World Travel Guides

France - Introduction

Introduction to France

Sweet delights

The French wrote the book on la vie en rose and gave the world champagne and camembert, de Beauvoir and Debussy, the Tour de France and the Tour Eiffel. There's a term for their seductive lifestyle - Douce France (Sweet France) and you'll find yourself using it often.

Full country name: French Republic
Area: 547,030 sq km
Population: 60.18 million
Capital City: Paris (pop 13 million)
People: 92% French, 3% North African, 2% German, 1% Breton, 2% other (including Proven├žal, Catalan & Basque)
Language: Breton, Catalan, Basque, French, Corsican
Religion: 90% Roman Catholic, 2% Protestant, 1% Muslim, 1% Jewish, 6% unaffiliated
Government: republic
Head of State: President Jacques Chirac
Head of Government: Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin
GDP: US$1.58 trillion
GDP per capita: US$26,000
Annual Growth: 4%
Inflation: 2%
Major Industries: Oil refining, steel, cement, aluminium, agricultural products & foodstuffs (wheat, barley, maize, cheese), luxury goods, chemicals, motor manufacturing, energy products
Major Trading Partners: EU (especially Germany, Italy, UK), USA
Member of EU: yes

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