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Geography >> Europe >> France History and Timeline


Capital: Paris

Population: 65,129,728

The Geography of France

Borders: Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Andorra, Monaco, maritime border with the United Kingdom, Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, English Channel

Country of France Map
Total Size: 547,030 square km

Size Comparison: slightly less than twice the size of Colorado

Geographical Coordinates: 46 00 N, 2 00 E

World Region or Continent: Europe

General Terrain: mostly flat plains or gently rolling hills in north and west; remainder is mountainous, especially Pyrenees in south, Alps in east

Geographical Low Point: Rhone River delta -2 m

Geographical High Point: Mont Blanc 4,807 m

Climate: 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

Major Cities: PARIS (capital) 10.41 million; Marseille-Aix-en-Provence 1.457 million; Lyon 1.456 million; Lille 1.028 million; Nice-Cannes 977,000 (2009)

Major Landforms: French Alps, Jura Mountains, Pyrenees, Massif Central plateau, Gorges du Verdon canyon, Loire Valley, Corsica Island

Major Bodies of Water: Seine River, Loire River, Meuse River, Rhone River, Gulf of Lion, Bay of Biscay, English Channel, Strait of Dover, Etang de Berre lagoon, Lac du Bourget, Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Ocean

Famous Places: Eiffel Tower, The Louvre Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, Arc de Triomphe, French Riviera, Champs Elysees, Palace of Versailles, Les Invalides, Mont Blanc, Gorge du Verdon, Mont Saint-Michel, St. Tropez, Chateau de Chambord, Dune of Pyla

Economy of France

Major Industries: machinery, chemicals, automobiles, metallurgy, aircraft, electronics; textiles, food processing; tourism

Agricultural Products: wheat, cereals, sugar beets, potatoes, wine grapes; beef, dairy products; fish

Natural Resources: coal, iron ore, bauxite, zinc, uranium, antimony, arsenic, potash, feldspar, fluorospar, gypsum, timber, fish

Major Exports: machinery and transportation equipment, aircraft, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, iron and steel, beverages

Major Imports: machinery and equipment, vehicles, crude oil, aircraft, plastics, chemicals

Regions of France
(click for larger view)
Currency: euro (EUR)

National GDP: $2,214,000,000,000

Government of France

Type of Government: republic

Independence: 486 (unified by Clovis)

Divisions: The country of France is divided into 27 administrative regions. There are 22 regions in the main area of European France called "metropolitan regions" and 5 regions overseas. See the map to the right for the 22 metropolitan regions.

The overseas regions include French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Reunion. The largest regions by population are Ile-de-France (the largest and includes Paris), Rhone-Alpes, and Province-Alpes-Cote d'Asur (PACA).

National Anthem or Song: La Marseillaise (The Song of Marseille)

National Symbols:
Country of France Flag
Description of flag: The flag of France, also called the "Tricolour", was readopted in July of 1830. It consists of three equal vertical stripes of blue (left or hoist side), white (middle), and red (right). Sometimes the three colors are said to represent the three parts of the French motto: liberty (blue), equality (white), and fraternity (red).

National Holiday: Bastille Day, 14 July (1789)

Other Holidays: New Years' Day (January 1), Good Friday, May Day (May 1), Bastille Day (July 14), All Saints' Day (November 1), Armistice Day (November 11), Christmas (December 25)

The People of France

Languages Spoken: French 100%, rapidly declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish)

Nationality: Frenchman(men), Frenchwoman(women)

Religions: Roman Catholic 83%-88%, Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 5%-10%, unaffiliated 4%

Origin of the name France: The name "France" comes from the Latin word "Francia" which means "land of the Franks." The Franks were an empire in France during the Middle Ages.

Famous People:

Geography >> Europe >> France History and Timeline

** Source for population (2019 est.) is United Nations. GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.

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