Stretching across western Europe, from the English Channel (la Manche) to the Mediterranean Sea, France was Europe’s first modern republic, and is still a leading industrial power.


Broad plain covers northern half of the country. 

Tall mountain ranges in the east and southwest, with a mountainous plateau in the center. 


Three main climates: temperate and damp northwest; continental east; and Mediterranean south.

People & Society:

Strong French national identity coexists with pronounced regional differences, including local languages. 

Immigration laws have been tightened since the 1970s, but ethnic minorities growing up in city suburbs feel increasingly alienated. 

New rules aim to bring more women into politics.


Chemicals, electronics, heavy engineering, cars, and aircraft typify a strong and diversified export sector. 

World leader in cosmetics, perfumes, and quality wines. 

Modernized agriculture. 

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