France Demographics

What is the population of France?

Population 67,848,156
Population - note note: the above figure is for metropolitan France and five overseas regions; the metropolitan France population is 62,814,233
Population Growth Rate 0.47%
Urban Population 85.8%
Population in Major Urban Areas PARIS (capital) 10.62 million; Marseille-Aix-en-Provence 14,890,100; Lyon 1.488 million; Lille 1.042 million; Nice-Cannes 991,000; Toulouse 933,000
Nationality Noun Frenchman(men), Frenchwoman(women)
Nationality Adjective French
Ethnic Groups Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Indochinese, Basque minorities

overseas departments: black, white, mulatto, East Indian, Chinese, Amerindian
Languages Spoken French (official) 100%, rapidly declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish) overseas departments: French, Creole patois, Mahorian (a Swahili dialect)
Language Note The French government has emphasized the French language so much that almost everyone in France speaks French (99%), despite the different nationalities represented. Even regional dialects have lost their importance in recent years. English is the most common foreign language.

France Health Information

What are the health conditions in France?

Contraceptive Prevalance Rate - female 15-49 76.4%
Contraceptive Prevalence - note note: percent of women aged 20-49
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 8.96
Drinking Water Source - percent of rural population improved 100%
Drinking Water Source - percent of urban population improved 100%
Health Expenditures - percent of GDP 11.6%
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.4%
HIV/Aids Deaths 1,700
Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population 6.6
Infant Mortality Rate - female deaths/1,000 live births 2.99
Infant Mortality Rate - male deaths/1,000 live births 3.67
Infant Mortality Rate - total deaths/1,000 live births 3.34
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 8
Mean Age for Mother's First Birth 28.8
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 18.2%
People Living with HIV/AIDS 150,000
Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population 3.38
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of urban population improved 100%
Sanitation Facitlity Access - percent of rural population improved 100%
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 2.08

France Life Expectancy

How long do people live in France?

Life Expectancy at Birth 81 Years
Life Expectancy at Birth - female 84 Years
Life Expectancy at Birth - male 78 Years
Median Age 40 Years
Median Age - female 42 Years
Median Age - male 39 Years

France Infant Mortality - per 1,000 live births

France median age, birth rate and death rates

Birth Rate - births/1,000 population 13
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 8.96
Median Age 40 Years
Median Age - female 42 Years
Median Age - male 39 Years
Net Migration Rate - migrant(s)/1,000 population 1.1
Population Growth Rate 0.47%
Sex Ratio 0-14 Years - male/female 1.05
Sex Ratio 15-24 Years - male/female 1.05
Sex Ratio 25-54 Years - male/female 1.01
Sex Ratio 55-64 Years - male/female .96
Sex Ratio at Birth - male/female 1.05
Sex Ratio of Total Population - male/female .96
Sex Ratio Over 64 Years - male/female .74

France Medical Information

What are the health conditions in France?

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Medical care is comparable to that found in the United States. In an emergency, dial 15 to connect to emergency medical services. You can also dial the Europe-wide emergency response number 112 to reach an operator for all kinds of emergency services (similar to the U.S. 911 system). Non-French speakers may experience a delay while an English speaker is located. For non-emergency medical assistance in France, you may refer to this list of medical professionals.

France Education

What is school like in France?

Education Expenditures - percent of GDP 5.9%
Literacy - female 99%
Literacy - male 99%
Literacy - total population 99%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write
School Life Expectancy - female 16 Years
School Life Expectancy - male 16 Years
Total School Life Expectancy - (primary to tertiary) 16 Years

France Literacy

Can people in France read?

Literacy - female 99%
Literacy - male 99%
Literacy - total population 99%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write
Predominant Language French (official) 100%, rapidly declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish) overseas departments: French, Creole patois, Mahorian (a Swahili dialect)

France Learning

What is school like in France?

Classroom

French schools are usually not as well equipped with modern technology. They rarely have computers or televisions in the classrooms. Also, because schools don’t have lockers, older students load up their backpacks with their books for the day and just carry their heavy backpacks from room to room. Although class size varies from school to school, it usually ranges from 20 to 35 students.

One interesting fact about the school system in France is that the schools are closed on Wednesday afternoons but open on Saturday mornings. School usually begins at 8:00 or 8:30 in the morning, and public schools are finished at 5:00 in the evening. Private schools finish at 4:00 or 4:30 because they have a shorter lunch period.

When it comes to lunch, French public schools allow two hours for lunch (11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.). Throughout France, the midday meal is traditionally the main family meal and consists of three and sometimes even four courses. Approximately half of the cost of lunch served at school is paid for by the government, and the student’s family must pay the remainder (the price is adjusted for lower-income families). Lunch is often the most expensive part of a student’s education in France.

Education Culture

France is known for being very proud of their school system. As a country, 99% of all adults are considered literate, meaning that they can read at least the newspaper. They have high standards and believe in a disciplined approach to education, although in recent years the discipline has relaxed significantly. Because of the high academic standards, one-third of all French students will repeat a grade at some point; however, because this is so common, it is not looked on as negatively as in the United States or most other countries.

The school year runs from early September until late May. Children in France attend school between the ages of 6 and 16. Many attend preschool, which is for children from 2 years old to 5. Primary school is for ages 6 to 11. From 11 to 15, students attend what is known as collêge, which is sort of like junior high in the United States. Then they go to a “high school” that either prepares them for university studies or a profession.  English is taught as a selected foreign language in years CM1 and CM2

Although most students attend the public schools, private schools are available and are often surprisingly affordable. Private schools have about 15% of the primary-age students and up to 20% of secondary students. Most international students (children in families who were not born in France) attend private schools and get a language tutor to help with the language. Because private schools are influenced by having students from other countries with other customs, they often have a slightly different schedule than the public schools. For instance, private schools are usually closed on Saturdays and also have shorter lunch breaks and therefore shorter school days. The Catholic Church runs most of the private schools in full cooperation with government education leaders.

The public school system, from primary school through graduation from the university, is free to its students. Private schools charge a tuition, but it is much lower than in the United States.

The Ministry of National Education also oversees a number of special schools that focus on the 100,000 students who have various disabilities. The goal is to help move about 5% of these students to move into more mainstream schooling or vocational training by acquiring a certain skill level.

Learning

French primary schools (also known as “écoles élémentaire”) cover the ages six to eleven with five courses studied, one for each year:
CP – Cours Preparatoire

CE1 – Cours Elementaire first year


CE2 – Cours Elementaire second year


CM1 – Cours Moyen first year


CM2 – Cours Moyen second year


The subjects taught are divided into three main groups:


1. French, history, geography and civic studies


2. Mathematics, science and technology


3. Physical education and sport, arts and crafts, and music


By law pupils must receive twenty six hours of teaching per week. The teacher has some flexibility in deciding which subjects to spend time on out of the twenty six teaching hours per week.


Secondary education is compulsory until the age of 16 and includes attendance at a college until age 15. At 15 the next steps are decided by examination. The higher ranking students will have the opportunity to attend a lycée until they are 18 where they will study for the baccalauréat Other students may follow shortened studies in a vocational course.


There are roughly 158 school days per year, less than in many anglophone countries, but the school days are longer.  The school-day generally runs three hours in the morning and three in the afternoon with a two-hour lunch break; children can go home for lunch or stay at school for a fee-based lunch service, la cantine.

The traditional schedule calls for attendance Monday through Friday with no classes on Wednesdays and a half-day on Saturdays but this schedule is one of the ongoing educational debates. Historically Wednesday afternoon was for religions instruction, now it is a time when children usually pursue sporting and musical activities or just play with friends.

Some of the 28 administrative districts, académies, have eliminated Saturday classes and make up the time by extending the school
year.

In the late 1960s, France stopped requiring school uniforms for students; however, 40 years later, many parents and school officials are bringing the uniforms back or are thinking of doing so. Why? Because they are concerned about how unruly the students are and believe that a return to greater discipline—including clothing—might be the best thing they could do. Until recently, dress standards in the schools were quite loose, although the children were not allowed to wear any type of religious symbols, such as Muslim headwear. Some parents are in favor of uniforms because they feel buying them is cheaper than the clothes that the fashion-conscious French youth are so devoted to, although improved discipline is everyone’s main reason for supporting such a change.

To School

Students often walk or ride public transportation, depending on the distance from the school and individual circumstances. Wealthier families may take their children to school, especially if they attend a private school. At the end of the school day, they return home the same way. Schools usually have about two hours for lunch, so some students will come home for lunch and then return for the afternoon session of school if their family gathers for a traditional midday meal.

France Crime

Is France a safe place to visit?

Crime Information

France is a relatively safe country. Most crimes are non-violent, but pick-pocketing is a significant problem.

The majority of crimes directed against foreign visitors, including U.S. citizens, involve pick-pocketing, residential break-ins, bicycle theft, and other forms of theft with minimal violence. However, as in any big city, robberies involving physical assault do occur in Paris and other major urban areas. Visitors to congested areas and known tourist sites (e.g., museums, monuments, train stations, airports, and subways) should be particularly attentive to their surroundings. Crimes against visitors are generally crimes of opportunity, though these crimes are more likely to involve violence on the street late at night or when the victim detects the theft and resists the criminal. As in any major city, women should exercise extra caution when out alone at night and/or consider traveling out at night with companions. In general, Paris taxis are safe and professionally operated, but there has been an increase in reported harassment and assaults on women by taxi drivers.

Caution is required throughout France when driving through economically depressed areas where there is a high incidence of “smash and grab” robberies. Thieves will approach a vehicle that is stopped in traffic, smash a window, reach into the vehicle to grab a purse or other valuable item, and then flee. Keep doors locked and valuables out of sight.

There is generally an increase in the number of residential break-ins in August, when most French residents take vacation, and in December. The majority are attributed to residents not using security measures already in place, including double-locking doors and locking windows. Home invasions are often preceded by phone calls to see if the resident is at home. Often thieves who manage to gain access to the apartment building will knock on apartment doors to see if anyone answers, offering the excuse they are taking a survey or representing a utility company.

PARIS: Crime in Paris is similar to that in most large cities. Violent crime is relatively uncommon in the city center, but women should exercise extra caution when out alone at night, and should consider traveling out at night with trusted companions. There has been an increase in reported sexual harassment, and sometimes assault, by taxi drivers.

Pickpockets are by far the most significant problem. In addition to purses and wallets, smart phones and small electronic devices are particular targets. In Paris, pickpockets are commonly children under the age of 16 because they are difficult to prosecute. Pickpockets are very active on the rail link (RER B) from Charles de Gaulle Airport to the city center. Travelers may want to consider using a shuttle service or one of the express buses to central Paris rather than the RER. In addition, passengers on metro Line 1, which traverses the city center from east to west and services many major tourist sites, are often targeted. A common method is for one thief to distract the tourist with questions or disturbances, while an accomplice picks pockets, a backpack, or a purse. Schemes in Paris include asking if you would sign a petition or take a survey, and presenting a ring and asking if you dropped it. Thieves often time their pickpocket attempts to coincide with the closing of the automatic doors on the metro, leaving the victim secured on the departing train. Many thefts also occur at the major department stores (e.g., Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, and Le Bon Marché), where tourists may leave wallets, passports, and credit cards on cashier counters during transactions. Popular tourist sites are also popular with thieves, who favor congested areas to mask their activities. The crowded elevators at the Eiffel Tower, escalators at museums such as the Louvre, and the area surrounding Sacré Coeur Basilica in Montmartre are all favored by pickpockets and snatch-and-grab thieves.

There have been some instances of tourists being robbed and assaulted near less utilized metro stations. The area around the Moulin Rouge, known as Pigalle, requires extra security precautions to avoid becoming a victim. Pigalle is an adult entertainment area known for prostitution, sex shows, and illegal drugs. Unsuspecting tourists have run up exorbitant bar bills and been forced to pay before being permitted to leave. Other areas in Paris where extra security precautions are warranted after dark are Les Halles and the Bois de Boulogne.

PROVENCE ALPES MARITIMES (PACA) / LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON (Marseille, Montpellier, Perpignan, Carcassonne Avignon, Aix en Provence, Arles, Cannes, Nice): The PACA/Languedoc-Roussillon region enjoys a fairly low rate of violent crime directed at tourists. The most common problems in the region are thefts from cars (both stopped in traffic and parked) and from luggage trolleys at the major transportation hubs, including the Nice airport and railway stations in Marseille, Avignon, and Aix en Provence. Purse snatchings in transportation hubs are also a common problem.

The U.S. Consulate General in Marseille has noted an increase in holiday rental-home burglaries and in necklace snatching. Keep your car doors locked and windows rolled up at all times. Valuables should be hidden out of site to prevent snatch-and-grab attempts. Maintain visual contact with your car when visiting tourist sites, when using rest facilities at gas stations, or stopping to enjoy panoramic views, even for a short period as thieves will break windows to access items left in cars. Victims have reported break-ins within minutes of leaving an unattended car. Keep your passport in a separate location from other valuables.

Organized crime has increased in the south of France—especially in Marseille and Corsica, where feuding groups have been responsible for several recent violent incidents—and although U.S. citizens are not targeted, you should maintain awareness and keep emergency contact information on hand should you find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time.

STRASBOURG: Strasbourg's historic center enjoys a fairly low rate of violent crime. Pickpockets and snatch-and-grab thieves tend to concentrate their efforts in the Petite France historic district popular with visitors.

BORDEAUX AND THE AQUITAINE, LIMOUSIN, AND POITOU-CHARENTES REGIONS: Bordeaux and other cities in southwest France are considered fairly safe. In cities and during popular festivals that draw huge crowds, you should be wary of pickpockets and other tourist-aimed crimes, especially near public transportation. Stolen purses, ID cards, and passports left in cars – particularly around renowned landmarks are common.

NOTE: Swimmers should be careful of strong riptides and swells in the Bordeaux area.

LYON: Although levels of violent crime are low, Lyon has a fair amount of petty crime and vandalism. Late-night weekend rowdiness is common in the center of town and in areas with night clubs. The city’s public transportation system is safe. To combat reckless and drunk drivers and prevent them from fleeing accident scenes, Lyon initiated 30 kilometer-per-hour zones in commercial districts, and the local police have increased controls for drunken driving. Police have also installed speed and red-light radar systems. The number of stolen passports and personal items in the district remains relatively low, and attacks are rare. Home break-ins have increased recently; according to the local news, there are 30-35 per day. Police response to sporadic armed robberies and violence is generally immediate and decisive. A recent wave of armed robberies in luxury goods stores and cash exchange businesses ended with the arrest of an organized gang of delinquents. Bicycle thefts are also a serious risk, as Lyon becomes increasingly bicycle-friendly and more people cycle around town.

NORMANDY: Break-ins and thefts from cars in the parking lots at the Normandy beaches and American cemeteries are common. Do not leave valuables unattended in a car. Locking valuables in the trunk is not an adequate safeguard as thieves often pry open car trunks to steal bags and other valuables.

OVERSEAS (NON-EUROPEAN) FRENCH DEPARTMENTS AND TERRITORIES: Please see the Country Specific Information for French Guiana, French Polynesia, and the French West Indiesfor crime trends in these areas.

RENNES: In general, the city of Rennes is relatively safe and secure, and crime rates throughout the consular district tend to be lower than in larger cities elsewhere. There are occasional crimes in the center of Rennes related to drunkenness and rowdy behavior, with the largest and most boisterous crowds tending to gather on Thursday nights in the area around Rue Saint Michel (a.k.a. “Rue de la Soif” or “Thirst Street”) and the adjacent Place Sainte Anne. The local authorities make security a priority. Tourists occasionally encounter theft of valuables and passports. Valuables left unattended in rental cars overnight, or for extended amounts of time, are particularly susceptible to theft. In particular, tourist sites around Brittany warn travelers against leaving expensive items in plain view in parked cars due to frequent vehicle break-ins. Do not leave luggage unattended on trains.

TOULOUSE AND THE MIDI-PYRENEES: Toulouse and the Midi-Pyrenees region are considered generally safe. Car theft, vehicle break-ins, petty theft, and burglary are the most common crimes, and they are relatively more frequent in areas near the railway station. Car-jacking and home invasions may occur, particularly in wealthier areas surrounding Toulouse. Home invasions usually target valuables and cars, but may include violence. Itinerant street people, often in groups accompanied by dogs, are increasingly prevalent in downtown Toulouse, particularly in warmer weather. While alcohol and drug abuse can make them unpredictable, incidents of crime are relatively rare.

Tips on How to Avoid Becoming a Victim: Common-sense security precautions will help you enjoy a trouble-free stay. Most problems can be avoided by being aware of one's surroundings and avoiding high-risk areas.

When going out, carry only essential items: ONE credit/ATM card, ONE piece of identification, and no more than €40-50. Avoid carrying high-value jewelry and large amounts of cash. Valuables should be kept out of sight and in places difficult for thieves to reach, such as internal coat pockets or in pouches hung around the neck or inside clothes. Shoulder bags and wallets in back pockets are an invitation to a thief.

Keep photocopies of travel documents and credit cards separate from the originals, along with key telephone numbers to contact banks for credit card replacement. Raise your awareness level while in crowded elevators, escalators, and metro cars. When possible, take a seat or stand against a wall to deter pickpockets and try to maintain a 360-degree awareness of the surrounding area.

Carry only a purse that zips closed and ensure that it is carried under the arm and slightly in front of the body. Swing backpack-type purses around so that they are slightly in front of your body. Carry your wallet in a front pocket. While on foot, remain aware of your surroundings at all times and keep bags slung across your body and away from the street.

Many U.S. citizens have had purses or bags stolen from the back of a chair or from under the table while in cafes, restaurants, and nightclubs/bars, including higher end establishments. Again, keep your valuables with you and never leave them unattended or out of your sight. Do not leave valuables in hotel rooms. If you must leave valuables in the hotel, consider using the hotel safe.

Thieves often operate in groups and often come to each other's aid if confronted. If a thief is caught in the act, a simple pick-pocketing could turn into an assault (or worse) if you attempt to capture the thief. You can shout out for police assistance to attract attention, but do not pursue the thief.

Do not use ATMs in isolated, poorly lighted areas or where loiterers are present. Be especially alert to persons standing close enough to see the Personal Identification Number (PIN) being entered into the machine. Thieves often conduct successful scams by simply watching the PIN as it is entered and then stealing the card from the user in some other location. If your card gets stuck in an ATM, immediately report the incident to both the local bank and your bank at home.

Many theft and assault victims are targeted when making their way home from a late night out after drinking alcohol. If you go out late at night, do so with a group of friends. There is safety in numbers.

Use only authorized taxis. Authorized taxis in Paris have the following equipment:

An illuminated “Taxi Parisien” sign on the roof;

A display meter showing the cost of the trip;

A display at the rear of the vehicle and visible from the exterior that enables the monitoring of the daily duration of use of the vehicle; and

A plate fixed to the front fender bearing the license number.

There has been an increase in sexual harassment and assault of women by taxi drivers in recent years. Women may want to consider having another individual walk them to a taxi and, in plain view of the driver, note the license number of the vehicle, or call a friend while in the taxi and communicate the license number. Letting the driver know that others are aware of your trip and the license number of the taxi may reduce the chances of becoming a victim.

Avoid public parks after dark, as they are often frequented by drug dealers and prostitutes.

France Penalties for Crime

Criminal Penalties

While in France, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Individuals who hold U.S. and French or Monegasque citizenship should be aware that local authorities may treat you as solely French or Monegasque. Criminal penalties vary from country to country, and there are some things that might be legal in France or Monaco, but still illegal in the United States. You can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy counterfeit or pirated goods in another country. Engaging in sexual conduct with minors or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is also a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you commit a crime in another country, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going.

Persons violating French or Monegasque laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in France and Monaco are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. For legal assistance in France or Monaco, refer to this list of attorneys.

If you use any of France’s excellent public transportation services, take particular care to retain your used or “validated” ticket. Inspectors conduct intermittent, random checks, and passengers who fail to present the correct validated ticket for their journey are subject to stiff and immediate fines. Inspectors may show no interest in explanations and no sympathy for an honest mistake. Failure to cooperate with inspectors can result in arrest.

If arrested: While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained.

France Population Comparison

All Countries
Afghanistan Akrotiri Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory British Virgin Islands Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burma Burundi Cabo Verde Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Clipperton Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Cook Islands Coral Sea Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curacao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Dhekelia Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Eswatini Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia Gabon Gambia, The Gaza Strip Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Holy See Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Jan Mayen Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, North Korea, South Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Macedonia Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Islands Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Reunion Romania Russia Rwanda Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Sudan, South Suriname Svalbard Sweden Switzerland Syria Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States (US) Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela Vietnam Virgin Islands Wake Island Wallis and Futuna West Bank Western Sahara World Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe