64,420,073 (July 2010 est.)
0.549% (2010 est.)
9.1% (2009 est.)
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 years, 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. At present, France is at the forefront of efforts to develop the EU's military capabilities to supplement progress toward an EU foreign policy.
- Currency: Euro (ISO code: EUR,)
- Central bank discount rate: 3% (31 December 2008)
- Commercial banks lending rate: 8.13% (31 December 2008)
- is part of the Eurozone
- Banking crisis: 1802, 1805-1806, 1827-1828, 1838-1839, 1848-1850, January 1864, 1867-1868, May 1871, February 1882, March 1889, February 1904, 1907, 1930-1932, 1994-1995
- Years in inflation: 5.7% (share of years 1800-2009 with annual inflation above 20 per cent per annum)
- Public default: 1812(external)
|Statistic / Year||1999||2000||2001||2002||2003||2004||2005||2006||2007||2008|
|GDP (million USD)||1 457 450||1 327 960||1 339 760||1 457 330||1 800 020||2 061 320||2 146 580||2 266 250||2 593 130||2 856 560|
|Govt. debt (% of GDP)||60.575||60.674||59.746||63.415||68.084||70.457||72.343||68.336||66.565|
|Govt. revenue (% of GDP)||43.677||42.831||42.972||42.388||41.939||42.085||42.767||42.539||41.787|
|Govt. expenses (% of GDP)||46.065||44.812||45.013||45.961||46.292||45.841||45.754||45.081||44.397|
|Debt to revenue (years)||1.387||1.417||1.390||1.496||1.623||1.674||1.692||1.606||1.593|
- By 2014, France’s public expenditure are expected to overtake Denmark’s to become the world’s highest: 57 per cent of GDP.
- As of 2013, one out of four French university graduates wanted to emigrate, rising to 80 per cent or 90 per cent in the case of marketable degrees.
- More than a quarter of the French workforce is employed by some public body: schools, hospitals, local and regional councils, the police, the civil service proper or subsidised public-service jobs.
Welfare state and poverty
In 2009, 11.2 million French persons received welfare payments, out a total population of 65.3 million. This amounted to $78 billion in payments. Moreover, these 11 million beneficiaries have families (parents, spouses, children); thus, more than 35 million people are actually benefiting directly or indirectly from welfare payments, which is more than 50 percent of the French population. Does this welfareship work?
- The poverty rate in 1990 was 13.8 percent of the French population; in 2009, the percentage was almost unchanged at 13.5 percent.
- The "Active Solidarity Income," symbolizes France’s welfare system: It has replaced a previous payment called the "Minimum Income for Insertion." The latter was implemented in 1989, when 370,000 people benefited. In 2009, this "income" was given to 1,697,357 people.
- A nationwide philanthropic organization called the "Restos du Coeur" (i.e. "Restaurants of the Heart") provides meals during the winter to the very-low-income population. It was created in 1985; during the winter of 1985-86, 8.5 million meals were given. Since then, it has never stopped increasing. During the winter of 2010-11, about 109 million meals were given—a 1,282-percent jump in 25 years.
Note: statistical data was rounded. Different sources may use different methodologies for their estimates. Debt to revenue is calculated by dividing the two variables from their original ('unrounded') values. It represents how long it would a government take to repay its entire debt if it used its whole revenue for this purpose.
- CIA - The World Factbook. "France", from The World Factbook. Referenced 2010-09-29.
- Heritage Foundation. "France", Economic Freedom Score. A lower ranking is better; but please be careful when comparing between different countries or years. Referenced 2010-09-29.
- Transparency International. "France", Corruption Perceptions Index 2009. A lower ranking is better; but please note that the numbers cannot be compared between countries or years due to different methodology. Referenced 2010-09-29.
- Doing Business. "France", Doing Business 2010 (part of The World Bank Group). A lower ranking is better; but please be careful when comparing between different countries or years. Referenced 2010-09-29.
- Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff. "This Time is Different", Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0-691-14216-6, p. 363-365. (The list does not claim to be complete.) Referenced 2011-07-20.
- Carmen M. Reinhart. "This Time is Different Chartbook: Country Histories on Debt, Default, and Financial Crises" (pdf), March 3, 2010, p. 49. (The list does not claim to be complete.) Referenced 2011-07-20.
- World Bank. "France: GDP", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-29.
- World Bank. "France: government debt", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-29.
- World Bank. "France: government revenue", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-29.
- World Bank. "France: government expenses", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-29.
- Anne-Elisabeth Moutet. "Down and out: the French flee a nation in despair", The Telegraph, 20 October 2013. Referenced 2013-11-18.
- Sylvain Charat. "In France's Welfare State Status Quo, Are We Seeing America's Future?", Forbes, 12/07/2012. Referenced 2012-12-17.
- France at Wikipedia
- Central bank of France
- BBC country profile
- Peasants, Rise Up! The Croquants of the 17th Century; Jean-Baptiste Colbert; Jean-Baptiste Colbert and Louis XIV; Down with Collectivism: Merchants and Nobles in 17th-Century France; Louis XIV: Apogee of Absolutism; The Grandiose Failure of François du Noyer; The Skeptic as Absolutist: Michel de Montaigne by Murray N. Rothbard, from An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought, vol. 1, Economic Thought Before Adam Smith
- Money, Bank Credit and Economic Cycles (pdf), Jesus Huerta de Soto, John Law and Eighteenth-Century Banking in France, p.109-111, on impact of financial crises
- How to Bully a Country into Bankruptcy by Cristian Gherasim, November 2010
- France joins Ireland in 'raiding national pension fund' by Max Julius, November, 2010
- Why France Has So Many 49-Employee Companies by Gregory Viscusi and Mark Deen, May 2012
- Draconian Cash Controls Are Coming To France by Wolf Richter, February 2013
- French auditor warns 3 per cent deficit target at risk, signals rampant public debt by Lori Hinnant, February 2013
- "France’s Cul-De-Sac" by David Howden and Jacques Briam, June 2013
- French law sets fines for firms that close factories deemed viable, Reuters, October 2013
- The new France – taxes for all, jobs for none by David Howden, October 2013
- "Revolutionary France’s Road to Hyperinflation" by Frank Hollenbeck, December 2013
- Text of “The Death of French Savings, the Russian Bonds Story 1880-1996″ by Antoine Clarke, May 2014
- Hollande's 75% 'Supertax' Failure A Blow To Piketty's Economics by Jon Hartley, February 2015