over a million in the Battle of the Somme. The conditions were extremely difficult for the soldiers on the front. The last surviving veteran was Pierre Picault who died on 20 November 2008 at the age of 109.
- Brittany (Bretagne)
- Centre-Val de Loire
- Corsica (Corse)
- Grand Est
- Normandy (Normandie)
- Pays de la Loire
- Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Corsica has a different status than the other 12 metropolitan regions. It is called collectivité territoriale.
France also has five overseas regions:
- French Guiana (in South America)
- Guadeloupe (in the Caribbean)
- Martinique (in the Caribbean)
- Mayotte (in the Indian Ocean)
- Réunion (in the Indian Ocean)
These five overseas regions have the same status as the metropolitan ones. They are like the overseas American states of Alaska and Hawaii.
Then France is divided into 101 departments. The departments are divided into 342 arrondissements. The arrondissements are re-divided into 4,032 cantons. The smallest subdivision is the commune (there are 36,699 communes). On 1 January 2008, INSEE counted 36,781 communes in France. 36,569 of them are in metropolitan France and 212 of them are in overseas France.
The government of France is a semi-presidential system determined by the French Constitution of the French Fifth Republic. The constitution declares the nation to be "an indivisible, secular, democratic, and social Republic". It provides for a separation of powers.
The French armed forces has four branches:
- The Armée de Terre (Army)
- The Marine Nationale (Navy)
- The Armée de l'Air (Air Force)
- The Gendarmerie Nationale (A military force which acts as a National Rural Police)
France has about 359,000 military personnel. France spends 2.6% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on defense. This is the highest in the European Union. France and the UK spend 40% of the EU defence budget. About 10% of France's defence budget is for its nuclear weapons force.
France is a member of the United Nations. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and has veto rights. It is also a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). It hosts the headquarters of the OECD, UNESCO and Interpol. In 1953, the United Nations asked France to choose a coat of arms to represent them internationally. The French emblem is now on their passports.
France was a founding member of the European Union. In the 1960s, France wanted to exclude the United Kingdom from the organisation. It wanted to build its own economic power in continental Europe. France and Germany became closer after World War II. This was to try to become the most influential country in the EU. It limited the influence of the new Eastern European members. France is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). However, under President de Gaulle, it left the joint military command. In the early 1990s, France received criticism for its underground nuclear tests in French Polynesia. France vigorously opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq. France retains strong political and economic influence in its former African colonies. For instance it has supplied economic aid and troops for peace-keeping missions in the Ivory Coast and Chad.
France is a member of the G8 group of leading industrialised countries. France has the eighth-largest economy in the world by Gross domestic product (GDP) (which takes into account how much it costs to live in different countries and inflation rates). France and 11 other European Union members jointly launched the euro on 1 January 1999 and started using it in 2002.
France's economy has nearly 2.9 million registered companies. The government has a considerable influence over railway, electricity, aircraft, and telecommunications firms (as it owns big companies like SNCF and EDF (French electricity)). France has an important aerospace (design of aircraft and spacecraft) industry led by Airbus. It can also launch rockets from French Guiana.
France has invested a lot in nuclear power. This made France the smallest producer of carbon dioxide among the seven most industrialised countries in the world. As a result, 59 nuclear power plants generate most of the electricity produced in the country (78% in 2006, up from only 8% in 1973, 24% in 1980, and 75% in 1990).
France is the leading agricultural producer and exporter in Europe. France exports wheat, poultry, dairy products, beef, and pork. It is also famous for its wine industry. France received 10 billion euros in 2006 from the European Community as subsidies to its farmers.
At one time, the Factory Act of 1833 limited the workday for women and children to 11 hours a day.
On 1 January 2008, it was estimated that 63.8 million people live in France, including in the Overseas Regions of France. 61,875,000 of these live in metropolitan France, the part of the country that is within Europe.
French is the official language of France. It belongs to the Romance language group, which includes Italian and Spanish. Many regional dialects are also used in France. Alsatian, a German dialect, is spoken in Alsace and in parts of Lorraine in eastern France. French was the language of diplomacy and culture in Europe between the 17th and 19th century and is still widely used.
France is a secular country and the constitution guarantees freedom of religion. The population is about 51% Roman Catholic, and 31% of people are agnostics or atheists. 5% are Muslim, 3% say they are Protestant and 1% say they are Jewish. 10% are from other religions or do not have an opinion about religion. There are also Zoroastrian, Unitarian Universalist, Jain and Wiccan communities. Religions founded in France include Raelism.
According to a Poll in 2007:
- 34% of French citizens responded that "they believe there is a God".
- 27% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force".
- 33% answered that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force".
In the 18th and 19th centuries, French literature and poetry reached its best. The 18th century saw writings of authors, essayists and moralists as Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. As for French children's literature in those times, Charles Perrault wrote stories such as "Little Red Riding Hood", "Beauty and the Beast", "Sleeping Beauty" and "Puss in Boots".
Many famous French novels were written in the 19th century by authors such as Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas and Jules Verne. They wrote popular novels like The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte-Cristo, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame and Les Misérables. Other 19th century fiction writers include Emile Zola, Guy de Maupassant, Théophile Gautier and Stendhal.
The Tour de France cycling race in July is one of the best-known sporting events. It is a three-week race of around 3,500 km that covers most of France and ends in the centre of Paris, on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées. Football is another popular sport in France. The French team won the FIFA World Cup in 1998 and 2018. They also won the UEFA European Football Championship in 1984 and 2000. France also hosts the 24 Hours of Le Mans car race. France also hosted the Rugby World Cup in 2007 and finished fourth. France is closely associated with the Modern Olympic Games. At the end of the 19th century, the Baron Pierre de Coubertin suggested having the Olympic Games again. France hosted the Summer Olympics twice, in 1900 and 1924, in Paris. France will host the Summer Olympics in 2024, in Paris. France also hosted the Winter Games three times: in 1924 in Chamonix, in 1968 in Grenoble, and in 1992 in Albertville.
French cuisine has influenced the style of cooking throughout Europe, and its chefs work in restaurants throughout the world.
The roots of modern haute cuisine lie in chefs like La Varenne (1615–1678) and the notable chef of Napoleon, Marie-Antoine Carême (1784–1833). These chefs developed a lighter style of food compared to the food of the Middle Ages. They used fewer spices, and more herbs and creamy ingredients.
Typical ingredients like roux and fish stock, and techniques such as marinading, and dishes such as ragout, were invented. Carême was an expert pâtissier (pastry-maker), and this is still a mark of French cooking. He developed basic sauces, his 'mother sauces'; he had over a hundred sauces in his repertoire, based on the half-dozen mother sauces.
French cuisine was introduced in the 20th century by Georges Auguste Escoffier (1846–1935). He was a genius at organisation. He worked out how to run large restaurants, as in a big hotel or a palace; how the staff should be organised; how the menu was prepared. He had methods for everything. Escoffier's largest contribution was the publication of Le Guide Culinaire in 1903, which established the fundamentals of French cookery. Escoffier managed the restaurants and cuisine at the Savoy Hotel and Carlton Hotel in London, the Hôtel Ritz Paris, and some of the greatest cruise ships.
Escoffier, however, left out much of the culinary character to be found in the regions of France.
Gastro-tourism and the Guide Michelin helped to make people familiar with the rich bourgeois and peasant cuisine of the French countryside in the 20th century. Gascon cuisine has also had great influence over the cuisine in the southwest of France. Many dishes that were once regional have become common all over the country. Cheese and wine are a major part of the cuisine, playing different roles regionally and nationally. In the north of France, people often prefer to use butter to cook. In the south, they prefer olive oil and garlic. In France, each region has its own special dish; choucroute in Alsace, quiche in Lorraine, cassoulet in the Languedoc-Roussillon, and tapenade in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.
France is the number one tourist destination in the world. In 2007, 81.9 million foreign tourists visited France. Spain comes second (58.5 million in 2006) and the United States comes third (51.1 million in 2006). Some of the most famous attractions in Paris, are the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. Another one is Mont Saint Michel, in Normandy.
A European Disneyland is located in a suburb east of Paris. The resort opened in 1992 and is also a popular tourist destination in Europe.
- "Sondage 'Les protestants en France en 2017' (1) : qui sont les protestants ?". Reforme.net (in French). 26 October 2017. Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
- "Table 3: Population by sex, rate of population increase, surface area and density" (PDF). Demographic Yearbook. United Nations Statistics Division. 2012. Archived from the original on 28 April 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
- "France Métropolitaine". INSEE. 2011. Archived from the original on 28 August 2015.
- "Demography – Population at the beginning of the month – France". Insee. 2019. Archived from the original on 25 February 2021. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
- "Demography – Population at the beginning of the month – Metropolitan France". Insee. 2019. Archived from the original on 6 June 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
- "World Economic Outlook Database, October 2019". IMF.org. International Monetary Fund. Archived from the original on 22 May 2020. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
- "Gini coefficient of equivalised disposable income – EU-SILC survey". ec.europa.eu/eurostat. Eurostat. Archived from the original on 20 March 2019. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
- "Human Development Report 2019" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 10 December 2019. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 March 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
- Field listing - GDP (official exchange rate) Archived 4 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine, CIA World Factbook: List of countries by nominal GDP figures.
- "Le tourisme international en France en 2007" (PDF). Direction du Tourisme (French government's tourism agency). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 June 2008. Retrieved 5 June 2008. (in French)
- "Western Europe". Archived from the original on 12 September 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
- "French Geography". Archived from the original on 31 August 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
- "French Rivers". Archived from the original on 27 June 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
- World Travel Guide. "Climates of France". Archived from the original on 5 August 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
- "Practical Information on France – General". French Tourist Office. Archived from the original on 5 August 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2009.
- "EEZ of France". Archived from the original on 30 April 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2010. (in French)
- "Origin of Francia". The Sun Chronicle. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- Discover France. "Caesar Conquered Gaul". discoverfrance.net. Archived from the original on 12 June 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- wff. "France used this pretext to call themselves this". Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- France Balade. "Division of Charlemagne's empire into three parts". Archived from the original on 19 October 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2010. (in French)
- UNCG. "French History - Le Grand Siècle". Archived from the original on 1 March 2009. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- Understand France. "French colonies History". Archived from the original on 22 September 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- Lucidcafé. "Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette's executions". Archived from the original on 9 June 2007. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- Napoleonguide.com. "Campaigns of Napoleon Bonaparte". Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- Intellego. "Regimes of France". Archived from the original on 24 April 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2010. (in French)
- alsintl.com. "French language in Colonies". Archived from the original on 1 September 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- firstworldwar.com. "Battle of the Somme". Archived from the original on 16 March 2015. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- Ders Des Ders Report - France Archived 17 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine (in French)
- (in French) "Code officiel géographique – Présentation". INSEE. Archived from the original on 4 April 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2008.
- (in French) "Code des collectivités d'outre-mer (COM)". INSEE. Archived from the original on 4 April 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2008.
- "France's political system". Archived from the original on 8 December 2009. Retrieved 12 September 2009.
- Guy Carcassonne. "Separation of Powers" (PDF). unc.edu. Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 June 2010. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
- "Number of military personnel in France, page 32" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 December 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2008.
- "Number of military personnel in France, page 112" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 17 June 2009. Retrieved 26 November 2008.
- "Members of the UN". United Nations. Archived from the original on 12 April 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
- "Members of the Security council". United Nations. Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
- "History of the EU". European Union. Archived from the original on 21 February 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
- "NATO - Member countries". Nato.int. 30 July 2010. Archived from the original on 24 September 2011. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- "Opposition of the war in Iraq". BBC. Archived from the original on 5 October 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
- "CIA World Factbook GDP PPP data update of 2008". US Government. 20 November 2008. Archived from the original on 27 May 2020. Retrieved 26 November 2008.
- "Euro launched in 12 countries". Archived from the original on 27 September 2020. Retrieved 12 September 2009.
- "Number of companies in France". Archived from the original on 17 December 2008. Retrieved 26 November 2008.
- "Shareholding policy". Électricité de France. 31 December 2007. Archived from the original on 9 July 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2009.
- (in French) CNES. "France" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 June 2007. Retrieved 30 May 2007.
- "Rocket launch site in Kourou". Archived from the original on 4 June 2009. Retrieved 12 September 2009.
- "France, smallest producer of CO2". Archived from the original on 27 June 2009. Retrieved 12 September 2009.
- DGEMP / Observatoire de l'énergie (April 2007). "Électricité en France: les principaux résultats en 2006". Archived from the original on 3 June 2007. Retrieved 23 May 2007.
- "France is the leading agricultural producer and exporter in Europe". Archived from the original on 13 May 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2009.
- "Q&A: Common Agricultural Policy". BBC News. 20 November 2008. Archived from the original on 5 February 2009. Retrieved 6 February 2009.
- Kew; Richmond; Surrey. "1833 Factory Act". The National Archives. Archived from the original on 10 April 2014. Retrieved 14 March 2010.
- "Demographic report 2007 - The birth rate remains very high". Government of France - INSEE. Archived from the original on 21 May 2021. Retrieved 15 January 2008.
- "Background Note: France". Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Electronic Information and Publications Office > Background Notes - Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. U.S. State Department. August 2008. Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2008.
- "France an important language of diplomacy". Archived from the original on 23 April 2008.
- "Constitution of 1958". Assemblée Nationale. Archived from the original on 6 November 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2010. (in French)
- Catholic World News (2003). "France is no longer Catholic, survey shows". Archived from the original on 1 May 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2007.
- (in Romanian) Franţa nu mai e o ţară catolică Archived 29 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Cotidianul 11 January 2007
- "Eurobarometer on Social Values, Science and technology 2005 - page 11" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 August 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2007.
- "French literature started in the Middle Ages". Archived from the original on 19 April 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2009.
- 17eme siecle. "French authors of the 17th century". Archived from the original on 26 July 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
- "Perrault's tales". PerraultFairyTales.com. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2010.
- Boorsch, Jean (1996). "French Literature". Discoverfrance.net. p. 5. Archived from the original on 19 April 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- Damian Papworth. "Famous tour de France". Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
- Dautaj, Jacqueline; Delp, Valorie; Finley, Amy. "Popular French Sports". LoveToKnow Corp. Archived from the original on 28 May 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- "Diversity of French Cuisine". Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 1 August 2010.(in French)
- "French Cheeses". Archived from the original on 10 October 2017. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
- "French Cheese". Archived from the original on 27 August 2010. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
- "The world's best cuisines". Archived from the original on 26 July 2010. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
- "Butter and oil in French Cuisine". Archived from the original on 25 April 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
- Bon appétit: Your meal is certified by the U.N. Archived 20 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine Dallas Morning News
- "Celebrations, healing techniques, crafts and culinary arts added to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage". Archived from the original on 27 January 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
- "Le tourisme international en France en 2007" (PDF). Direction du Tourisme (French government's tourism agency). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 June 2008. Retrieved 5 June 2008. (in French)
- "Musées et Monuments historiques". Archived from the original on 24 December 2007. Retrieved 10 November 2008.
- For information about regional languages, see Languages of France.
- Established the Kingdom of the West Franks (the Kingdom of France) from the Carolingian Empire of Francia.
- European Union since 1993.
- Established the Fifth Republic
- French National Geographic Institute data, which includes bodies of water.
- French Land Register data, which exclude lakes, ponds and glaciers larger than 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) as well as the estuaries of rivers.
- Whole of the French Republic except the overseas territories in the Pacific Ocean.
- French overseas territories in the Pacific Ocean only.
- Time zones across the French Republic span from UTC-10 (French Polynesia) to UTC+12 (Wallis and Futuna).
- Daylight saving time is observed in metropolitan France and Saint Pierre and Miquelon only.
- The overseas regions and collectivities form part of the French telephone numbering plan, but have their own country calling codes: Guadeloupe +590; Martinique +596; French Guiana +594, Réunion and Mayotte +262; Saint Pierre and 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.
- In addition to .fr, several other Internet TLDs are used in French overseas départements and territories: .re, .mq, .gp, .tf, .nc, .pf, .wf, .pm, .gf and .yt. France also uses .eu, shared with other members of the European Union. The .cat domain is used in Catalan-speaking territories.
- Official website
- About-France.com. "Clear but detailed information about France".
- "CIA World Factbook – France". Central Intelligence Agency. Archived from the original on 24 December 2018. Retrieved 17 February 2008.
- Lescommunes.com. "Cities and Towns in France". Retrieved 8 August 2010.