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Area: 551,670 sq. km. (220,668 sq. mi.); largest west European country, about four-fifths the size of Texas.
Cities: Capital--Paris. Other cities--Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Nice, Rennes, Lille, Bordeaux.
Terrain: Varied.
Climate: Temperate; similar to that of the eastern U.S.

Nationality: Adjective--French.
Population (Jan. 2005 est.): 62.4 million.
Annual growth rate (2004 est): 2.3%.
Ethnic groups: Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Sub-Saharan African, Indochinese, and Basque minorities.
Religion: Roman Catholic 90%.
Language: French.
Education: Years compulsory--10. Literacy--99%.
Health: Infant mortality rate--4.46/1,000.
Work force (2004): 24,720,000: Services—72.9%; industry and commerce—24.4%; agriculture—2.7%.

Type: Republic.
Constitution: September 28, 1958.
Branches: Executive--president (chief of state); prime minister (head of government). Legislative--bicameral Parliament (577-member National Assembly, 319-member Senate). Judicial--Court of Cassation (civil and criminal law), Council of State (administrative court), Constitutional Council (constitutional law).
Subdivisions: 22 administrative regions containing 96 departments (metropolitan France). Four overseas departments (Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, and Reunion); five overseas territories (New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna Islands, and French Southern and Antarctic Territories); and two special status territories (Mayotte and St. Pierre and Miquelon).
Political parties: Union for a Popular Majority (UMP -- a synthesis of center-right Gaullist/nationalist and free-market parties); Union for French Democracy (a fusion of centrist and pro-European parties); Socialist Party; Communist Party; National Front; Greens; various minor parties.
Suffrage: Universal at 18.

GDP (2004 est.): $2.018 trillion.
Avg. annual growth rate (2004 est.): 2.3%.
Per capita GDP (2004 est.): $32,340.
Agriculture: Products--grains (wheat, barley, corn); wines and spirits; dairy products; sugarbeets; oilseeds; meat and poultry; fruits and vegetables.
Industry: Types--aircraft, electronics, transportation, textiles, clothing, food processing, chemicals, machinery, steel.
Trade (est.): Exports (2004)--$341.3 billion: automobiles and automobile spare parts, aircraft, pharmaceuticals, electronic components, wine, electric components. Imports (2004)--$349.3 billion: crude oil, automobiles and automobile spare parts, pharmaceuticals, natural gas, aircraft spare parts, electronics. Major trading partners--EU and U.S.
Exchange rate: U.S. $1=euro 0.884 in 2003, and U.S. $1=euro 0.804 in 2004.

Adapted from material published in the CIA World Factbook.
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