France Physical Map

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Physical Map: Defined
In addition to country borders, major cities and significant bodies of water, Physical Maps indicate the location of landforms like deserts, mountains and plains. This type of map also displays major cities and regions. Physical Maps are commonly used to see elevation and land contours as well as major rivers and lakes.
France

page last updated on September 26, 2011


Introduction :: France
Background:
 
Although ultimately a victor in World Wars I and II, France suffered extensive losses in its empire, wealth, manpower, and rank as a dominant nation-state. Nevertheless, France today is one of the most modern countries in the world and is a leader among European nations. Since 1958, it has constructed a hybrid presidential-parliamentary governing system resistant to the instabilities experienced in earlier more purely parliamentary administrations. In recent decades, its reconciliation and cooperation with Germany have proved central to the economic integration of Europe, including the introduction of a common exchange currency, the euro, in January 1999. In the early 21st century, five French overseas entities - French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Reunion - became French regions and were made part of France proper.
Geography :: France
Location:
 
metropolitan France: Western Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay and English Channel, between Belgium and Spain, southeast of the UK; bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Italy and Spain
French Guiana: Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Brazil and Suriname
Guadeloupe: Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Puerto Rico
Martinique: Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago
Mayotte: Southern Indian Ocean, island in the Mozambique Channel, about half way between northern Madagascar and northern Mozambique
Reunion: Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar
 
Geographic coordinates:
 
metropolitan France: 46 00 N, 2 00 E
French Guiana: 4 00 N, 53 00 W
Guadeloupe: 16 15 N, 61 35 W
Martinique: 14 40 N, 61 00 W
Mayotte: 12 50 S, 45 10 E
Reunion: 21 06 S, 55 36 E
 
Map references:
 
metropolitan France: Europe
French Guiana: South America
Guadeloupe: Central America and the Caribbean
Martinique: Central America and the Caribbean
Mayotte: Africa
Reunion: World
 
Area:
 
total: 643,801 sq km; 551,500 sq km (metropolitan France)
country comparison to the world: 43
land: 640,427 sq km; 549,970 sq km (metropolitan France)
water: 3,374 sq km; 1,530 sq km (metropolitan France)
note: the first numbers include the overseas regions of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Reunion
 
Area - comparative:
 
slightly less than the size of Texas
 
Land boundaries:
 
metropolitan France - total: 2,889 km
border countries: Andorra 56.6 km, Belgium 620 km, Germany 451 km, Italy 488 km, Luxembourg 73 km, Monaco 4.4 km, Spain 623 km, Switzerland 573 km
French Guiana - total: 1,183 km
border countries: Brazil 673 km, Suriname 510 km
 
Coastline:
 
total: 4,853 km
metropolitan France: 3,427 km
 
Maritime claims:
 
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm (does not apply to the Mediterranean)
continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
 
Climate:
 
metropolitan France: generally cool winters and mild summers, but mild winters and hot summers along the Mediterranean; occasional strong, cold, dry, north-to-northwesterly wind known as mistral
French Guiana: tropical; hot, humid; little seasonal temperature variation
Guadeloupe and Martinique: subtropical tempered by trade winds; moderately high humidity; rainy season (June to October); vulnerable to devastating cyclones (hurricanes) every eight years on average
Mayotte: tropical; marine; hot, humid, rainy season during northeastern monsoon (November to May); dry season is cooler (May to November)
Reunion: tropical, but temperature moderates with elevation; cool and dry (May to November), hot and rainy (November to April)
 
Terrain:
 
metropolitan France: mostly flat plains or gently rolling hills in north and west; remainder is mountainous, especially Pyrenees in south, Alps in east
French Guiana: low-lying coastal plains rising to hills and small mountains
Guadeloupe: Basse-Terre is volcanic in origin with interior mountains; Grande-Terre is low limestone formation; most of the seven other islands are volcanic in origin
Martinique: mountainous with indented coastline; dormant volcano
Mayotte: generally undulating, with deep ravines and ancient volcanic peaks
Reunion: mostly rugged and mountainous; fertile lowlands along coast
 
Elevation extremes:
 
lowest point: Rhone River delta -2 m
highest point: Mont Blanc 4,807 m
note: in order to assess the possible effects of climate change on the ice and snow cap of Mont Blanc, its surface and peak have been extensively measured in recent years; these new peak measurements have exceeded the traditional height of 4,807 m and have varied between 4,808 m and 4,811 m; the actual rock summit is 4,792 m and is 40 m away from the ice-covered summit
 
Natural resources:
 
metropolitan France: coal, iron ore, bauxite, zinc, uranium, antimony, arsenic, potash, feldspar, fluorspar, gypsum, timber, fish
French Guiana: gold deposits, petroleum, kaolin, niobium, tantalum, clay
 
Land use:
 
arable land: 33.46%
permanent crops: 2.03%
other: 64.51%
note: French Guiana - arable land 0.13%, permanent crops 0.04%, other 99.83% (90% forest, 10% other); Guadeloupe - arable land 11.70%, permanent crops 2.92%, other 85.38%; Martinique - arable land 9.09%, permanent crops 10.0%, other 80.91%; Reunion - arable land 13.94%, permanent crops 1.59%, other 84.47% (2005)
 
Irrigated land:
 
total: 26,950 sq km;
metropolitan France: 26,700 sq km (2008)
 
Total renewable water resources:
 
189 cu km (2005)
 
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
 
total: 33.16 cu km/yr (16%/74%/10%)
per capita: 548 cu m/yr (2000)
 
Natural hazards:
 
metropolitan France: flooding; avalanches; midwinter windstorms; drought; forest fires in south near the Mediterranean
overseas departments: hurricanes (cyclones); flooding; volcanic activity (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion)
 
Environment - current issues:
 
some forest damage from acid rain; air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; water pollution from urban wastes, agricultural runoff
 
Environment - international agreements:
 
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
 
Geography - note:
 
largest West European nation
People :: France
Population:
 
65,312,249 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21
note: the above figure is for metropolitan France and five overseas regions; the metropolitan France population is 62,814,233
 
Age structure:
 
0-14 years: 18.5% (male 6,180,905/female 5,886,849)
15-64 years: 64.7% (male 21,082,175/female 21,045,867)
65 years and over: 16.8% (male 4,578,089/female 6,328,834) (2011 est.)
 
Median age:
 
total: 39.9 years
male: 38.4 years
female: 41.5 years (2011 est.)
 
Population growth rate:
 
0.5% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 150
 
Birth rate:
 
12.29 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 160
 
Death rate:
 
8.76 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80
 
Net migration rate:
 
1.46 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46
 
Urbanization:
 
urban population: 85% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 1% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
Major cities - population:
 
PARIS (capital) 10.41 million; Marseille-Aix-en-Provence 1.457 million; Lyon 1.456 million; Lille 1.028 million; Nice-Cannes 977,000 (2009)
 
Sex ratio:
 
at birth: 1.051 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
 
Infant mortality rate:
 
total: 3.29 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 214
male: 3.61 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.96 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
Life expectancy at birth:
 
total population: 81.19 years
country comparison to the world: 13
male: 78.02 years
female: 84.54 years (2011 est.)
 
Total fertility rate:
 
1.96 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131
 
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
 
0.4% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74
 
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
 
150,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33
 
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
 
1,700 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56
 
Drinking water source:
 
improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population (2008)
 
Sanitation facility access:
 
improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population (2008)
 
Nationality:
 
noun: Frenchman(men), Frenchwoman(women)
adjective: French
 
Ethnic groups:
 
Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Indochinese, Basque minorities
overseas departments: black, white, mulatto, East Indian, Chinese, Amerindian
 
Religions:
 
Roman Catholic 83%-88%, Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 5%-10%, unaffiliated 4%
overseas departments: Roman Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, pagan
 
Languages:
 
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)
 
Literacy:
 
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)
 
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
 
total: 16 years
male: 16 years
female: 16 years (2008)
 
Education expenditures:
 
5.6% of GDP (2007)
country comparison to the world: 38

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