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Flag Armoiries république française.svg
Location of Metropolitan France

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose metropolitan territory is located in Western Europe and that also comprises a collection of overseas islands and territories located in North America, the Caribbean, South America, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. France is the largest country in Western Europe (674,843 km² with its overseas départements). With a population of over 66 million inhabitants, France is the second most populous country in Western Europe (after Germany) and the 20th largest in the world. Paris is the most populous city in France with over 12 million people in its aire urbaine, Lyon is the second largest city with 2.2 million people, associated with Villeurbanne, and the third is Marseille with just 1.7 million people.

The French Republic is a democracy which is organised as a unitary semi-presidential republic. It has the fifth-largest economy in the world in nominal terms. Its main ideals are expressed in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. France is one of the founding members of the European Union, and has the largest land area of all members. France is also a founding member of the United Nations, and a member of the G7, G8, NATO, and the Latin Union. It is one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council wielding veto power, and it is also one of eight acknowledged nuclear powers. With almost 82 million foreign tourists each year, France is the most popular international tourist destination in the world.

French is the official language of France, but each region has its own unique accent; in addition to French, there are several other languages of France traditionally spoken, although use of these languages has greatly decreased over the past two hundred years. French is also an official language in 41 countries, most of which form what is called in French la Francophonie, the community of French-speaking nations.

More about... France, its history and inhabitants

Topics : Categories (in bold) and Major Articles

Main Category - France

Geography - Geography of France - Geography of France - Regions of France - Provinces of France - Subdivisions of France - Subdivisions of France - Overseas departments and territories of France
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Administrative divisions

France is currently divided into 26 "régions"; 22 of these form metropolitan France, which includes the continental nation and the island of Corsica, and 4 are overseas. Régions are further subdivided into 100 "départements", including the 4 départements d'outre-mer ("Overseas Departments") or "DOMs".

  1. Alsace
  2. Aquitaine
  3. Auvergne
  4. Lower Normandy
  5. Burgundy
  6. Brittany
  7. Centre
  8. Champagne-Ardenne
  9. Corsica (special status)
  10. Franche-Comté
  11. Upper Normandy
  1. Île-de-France
  2. Languedoc-Roussillon
  3. Limousin
  4. Lorraine
  5. Midi-Pyrénées
  6. Nord-Pas de Calais
  7. Pays de la Loire
  8. Picardy
  9. Poitou-Charentes
  10. Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur also called PACA region
  11. Rhône-Alpes

Régions which are also départements d'outre-mer :

  1. Guadeloupe (until 2007 this included Saint-Barthélemy and the French part of Saint Martin)
  2. Martinique
  3. French Guiana
  4. Réunion
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France also administers several overseas collectivites and territories:

Historic Provinces

Modern France is the result of centuries of nation building and the acquisition and incorporation of a number of historical provinces into the French domain. The names of these provinces are still used to designate natural, historical and cultural regions, and many of them appear in modern région or département names.

Major Provinces of France, with provincial capitals. Cities in bold had provincial "parlements" or "conseils souverains" during the ancien régime. Note: The map reflects France's modern borders and does not indicate the territorial formation of France over time. Provinces on this list may encompass several other historic provinces and counties (for example, at the time of the Revolution, Guyenne was made up of eight smaller historic provinces, including Quercy and Rouergue). For a more complete list, see Provinces of France.
  1. Île-de-France (Paris)
  2. Berry (Bourges)
  3. Orléanais (Orléans)
  4. Normandy (Rouen)
  5. Languedoc (Toulouse)
  6. Lyonnais (Lyon)
  7. Dauphiné (Grenoble)
  8. Champagne (Troyes)
  9. Aunis (La Rochelle)
  10. Saintonge (Saintes)
  11. Poitou (Poitiers)
  12. Guyenne and Gascony (Bordeaux)
  13. Burgundy (Dijon)
  14. Picardy (Amiens)
  15. Anjou (Angers)
  16. Provence (Aix-en-Provence)
  17. Angoumois (Angoulême)
  18. Bourbonnais (Moulins)
  19. Marche (Guéret)
  20. Brittany (Rennes, parl. briefly at Nantes)
  21. Maine (Le Mans)
  22. Touraine (Tours)
  23. Limousin (Limoges)
  1. Foix (Foix)
  2. Auvergne (Clermont-Ferrand)
  3. Béarn (Pau)
  4. Alsace (Strasbourg, cons. souv. in Colmar)
  5. Artois (cons provinc. in Arras)
  6. Roussillon (cons. souv. in Perpignan)
  7. Flanders and Hainaut (Lille, parliament first in Tournai, then in Douai)
  8. Franche-Comté (Besançon, formerly at Dôle)
  9. Lorraine (Nancy)
  10. Corsica (off map, Ajaccio, cons. souv. in Bastia)
  11. Nivernais (Nevers)
  12. Comtat Venaissin (Avignon), a Papal fief
  13. Imperial Free City of Mulhouse
  14. Savoy, a Sardinian fief (parl. in Chambery 1537-1559)
  15. Nice, a Sardinian fief
  16. Montbéliard, a fief of Württemberg
  17. (not indicated) Trois-Évêchés (Metz, Toul and Verdun)
  18. (not indicated) Dombes (Trévoux)
  19. (not indicated) Navarre (Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port)
  20. (not indicated) Soule (Mauléon)
  21. (not indicated) Bigorre (Tarbes)
  22. (not indicated) Beaujolais (Beaujeu)
  23. (not indicated) Bresse (Bourg)
  24. (not indicated) Perche (Mortagne-au-Perche)
Provinces of France

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Parent portals: Europe | European Union

Related portals: French literature | Paris | Lyon | Military history of France | New France