At 1January first, 2006, the population of France including the overseas departments was estimated to be 63,1 million inhabitants. The French population thus represents approximately 12,9 % of the population of the European Union with 27. In 2006, the life expectancy with the birth is 77.2 years for men 84.1 years for women. Since 1990, it has increased of more than four years for men, against three years for women.

Photograph: F. Walls/M.A.E. Elementary school (Alsace). Demographic situation (2006)

Births: 831.000
The indicator of the economic situation of fruitfulness is of 2,00 child by woman
Birth rate: 13,1 ‰

Death: 531.000
Death rate: 8,4 ‰

Marriages: 274.400

Since the early 1990’s, the number of married couples has declined, while the number of nonmarried couples has risen from 1.5 million in 1990 to 2.4 million. They represent today a couple out of six.

Divorces: 152.020

Household structure by type of family

31,5 % Couples with child (S)

30,5 % People living alone

24,8 % Couples without child

7,4 % Single-parent families

5,3 % Other households without family

Distribution by age group

54,3 % From 20to 59 years

24,7 % less than 20 years

21,3 % 60 years and above


Active population

France has approximately 27.6 million credits. In this category, there are 25.1 million paid workers and 2.5 million job applicants constitutes 9,8 % of the active population (January 2004). The activity ratio rose to 74,5 % for men and 63,8 % for women.

% of socioprofessional categories of the active population

29,1 % Employees: 8.031.600

23,9 % Workforce: 6.596.400

23,2 % Intermediate occupations: 6 403.200

14,7 % Management and intellectual professions: 4 057 200

6 % Artisans, tradesmen, heads of enterprises: 1 656 000

2,7 % Farmers: 745 000


Standard of living
Average net salary by paid worker: 21.480 Euros per annum.
Average rough household saving: 15,3 % of available income.

Consumption (share of household budget)

24,7 % Housing, lighting, heating

20 % Food, drinks, tobacco

17,7 % Transport and communications

9,3 % Leisures and culture

5,8 % Household equipment and maintenance

4,9 % Clothing

3,5 % Health

17,4 % Other goods and services (restaurants, voyages…)

Earned incomes

As at1 July , 2007, the gross monthly amount gross of guaranteed minimum wage (SMIC) was 1280.07 Euros for 35 weekly work hours at the time rate of 8,44 Euros.

Average annual tax households incomes

Liberal professions: 70.126 Euros

Frameworks: 42.928 Euros

Technicians, supervisors: 22.143 Euros

Farmers, owners: 21.114 Euros

Other intermediate occupations: 20.000 Euros

Skilled workers: 15.906 Euros

Employees: 15.327 Euros


Legally paid vacations: 5 weeks per year.

Starting rate on holiday: 65 %.

Trade unionism

France has approximately 1.38 million people affiliated to trade unions, i.e. 5 % of the active population. It is the lowest rate within European Union countries.

The main central trade-unions are:

CGT (General confederation of work),
CFDT (democratic Confederation of work),
FO (Working force),
CFTC (French Confederation of the Christian workers)
and FSU (unit Trade union federation).

The French Republic is a lay State where all religious faiths are represented.


In 2007, the State budget education rose to 77 billion Euros, i.e. 28 % of the budget of the total State. In 2005 domestic expenditure on education reaches 117.9 billion Euros, being corresponds to 6.9% of the GDP, i.e. the highest average in the OECD countries.

Pre-elementary, primary and secondary:

12.342.900 pupils

884.000 teachers

67.581 schools, colleges and colleges:

Rate of supervision: 1 teacher for 13.9 pupils
Rate of success at the baccalaureat (2007): 83,3 %

2.275.000 students

89.300 teachers

92 universities,

3.600 higher institutions

Rate of supervision: 1 teacher for 25.4 students

Social protection

The French system of social protection, the Social security, was established in 1945. It is based rests on the principle of distribution ( services of recipients are ensured by contributions credits).

The national health expenditure, which represents 29.6 % of the GDP, is financed up to 65.5 % by contributions from employees and employers, and 17.4 % from taxes, such as generalized social contribution (CSG) or contribution for refunding the social debt (CRDS), which include incomes other than those of work. It is the nearly exclusive financing of the general scheme of the Social security. Public finance represents only 13.5 % of the total resources. The services sectors are retirements (44 %), health (35.2 %), family (9 %) and employment (compensation allowance, unemployment benefit, professional training and social integration) (7.4 %).

The growing proportion of reprocessed compared to that of the credits as well as progress of medicine and the lengthening of the lifespan, led to the deficit of the general scheme of the Social security and in 2003 with the reform of the general scheme of old-age insurance.


Health is a major concern of the French: they spent, in 2005,190,5 billion Euros in care and medical goods.
The Social security finances up to 77.15 % of the expenditure as the share from households and the insurance companies increases. A major reform was carried out in 2004 to balance the accounts of the health insurance division of the Social security.


Dernière modification : 19/07/2011

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