101 Facts About France

1. France has historical and strong links with cinema, with two Frenchmen, Auguste and Louis Lumiere credited with creating cinema in 1895.

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2. In the 19th century, France developed the second empire in the world, mostly in Africa and Indochina.

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3. France is the largest country of Western Europe with 550 000 km2 and the second country in population behind Germany with 65 millions inhabitants.

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4. France is the largest country among all the western Europe countries.

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5. France is slightly smaller than the size of the US state of Texas.

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6. France is the largest country in the European Union, even without its overseas territories.

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7. France is the largest recipient of subsidies under the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy, and the government's extensive system of subsidies and price controls affects a number of products and services.

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8. France has borders with Spain and the Principality of Andorra in the southwest and is linked to the United Kingdom by the Channel Tunnel in the northeast.

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9. Prime Minister Pierre Mendes-France worked to end colonial domination in Tunisia and Morocco, but no one seemed willing or able to avoid a bloody war over Algerian independence, which lasted until 1962.

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10. On the eve of World War I, France was a parliamentary democracy with young institutions comparable to those of greater antiquity in Britain.

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11. Since the Second Vatican Council France has witnessed a de-Christianization of society, and the tendency within the Roman Catholic Church has been to deritualize religious practice.

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12. France is in western Europe and is the third-largest country on the continent.

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13. France has the highest percentage of forested land among the countries of the European Union.

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14. France has a number of islands off its coast in the Atlantic Ocean.

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15. France has coastlines on the English Channel, the Bay of Biscay, and the Mediterranean Sea.

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16. France is the largest country in Western Europe and the third-largest in Europe, surpassed only by Russia and Ukraine.

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17. France is the ninth-ranked supplier worldwide to the US and its 10th largest customer.

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18. France is the fourth-leading industrial power, after the United States, Japan, and Germany.

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19. Northern France was placed under direct occupation by the Germans.

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20. France has a total land boundary length of 2,889 kilometers and a total coastline (Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea) length of 3,427 kilometers (2,125 miles).

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21. France is an active participant in the major supplier regimes designed to restrict transfer of technologies that could lead to proliferation of weapons of mass destruction: the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Australia Group, the Non Proliferation Treaty, and the Missile Technology Control Regime.

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22. France is a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and has worked actively with Allies to adapt NATO—internally and externally—to the post-Cold War environment.

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23. France is a leader in Western Europe because of its size, location, strong economy, membership in European organizations, strong military posture, and energetic diplomacy.

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24. France is the ninth largest trading partner of the United States.

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25. In 1949, France signed an agreement with Italy that gave certain advantages to Franco-Italian co-productions.

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26. France is the eighth partner for total trade of goods and the tenth-ranked supplier worldwide to the US and its 10th largest customer.

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27. France is a strong partner in multiple non-proliferation fora and is a key participant in the Proliferation Security Initiative.

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28. France is a close partner with the US in the war on terror.

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29. France is keen to build European defense capabilities, including through the development of EU battle-group sized force packages and joint European military production initiatives.

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30. France has joined with the US, Germany, and the other three permanent members of the UN Security Council to offer a package of incentives and disincentives to Iran to halt its uranium enrichment activities.

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31. France is an active participant in the major supplier regimes designed to restrict transfer of technologies that could lead to proliferation of weapons of mass destruction: the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Australia Group, the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the Missile Technology Control Regime.

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32. France is a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and has worked actively with Allies to adapt NATO, internally and externally, to the post-Cold War environment.

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33. France has extensive political and commercial relations with Asian countries, including China, Japan, and Southeast Asia as well as an increasing presence in regional fora.

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34. France is a leader in Western Europe because of its size, location, and large economy, membership in European organizations, strong military posture, and energetic diplomacy.

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35. France is America's oldest ally; French military intervention was instrumental in helping Britain's American colonies establish independence.

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36. France is the world's second-largest agricultural producer, after the United States.

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37. France is the European Union's leading agricultural producer, accounting for about one-third of all agricultural land within the EU.

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38. France is the ninth-largest trading partner of the United States.

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39. France is the second-largest trading nation in Western Europe.

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40. In the 1920s, France established an elaborate system of border defenses and alliances to offset resurgent German strength.

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41. France is home to both the largest Muslim and Jewish populations in Europe.

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42. On the one hand, France denounced the re-occupation of Palestinian territories by the Israeli army and the confinement of Yasser Arafat; on the other hand, Israel denounced the alleged passivity of French authorities towards antisemitic actions undertaken, at least partially, under the false pretext of "solidarity with the Palestinians.

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43. At the same time, France had deep reservations regarding the Camp David accords because they were seen as leading towards a separate peace between Egypt and Israel, not to a global settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

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44. In 1957, France began to help Israel build the nuclear reactor in Dimona.

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45. France has taken in only a limited number of Jews who, since 1989, have left the former Soviet Union.

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46. In 2002, France will convert from the franc to the euro for all financial transactions.

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47. France has a low population density compared to other countries in Western Europe.

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48. France has three major mountain systems: the Pyrenees, the Alps, and the Jura Mountains.

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49. France has a number of islands off the Atlantic coast.

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50. France has coastlines on the English Channel to the northwest and the Bay of Biscay to the west.

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51. France has an overseas territory farther south in the Indian Ocean, collectively called the Southern and Antarctic Lands.

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52. France is the largest country in Western Europe and the third largest in Europe.

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53. In 1972, France recorded the largest number of marriages in its history.

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54. In 2009, France decided to return its forces to NATO's military command.

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55. France has a number of overseas departments, territories, and countries which, legally, are part of the French Republic.

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56. About the middle of the fifteenth century France began to oppress suspected sorcerers.

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57. In 1999, the European Union, of which France is a member, introduced a new currency, called the euro, to be the common currency among the participating member countries.

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58. France is invaded by Germany during World War I and suffers enormous losses before winning the war, with the Allies, in 1918.

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59. France is the second ranked producer and the leading exporter of agri-foodstuffs in Europe.

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60. France is one of the largest producers of passenger cars and commercial vehicles in the world, along with Japan, the United States, and Germany.

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61. France is the major source of meat and veal in the EU with 1,815,000 metric tons.

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62. France has a presidential system combined with a more typical European parliamentary arrangement.

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63. In 2000, France was the sixteenth most populous nation in the world.

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64. At the turn of the 19th century, France was the most populous country in Europe.

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65. France has the largest land area of any Western European nation and lies between the Mediterranean Sea on the southeast and the Bay of Biscay and English Channel to the north and west.

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66. Unlike the United States and Canada, France has no community college-type alternative, nor does it possess a truly varied gamut of institutions of higher learning.

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67. France is involved in the US-based, publisher-controlled Internet Advertising Bureau, which was founded in 1996 and serves the main US and foreign newspapers.

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68. In the 1980s, France was the first country to put a newspaper online by using a revolutionary system called Minitel.

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69. France is bordered on the north by Belgium and the Duchy of Luxembourg, on the east by Germany; on the southeast by Switzerland, Italy, and Monaco; and on the south by Spain and Andorra.

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70. France has countless tourist attractions, ranging from the museums and monuments of Paris to beaches on the Riviera and ski slopes in the Alps.

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71. In 2002, Groupama GAN was France's leading nonlife insurer, with $7.5 billion of nonlife premiums written.

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72. France is the largest producer and exporter of farm products in Europe.

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73. In 1965, France was the third nation, after the USSR and the United States, to launch its own space satellite.

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74. France is the third-largest destination of inward investment in the world, after the United States and the United Kingdom, above all in the fields of information technology, pharmaceuticals, machine tools, and precision instruments.

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75. France is the world's fourth-leading industrial power, after the United States, Japan, and Germany.

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76. France is Europe's second-largest power market, exceeded only by Germany.

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77. In 2003, France had an installed generating capacity estimated at 112 GW, with production and consumption estimated at 536.9 billion kWh and 433.3 billion kWh, respectively.

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78. The United Kingdom and Norway are France's leading seafood suppliers.

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79. In 2004, France had a $1.737 trillion economy, in purchasing power parity terms.

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80. France is one of the most richly endowed countries of Europe.

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81. France has one of the most highly developed transportation systems in Europe.

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82. Paris Region is France's leading region for economic activity, with a GDP of €681 billion and €56,000 (~US$70,000) per capita.

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83. France has the third highest GDP per capita per hour in the world, after Norway and Luxembourg, with an average of US$ 38.16 per hour.

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84. France is the first producer of nuclear electricity in Europe and second producer in the world after the United States.

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85. France has won the most Nobel Prizes for Literature of any country and the second highest number of Field Medals (mathematics) after the USA.

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86. France has only had 3 presidents in the last 32 years : Val�ry Giscard d'Estaing, Fran�ois Mitterrand and Jacques Chirac.

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87. France is one of the few EU member state with compulsory ID card that does not use chip cards.

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88. France is the only continental European country or Eurozone member where cheques are still used as one of the main forms of payment.

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89. France is the largest European country in terms of land area after Russia and Ukraine.

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90. France is the third military power after the US and China.

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91. France is about the same size as Texas, with twice the population of California.

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92. France has the second largest population in Europe after Germany, making up 13 percent of the European Union.

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93. France is one of the largest exporters of luxury goods in the world, with the top four companies Cartier, Chanel, Hermes and Louis Vuitton alone worth billions.

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94. France has one of the largest economies in the Eurozone, after Germany.

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95. In recent decades, France has produced world-elite basketball players, most notably Tony Parker.

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96. Similar to the Olympics, France introduced Olympics for the deaf people in 1924 with the idea of a French deaf car mechanic, Eugene Rubens-Alcais who paved the way to organise the inaugural edition of the Summer Deaflympics in Paris.

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97. France is famous for its 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car endurance race.

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98. France has hosted events such as the 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, the 2007 Rugby World Cup, and will host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

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99. France is in 2013 the 2nd exporter of films in the world after the United States.

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100. France has historical and strong links with cinema, with two Frenchmen, Auguste and Louis Lumiere having created cinema in 1895.

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101. Northern France is the home of some of the most important Gothic cathedrals and basilicas, the first of these being the Saint Denis Basilica; other important French Gothic cathedrals are Notre-Dame de Chartres and Notre-Dame d'Amiens.

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