Useful country information
Land area: 210,668 sq mi (545,630 sq km); total area: 211,209 sq mi (547,030 sq km)
Population (2014 est.): 66,259,012 (growth rate: 0.45%); birth rate: 12.49/1000; infant mortality rate: 3.31/1000; life expectancy: 81.66
Capital and largest city (2014 est.): Paris, 10.764 (metro. area)
Other large cities: Lyon 1.597 million; Marseille-Aix-en-Provence 1.595 million; Lille 1.025 million; Nice-Cannes 961,000; Toulouse 926,000 (2014)
Monetary unit: Euro (formerly French franc)
National name: Rpublique Franaise
Languages: French (official) 100%, rapidly declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish)
Ethnicity/race: Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Southeast Asian, and Basque minorities
Religions: Christian (overwhelmingly Roman Catholic) 63-66%, Muslim 7-9%, Jewish .5-.75%, Buddhist .5-.75%, other .5-1.0%, none 23-28%
National Holiday: Fete de la Federation, July 14
Literacy rate: 99% (2011 est.)
France is one of the most modern countries in the world and is a leader among European nations.
Since 1958, it has constructed a presidential democracy, resistant to the instabilities experienced in earlier parliamentary democracies. In recent years, its reconciliation and cooperation with Germany have proved central to the economic integration of Europe, including the advent of the euro in January 1999.
Presently, France is at the forefront of European states seeking to exploit the momentum of monetary union to advance the creation of a more unified and capable European defense and security apparatus.
France is the most visited country in the world, with 89.4 million foreign tourists in 2018.
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