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France

France

Capital (and largest city) Paris
Official languages French
Government Unitary semi-presidential republic
- President Nicolas Sarkozy (UMP)
- Prime Minister François Fillon (UMP)
Legislature Parliament
- Upper House Senate
- Lower House National Assembly
Formation
- Treaty of Verdun 843
- French Revolution 1789
- Fifth Republic 1958
EU accession 25 March 1957
Area
- Total[1] 674,843 km2 (43rd) 260,558 sq mi
- Metropolitan France
- IGN 551,695 km2 (47th) 213,010 sq mi
- Cadastre 543,965 km2 (47th) 210,026 sq mi
Population
(January 1, 2009 estimate)
- Total 65,073,482 (19th)
- Metropolitan France 62,448,977 (22nd)
- Density 115/km2 (89th) 297/sq mi

France (pronounced /ˈfræns/ or /ˈfrɑːns/; French: [fʁɑ̃s]), officially the French Republic (French: République française, pronounced: [ʁepyblik fʁɑ̃sɛz]), is a country located in Western Europe, with several overseas islands and territories located on other continents. Metropolitan France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is often referred to as L’Hexagone (“The Hexagon”) because of the geometric shape of its territory. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its main ideals expressed in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

Metropolitan France is bordered (clockwise from the north) by Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Andorra, and Spain. France’s overseas departments and collectivities also share land borders with Brazil and Suriname (bordering French Guiana), and the Netherlands Antilles (bordering Saint-Martin). France is linked to the United Kingdom by the Channel Tunnel, which passes underneath the English Channel.

France is the largest country in the European Union by area. France has been a major power for many centuries with strong economic, cultural, military and political influence. During the 17th and 18th centuries, France colonized much of North America; during the 19th and early 20th centuries, France built the second largest empire of the time, including large portions of North, West and Central Africa, Southeast Asia, and many Pacific islands. France is a developed country and possesses the fifth largest economy by nominal GDP and eighth largest economy by purchasing power parity. It is the most visited country in the world, receiving 82 million foreign tourists annually. France is one of the founding members of the European Union, and has the largest land area of all members. It is also a founding member of the United Nations, and a member of the Francophonie, the G8, NATO, OECD, WTO and the Latin Union. It is one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, possesses the third largest number of nuclear weapons in the world and the largest number of nuclear power plants in the European Union.

Where in the world is Metropolitan France? See the map. Dark green - Metropolitan France, light green - EU

Where in the world is Metropolitan France? See the map. Dark green – Metropolitan France, light green – EU.

France flag

France flag

France

France

France

France

 

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