550.000 square kilometers
The widest country of Western Europe (close to a fifth of the surface of the European Union), having a vast maritime zone (exclusive economic zone extending over 11 million square kilometers).
• Plains: 2/3 of the total surface area.
• Main mountainous solid masses: the Alps (whose culminating point, Mont Blanc is higher than the of Western Europe - 4.807 meters), the Pyrenees, the Jura, the Ardennes, the Massif Central and the Vosges.
• Coastal shores: opened on four maritime spaces (the North Sea, the English Channel, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean), France has 5,500 km of coastal shores.
oceanic (in the west),
Mediterranean (in the south),
continental (center ).
The production, agricultural and forest areas cover a surface of 48 million hectares, i.e 82 % of the metropolitan territory.
The main forest area alone represents nearly 30% of the territory and constitutes the third solid mass of the European Union after Sweden and Finland. The surface area of the French forest region has increased by 46% since 1945 and doubled in 200 years.
While there are 136 species of trees in France, which is exceptional for a European country, the number of large animals has been within growing: in 20 years, the population of stags has doubled and that of stag tripled.
In order to safeguard and emphasize the important of natural heritage of France, the State has been established:
7 national parks,
156 natural reserves,
516 biotopes protection zones ,
In addition to the 429 sites protected by the Academy from the sea by the Academy,
there are 43 regional natural parks covering more than 12 % of the territory.
In 2006,47,7 billion Euros were assigned to environmental protection, i.e. 755 Euros per capita. Waste water and waste management accounted for the 3/4 of the total expenditure.
At the international level, France signed many treaties and conventions, including those of the United Nations on climate, biodiversity and desertification.
63.1 million Inhabitants (2006).
Density: 98.1 hab /km2.
France counts 57 urban units of more than 100.000 inhabitants.
The five first are:
urban units Population in 2005
1. Paris 9.6 let us millions
2. Lille 1,7 million
3. Lyon 1,4 million
4. Marseilles 1.3 million
5. Toulouse 1 million
The French Republic consists of:
the metropolis (made up of 22 areas and 96 departments),
four overseas departments (DOM): Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyana, Reunion, and
seven overseas communities: French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna, Mayotte, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, southern and Antarctic French Lands, St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, Saint Martin’s day,
and a community of sui generis: New Caledonia.