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France vs. Germany

Introduction

FranceGermany
BackgroundFrance today is one of the most modern countries in the world and is a leader among European nations. It plays an influential global role as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, NATO, the G-7, the G-20, the EU, and other multilateral organizations. France rejoined NATO's integrated military command structure in 2009, reversing DE GAULLE's 1966 decision to withdraw French forces from NATO. 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 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.
As Europe's largest economy and second most populous nation (after Russia), Germany is a key member of the continent's economic, political, and defense organizations. European power struggles immersed Germany in two devastating World Wars in the first half of the 20th century and left the country occupied by the victorious Allied powers of the US, UK, France, and the Soviet Union in 1945. With the advent of the Cold War, two German states were formed in 1949: the western Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the eastern German Democratic Republic (GDR). The democratic FRG embedded itself in key western economic and security organizations, the EC, which became the EU, and NATO, while the communist GDR was on the front line of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact. The decline of the USSR and the end of the Cold War allowed for German reunification in 1990. Since then, Germany has expended considerable funds to bring eastern productivity and wages up to western standards. In January 1999, Germany and 10 other EU countries introduced a common European exchange currency, the euro.

Geography

FranceGermany
Locationmetropolitan 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 halfway between northern Madagascar and northern Mozambique
Reunion: Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar
Central Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, between the Netherlands and Poland, south of Denmark
Geographic coordinatesmetropolitan 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
51 00 N, 9 00 E
Map referencesmetropolitan France: Europe
French Guiana: South America
Guadeloupe: Central America and the Caribbean
Martinique: Central America and the Caribbean
Mayotte: Africa
Reunion: World
Europe
Areatotal: 643,801 sq km; 551,500 sq km (metropolitan France)
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
total: 357,022 sq km
land: 348,672 sq km
water: 8,350 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly more than four times the size of Georgia; slightly less than the size of Texas
three times the size of Pennsylvania; slightly smaller than Montana
Land boundariesmetropolitan France - total: 2,751 km
border countries (8): Andorra 55 km, Belgium 556 km, Germany 418 km, Italy 476 km, Luxembourg 69 km, Monaco 6 km, Spain 646 km, Switzerland 525 km
French Guiana - total: 1,205 km
border countries (2): Brazil 649 km, Suriname 556 km
total: 3,714 km
border countries (9): Austria 801 km, Belgium 133 km, Czech Republic 704 km, Denmark 140 km, France 418 km, Luxembourg 128 km, Netherlands 575 km, Poland 467 km, Switzerland 348 km
Coastlinetotal: 4,853 km
metropolitan France: 3,427 km
2,389 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm (does not apply to the Mediterranean Sea)
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climatemetropolitan 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)
temperate and marine; cool, cloudy, wet winters and summers; occasional warm mountain (foehn) wind
Terrainmetropolitan 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
lowlands in north, uplands in center, Bavarian Alps in south
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 375 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Rhone River delta -2 m
highest point: Mont Blanc 4,807 m
note: 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
mean elevation: 263 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Neuendorf bei Wilster -3.54 m
highest point: Zugspitze 2,963 m
Natural resourcesmetropolitan France: coal, iron ore, bauxite, zinc, uranium, antimony, arsenic, potash, feldspar, fluorspar, gypsum, timber, arable land, fish
French Guiana: gold deposits, petroleum, kaolin, niobium, tantalum, clay
coal, lignite, natural gas, iron ore, copper, nickel, uranium, potash, salt, construction materials, timber, arable land
Land useagricultural land: 52.7%
arable land 33.4%; permanent crops 1.8%; permanent pasture 17.5%
forest: 29.2%
other: 18.1% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 48%
arable land 34.1%; permanent crops 0.6%; permanent pasture 13.3%
forest: 31.8%
other: 20.2% (2011 est.)
Irrigated landtotal: 26,420 sq km 26,950 sq km
metropolitan France: 26,000 sq km (2012)
6,500 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsmetropolitan France: flooding; avalanches; midwinter windstorms; drought; forest fires in south near the Mediterranean
overseas departments: hurricanes (cyclones); flooding; volcanic activity (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion)
flooding
Environment - current issuessome forest damage from acid rain; air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; water pollution from urban wastes, agricultural runoff
emissions from coal-burning utilities and industries contribute to air pollution; acid rain, resulting from sulfur dioxide emissions, is damaging forests; pollution in the Baltic Sea from raw sewage and industrial effluents from rivers in eastern Germany; hazardous waste disposal; government established a mechanism for ending the use of nuclear power by 2022; government working to meet EU commitment to identify nature preservation areas in line with the EU's Flora, Fauna, and Habitat directive
Environment - international agreementsparty 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
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, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notelargest West European nation; most major French rivers - the Meuse, Seine, Loire, Charente, Dordogne, and Garonne - flow northward or westward into the Atlantic Ocean, only the Rhone flows southward into the Mediterranean Sea
strategic location on North European Plain and along the entrance to the Baltic Sea; most major rivers in Germany - the Rhine, Weser, Oder, Elbe - flow northward; the Danube, which originates in the Black Forest, flows eastward
Population distributionmuch of the population is concentrated in the north and southeast; although there are many urban agglomerations throughout the country, Paris is by far the largest city, with Lyon ranked a distant second
most populous country in Europe; a fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, with urban areas attracting larger and denser populations, particularly in the far western part of the industrial state of North Rhine-Westphalia

Demographics

FranceGermany
Population66,836,154
note: the above figure is for metropolitan France and five overseas regions; the metropolitan France population is 62,814,233 (July 2016 est.)
80,722,792 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 18.59% (male 6,354,241/female 6,070,971)
15-24 years: 11.8% (male 4,035,407/female 3,853,153)
25-54 years: 38.04% (male 12,799,923/female 12,625,781)
55-64 years: 12.44% (male 4,011,853/female 4,303,261)
65 years and over: 19.12% (male 5,510,337/female 7,271,227) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 12.83% (male 5,317,183/female 5,040,664)
15-24 years: 10.22% (male 4,203,985/female 4,044,789)
25-54 years: 40.96% (male 16,721,667/female 16,345,911)
55-64 years: 14.23% (male 5,695,117/female 5,788,493)
65 years and over: 21.76% (male 7,709,799/female 9,855,184) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 41.2 years
male: 39.5 years
female: 42.9 years (2016 est.)
total: 46.8 years
male: 45.7 years
female: 47.9 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate0.41% (2016 est.)
-0.16% (2016 est.)
Birth rate12.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
8.5 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate9.3 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
11.6 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate1.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
1.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 3.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 3.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 81.8 years
male: 78.7 years
female: 85.1 years (2016 est.)
total population: 80.7 years
male: 78.4 years
female: 83.1 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate2.07 children born/woman (2016 est.)
1.44 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rateNA
0.15% (2013 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Frenchman(men), Frenchwoman(women)
adjective: French
noun: German(s)
adjective: German
Ethnic groupsCeltic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Indochinese, Basque minorities
overseas departments: black, white, mulatto, East Indian, Chinese, Amerindian
German 91.5%, Turkish 2.4%, other 6.1% (made up largely of Polish, Italian, Romanian, Syrian, and Greek)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDSNA
77,500 (2013 est.)
ReligionsChristian (overwhelmingly Roman Catholic) 63-66%, Muslim 7-9%, Buddhist 0.5-0.75%, Jewish 0.5-0.75%, other 0.5-1.0%, none 23-28%
note: France maintains a tradition of secularism and has not officially collected data on religious affiliation since the 1872 national census, which complicates assessments of France's religious composition; an 1872 law prohibiting state authorities from collecting data on individuals' ethnicity or religious beliefs was reaffirmed by a 1978 law emphasizing the prohibition of the collection or exploitation of personal data revealing an individual's race, ethnicity, or political, philosophical, or religious opinions; a 1905 law codified France's separation of church and state (2015 est.)
Roman Catholic 29%, Protestant 27%, Muslim 4.4%, Orthodox Christian 1.9%, other 1.7%, none or members of unrecorded religious groups 36% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths1,500 (2013 est.)
400 (2013 est.)
LanguagesFrench (official) 100%, declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish, Occitan, Picard)
overseas departments: French, Creole patois, Mahorian (a Swahili dialect)
German (official)
note: Danish, Frisian, Sorbian, and Romani are official minority languages; Low German, Danish, North Frisian, Sater Frisian, Lower Sorbian, Upper Sorbian, and Romani are recognized as regional languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 16 years
male: 16 years
female: 17 years (2014)
total: 17 years
male: 17 years
female: 17 years (2015)
Education expenditures5.5% of GDP (2013)
4.9% of GDP (2013)
Urbanizationurban population: 79.5% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 0.84% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 75.3% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 0.16% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 98.6% of population
rural: 98.9% of population
total: 98.7% of population
unimproved:
urban: 1.4% of population
rural: 1.1% of population
total: 1.3% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 99.3% of population
rural: 99% of population
total: 99.2% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0.7% of population
rural: 1% of population
total: 0.8% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationPARIS (capital) 10.843 million; Lyon 1.609 million; Marseille-Aix-en-Provence 1.605 million; Lille 1.027 million; Nice-Cannes 967,000; Toulouse 938,000 (2015)
BERLIN (capital) 3.563 million; Hamburg 1.831 million; Munich 1.438 million; Cologne 1.037 million (2015)
Maternal mortality rate8 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
6 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Health expenditures11.5% of GDP (2014)
11.3% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density3.23 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
4.13 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density6.4 beds/1,000 population (2011)
8.2 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate25.7% (2014)
22.7% (2014)
Mother's mean age at first birth28.1 years (2010 est.)
29.2 years (2012 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 60.3
youth dependency ratio: 29.6
elderly dependency ratio: 30.6
potential support ratio: 3.3 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 51.8
youth dependency ratio: 19.6
elderly dependency ratio: 32.2
potential support ratio: 3.1 (2015 est.)

Government

FranceGermany
Country name"conventional long form: French Republic
conventional short form: France
local long form: Republique francaise
local short form: France
etymology: name derives from the Latin ""Francia"" meaning ""Land of the Franks""; the Franks were a group of Germanic tribes located along the middle and lower Rhine River in the 3rd century A.D. who merged with Gallic-Roman populations in succeeding centuries and to whom they passed on their name
"
"conventional long form: Federal Republic of Germany
conventional short form: Germany
local long form: Bundesrepublik Deutschland
local short form: Deutschland
former: German Empire, German Republic, German Reich
etymology: the Gauls (Celts) of Western Europe may have referred to the newly arriving Germanic tribes who settled in neighboring areas east of the Rhine during the first centuries B.C. as ""Germani,"" a term the Romans adopted as ""Germania""; the native designation ""Deutsch"" comes from the Old High German ""diutisc"" meaning ""of the people""
"
Government typesemi-presidential republic
federal parliamentary republic
Capitalname: Paris
geographic coordinates: 48 52 N, 2 20 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
note: applies to metropolitan France only, not to its overseas departments, collectivities, or territories
name: Berlin
geographic coordinates: 52 31 N, 13 24 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions"18 regions (regions, singular - region); Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, Bourgogne-Franche-Comte (Burgundy-Free County), Bretagne (Brittany), Centre-Val de Loire (Center-Loire Valley), Corse (Corsica), Grand Est (Grand East), Guadeloupe, Guyane (French Guiana), Hauts-de-France (Upper France), Ile-de-France, Martinique, Mayotte, Normandie (Normandy), Nouvelle-Aquitaine (New Aquitaine), Occitanie (Occitania), Pays de la Loire (Lands of the Loire), Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, Reunion
note: France is divided into 13 metropolitan regions (including the ""territorial collectivity"" of Corse or Corsica) and 5 overseas regions (French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Reunion) and is subdivided into 96 metropolitan departments and 5 overseas departments (which are the same as the overseas regions)
"
16 states (Laender, singular - Land); Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bayern (Bavaria), Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hessen (Hesse), Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania), Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony), Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia), Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate), Saarland, Sachsen (Saxony), Sachsen-Anhalt (Saxony-Anhalt), Schleswig-Holstein, Thueringen (Thuringia); note - Bayern, Sachsen, and Thueringen refer to themselves as free states (Freistaaten, singular - Freistaat), while Hamburg prides itself on being a Free and Hanseatic City (Freie und Hansestadt)
Independenceno official date of independence: 486 (Frankish tribes unified under Merovingian kingship); 10 August 843 (Western Francia established from the division of the Carolingian Empire); 14 July 1789 (French monarchy overthrown); 22 September 1792 (First French Republic founded); 4 October 1958 (Fifth French Republic established)
18 January 1871 (establishment of the German Empire); divided into four zones of occupation (UK, US, USSR, and France) in 1945 following World War II; Federal Republic of Germany (FRG or West Germany) proclaimed on 23 May 1949 and included the former UK, US, and French zones; German Democratic Republic (GDR or East Germany) proclaimed on 7 October 1949 and included the former USSR zone; West Germany and East Germany unified on 3 October 1990; all four powers formally relinquished rights on 15 March 1991; notable earlier dates: 10 August 843 (Eastern Francia established from the division of the Carolingian Empire); 2 February 962 (crowning of OTTO I, recognized as the first Holy Roman Emperor)
National holidayFete de la Federation, 14 July (1790); note - although often incorrectly referred to as Bastille Day, the celebration actually commemorates the holiday held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille (on 14 July 1789) and the establishment of a constitutional monarchy; other names for the holiday are Fete Nationale (National Holiday) and quatorze juillet (14th of July)
Unity Day, 3 October (1990)
Constitutionhistory: many previous; latest effective 4 October 1958
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic (upon recommendation of the prime minister and Parliament) or by Parliament; proposals submitted by Parliament members require passage by both houses followed by approval in a referendum; passage of proposals submitted by the government can bypass a referendum if submitted by the president to Parliament and passed by at least three-fifths majority vote by Parliament’s National Assembly; amended many times, last in 2008 (2016)
history: previous 1919 (Weimar Constitution); latest drafted 10 to 23 August 1948, approved 12 May 1949, promulgated 23 May 1949, entered into force 24 May 1949
amendments: proposed by Parliament; passage and enactment into law require two-thirds majority vote by both the Bundesrat (upper house) and the Bundestag (lower house) of Parliament; articles including those on basic human rights and freedoms cannot be amended; amended many times, last in 2012 (2016)
Legal systemcivil law; review of administrative but not legislative acts
civil law system
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Emmanuel MACRON (since 14 May 2017)
head of government: Prime Minister Edouard PHILIPPE (since 15 May 2017)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president at the suggestion of the prime minister
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 23 April and 7 May 2017 (next to be held on April (first round) and May (second round) 2022); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Emmanuel MACRON elected president; percent of vote in first round - Emmanuel MACRON (EM) 24.0%, Marine LE PEN (FN) 21.3%, Francois FILLON (LR) 20.0%, Jean-Luc MELENCHON (FI) 19.6%, Benoit HAMON (PS) 6.4%, other 8.7%; percent of vote in second round - MACRON 66.1%%, LE PEN 33.9%
chief of state: Frank-Walter STEINMEIER (since 19 March 2017; inaugurated 22 March 2017)
head of government: Chancellor Angela MERKEL (since 22 November 2005)
cabinet: Cabinet or Bundesminister (Federal Ministers) recommended by the chancellor, appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term) by a Federal Convention consisting of the 630-member Federal Parliament (Bundestag) and 630 delegates indirectly elected by the state parliaments; election last held on 12 February 2017 (next to be held February 2022); chancellor indirectly elected by absolute majority by the Federal Parliament for a 4-year term; Federal Parliament vote for chancellor last held on 17 December 2013 (next to be held following the general election, 24 September 2017)
election results: Frank-Walter STEINMEIER elected president; Federal Convention vote count - Frank-Walter STEINMEIER (SPD) 931, Christopher BUTTERWEGGE (Left Party) 128, Albrecht GLASER (Alternative for Germany AfD) 42, Alexander HOLD (Free Voters FW) 25, Engelbert SONNEBORN (Pirates Party) 10; Angela MERKEL (CDU) reelected chancellor; Federal Parliament vote - 462 for, 150 against, 49 abstentions
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat (348 seats - 328 for metropolitan France and overseas departments and regions of Guadeloupe, Martinque, French Guiana, Reunion, and Mayotte, 2 for New Caledonia, 2 for French Polynesia, 1 for Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, 1 for Saint-Barthelemy, 1 for Saint-Martin, 1 for Wallis and Futuna, and 12 for French nationals abroad; members indirectly elected by departmental electoral colleges using absolute majority vote in two rounds if needed for departments with 1-3 members and proportional representation vote in departments with 4 or more members; members serve 6-year terms with one-half of the membership renewed every 3 years) and the National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (577 seats - 556 for metropolitan France, 10 for overseas departments, and 11 for citizens abroad; members directly elected by absolute majority vote in two rounds if needed to serve 5-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 28 September 2014 (next to be held 24 September 2017); National Assembly - last held on 10 and 17 June 2012 (next to be held 11 and 18 June 2017)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 187, PS 152, other 9; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - PS 48.5%, UMP 33.6%, miscellaneous left wing parties 3.8%, Greens 3.0%, miscellaneous right wing parties 2.6%, NC 2.1%, PRG 2.1%, FDG 1.7%, other 2.6%; seats by party - PS 280, UMP 194, miscellaneous left wing parties 22, Greens 17, miscellaneous right wing parties 15, NC 12, PRG 12, FDG 10, other 15
description: bicameral Parliament or Parlament consists of the Federal Council or Bundesrat (69 seats; members appointed by each of the 16 state governments) and the Federal Diet or Bundestag (631 seats - total seats can vary each electoral term; approximately one-half of members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and approximately one-half directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: Bundestag - last held on 22 September 2013 (next to be held 24 September 2017); most all postwar German governments have been coalitions; note - there are no elections for the Bundesrat; composition is determined by the composition of the state-level governments; the composition of the Bundesrat has the potential to change any time one of the 16 states holds an election
election results: Bundestag - percent of vote by party - CDU/CSU 41.5%, SPD 25.7%, Left 8.6%, Greens 8.4%, FDP 4.8%, other 10.9%; seats by party - CDU/CSU 311, SPD 193, Left 64, Greens 63
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Court of Cassation or Cour de Cassation (consists of the court president, 6 divisional presiding judges, 120 trial judges, and 70 deputy judges organized into 6 divisions - 3 civil, 1 commercial, 1 labor, and 1 criminal); Constitutional Council (consists of 9 members)
judge selection and term of office: Court of Cassation judges appointed by the president of the republic from nominations from the High Council of the Judiciary, presided by the Court of Cassation and 15 appointed members; judges appointed for life; Constitutional Council members appointed - 3 by the president of the republic and 3 each by the National Assembly and Senate presidents; members serve 9-year, non-renewable terms with one third of the membership renewed every 3 years
subordinate courts: appellate courts or Cour d'Appel; regional courts or Tribunal de Grande Instance; first instance courts or Tribunal d'instance
highest court(s): Federal Court of Justice (court consists of 127 judges including the court president, vice-presidents, presiding judges, and other judges, and organized into 25 Senates subdivided into 12 civil panels, 5 criminal panels, and 8 special panels; Federal Constitutional Court or Bundesverfassungsgericht (consists of 2 Senates each subdivided into 3 chambers, each with a chairman and 8 members)
judge selection and term of office: Federal Court of Justice judges selected by the Judges Election Committee, which consists of the Secretaries of Justice from each of the 16 federated States and 16 members appointed by the Federal Parliament; judges appointed by the president of Germany; judges serve until mandatory retirement at age 65; Federal Constitutional Court judges - one-half elected by the House of Representatives and one-half by the Senate; judges appointed for 12-year terms with mandatory retirement at age 68
subordinate courts: Federal Administrative Court; Federal Finance Court; Federal Labor Court; Federal Social Court; each of the 16 German states or Land has its own constitutional court and a hierarchy of ordinary (civil, criminal, family) and specialized (administrative, finance, labor, social) courts
Political parties and leadersDemocratic Movement or MODEM [Francois BAYROU]
Europe Ecology - The Greens or EELV [David CORMAND]
Forward! (En Marche!) or EM [Catherine BARBAROUX, acting]
French Communist Party or PCF [Pierre LAURENT]
La France insoumise or FI [Jean-Luc MELENCHON]
Left Front Coalition or FDG [Jean-Luc MELENCHON]
Left Party or PG [collective leadership; main leaders Jean-Luc MELENCHON and Francois COCO, linked with the movement La France Insoumise or FI [Jean-Luc MELENCHON]]
Left Radical Party or PRG [Sylvia PINEL] (previously Radical Socialist Party or PRS and the Left Radical Movement or MRG)
Movement for France or MPF [Philippe DE VILLIERS]
National Front or FN [Marine LE PEN]
New Anticapitalist Party or NPA [collective leadership; main spokesperson Christine POUPIN; presidential candIdate Philippe POUTOU]
Rally for France or RPF [Igor KUREK]
Republican and Citizen Movement or MRC [Jean-Luc LAURENT]
Socialist Party or PS [vacant]
Stand Up France (Debout La France) [Nicolas DUPONT-AIGNAN]
The Centrists [Herve MORIN] (formerly new Center of NC)
The Republicans or LR (formerly Union for a Popular Movement or UMP) [vacant]
Union des Democrates et Independants or UDI [Jean-Christohe LAGARDE] and Democratic Movement or MoDem [Francois BAYROU] (previously Union for French Democracy or UDF); together known as UDI-Modem; Radical Party [Laurent HENART] is a member of UDI
United Republic or RS [Dominique DE VILLEPIN]
Worker's Struggle (Lutte Ouvriere) or LO; also known as Communist Union; [collective leadership; spokespersons Nathalie ARTHAUD and Arlette LAGUILLER]
Alliance '90/Greens [Cem OEZDEMIR and Simone PETER]
Alternative for Germany or AfD [Frauke PETRY and Joerg MEUTHEN]
Christian Democratic Union or CDU [Angela MERKEL]
Christian Social Union or CSU [Horst SEEHOFER]
Free Democratic Party or FDP [Christian LINDNER]
Left Party or Die Linke [Katja KIPPING and Bernd RIEXINGER]
Social Democratic Party or SPD [Martin SCHULZ]
Political pressure groups and leadersConfederation francaise de l'encadrement - Confederation generale des cadres (French Confederation of Management - General Confederation of Executives) or CFE-CGC [Francois HOMMERIL, president] (independent white-collar union with 140,000 members)
Confederation Francaise Democratique du Travail (French Democratic Confederation of Labor) or CFDT [Laurent BERGER, secretary general] (left-leaning labor union with approximately 875,000 members)
Confederation francaise des travailleurs chretiens (French Confederation of Christian Workers) or CFTC [Philippe LOUIS, president] (independent labor union founded by Catholic workers that claims 142,000 members)
Confederation generale du travail (General Confederation of Labor) or CGT [Philippe MARTINEZ, secretary general] (historically communist labor union with approximately 710,000 members)
Confederation generale du travail - Force ouvriere (General Confederation of Labor - Worker's Force) or FO [Jean-Claude MAILLY, secretary general] (independent labor union with an estimated 300,000 members)
Mouvement des entreprises de France or MEDEF [Pierre GATTAZ, president] (employers' union with claimed 750,000 companies as members)

French Guiana:
conservationists; gold mining pressure groups; hunting pressure groups

Guadeloupe:
Christian Movement for the Liberation of Guadeloupe or KLPG
General Federation of Guadeloupe Workers or CGT-G
General Union of Guadeloupe Workers or UGTG
Movement for an Independent Guadeloupe or MPGI
The Socialist Renewal Movement

Martinique:
Caribbean Revolutionary Alliance or ARC
Central Union for Martinique Workers or CSTM
Frantz Fanon Circle
League of Workers and Peasants
Proletarian Action Group or GAP

Reunion:
NA
other: business associations and employers' organizations
trade unions; religious, immigrant, expellee, and veterans groups
International organization participationADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BDEAC, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, FZ, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSMA, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNRWA, UNSC (permanent), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS, CD, CDB, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSMA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), SICA (observer), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Gerard ARAUD (since 18 September 2014)
chancery: 4101 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 944-6000
FAX: [1] (202) 944-6166
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, Washington DC
chief of mission: Ambassador Hans Peter WITTIG (since 21 May 2014)
chancery: 4645 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 298-4000
FAX: [1] (202) 298-4249
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Uzra ZEYA (since 20 January 2017) note - also accredited to Monaco
embassy: 2 Avenue Gabriel, 75382 Paris Cedex 08
mailing address: PSC 116, APO AE 09777
telephone: [33] (1) 43-12-22-22
FAX: [33] (1) 42 66 97 83
consulate(s) general: Marseille, Strasbourg
consulate(s): Bordeaux, Lyon, Rennes, Toulouse
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Kent LOGSDON (since 20 January 2017)
embassy: Pariser Platz 2
mailing address: Clayallee 170, 14191 Berlin
telephone: [49] (30) 8305-0
FAX: [49] (30) 8305-1215
consulate(s) general: Duesseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich
Flag description"three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), white, and red; known as the ""Le drapeau tricolore"" (French Tricolor), the origin of the flag dates to 1790 and the French Revolution when the ""ancient French color"" of white was combined with the blue and red colors of the Parisian militia; the official flag for all French dependent areas
note: the design and/or colors are similar to a number of other flags, including those of Belgium, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, and Netherlands
"
three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and gold; these colors have played an important role in German history and can be traced back to the medieval banner of the Holy Roman Emperor - a black eagle with red claws and beak on a gold field
National anthem"name: ""La Marseillaise"" (The Song of Marseille)
lyrics/music: Claude-Joseph ROUGET de Lisle
note: adopted 1795, restored 1870; originally known as ""Chant de Guerre pour l'Armee du Rhin"" (War Song for the Army of the Rhine), the National Guard of Marseille made the song famous by singing it while marching into Paris in 1792 during the French Revolutionary Wars
"
"name: ""Das Lied der Deutschen"" (Song of the Germans)
lyrics/music: August Heinrich HOFFMANN VON FALLERSLEBEN/Franz Joseph HAYDN
note: adopted 1922; the anthem, also known as ""Deutschlandlied"" (Song of Germany), was originally adopted for its connection to the March 1848 liberal revolution; following appropriation by the Nazis of the first verse, specifically the phrase, ""Deutschland, Deutschland ueber alles"" (Germany, Germany above all) to promote nationalism, it was banned after 1945; in 1952, its third verse was adopted by West Germany as its national anthem; in 1990, it became the national anthem for the reunited Germany
"
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)Gallic rooster, fleur-de-lis, Marianne (female personification); national colors: blue, white, red
golden eagle; national colors: black, red, yellow
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of France
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a German citizen or a resident alien who has lived in Germany at least 8 years
dual citizenship recognized: yes, but requires prior permission from government
residency requirement for naturalization: 8 years

Economy

FranceGermany
Economy - overviewThe French economy is diversified across all sectors. The government has partially or fully privatized many large companies, including Air France, France Telecom, Renault, and Thales. However, the government maintains a strong presence in some sectors, particularly power, public transport, and defense industries. Despite terrorist attacks, labor strikes, and bad weather, France is still the most visited country in the world with 83 million foreign tourists in 2016, including 530,000 who came for the 2016 Euro Cup. France's leaders remain committed to a capitalism in which they maintain social equity by means of laws, tax policies, and social spending that mitigate economic inequality.

France's real GDP grew by 1.1% in 2016, down from 1.3% the year before. The unemployment rate (including overseas territories) increased from 7.8% in 2008 to 10.2% in 2015, before slightly falling to 10% in 2016. Youth unemployment in metropolitan France decreased from 24.6% in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 24% in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Lower-than-expected growth and high spending have strained France's public finances. Despite measures to restore public finances since President Fran?ois HOLLANDE took office in 2012, the budget deficit rose from 3.3% of GDP in 2008 to 7.5% of GDP in 2009 before improving to 3.4% of GDP in 2016. Meanwhile, France's public debt rose from 89.5% of GDP in 2012 to 96% in 2016.

President HOLLANDE’s policies have aimed to enhance French industry’s competitiveness and to lower high jobless figures. The Competitiveness and Employment Tax Credit of 2012, the Responsibility and Solidarity Pact of 2014, the Investment Stimulus Plan, and the Emergency Jobs Plan represent more than $42.6 billion in support for businesses in 2017 by lowering French labor costs, but so far the results of these policies have been marginal on France’s competitiveness and job creation. In an effort to bolster social justice, the 2017 budget bill contained provisions to reduce income taxes for households and for small and medium sized enterprises.

During his mandate, President HOLLANDE oversaw two highly unpopular economic reforms that led to widespread protests. The “Macron Law” of 2015, enacted to boost economic growth, authorized businesses to open some Sundays of each month and allowed flexibility to negotiate pay and working hours. The “El Khomri law,” imposed by decree in 2016, aimed to make it easier for businesses to employ people and gave employers more leeway to negotiate hours, wages, and time off.
The German economy - the fifth largest economy in the world in PPP terms and Europe's largest - is a leading exporter of machinery, vehicles, chemicals, and household equipment and benefits from a highly skilled labor force. Like its Western European neighbors, Germany faces significant demographic challenges to sustained long-term growth. Low fertility rates and a large increase in net immigration are increasing pressure on the country's social welfare system and necessitate structural reforms.

Reforms launched by the government of Chancellor Gerhard SCHROEDER (1998-2005), deemed necessary to address chronically high unemployment and low average growth, contributed to strong growth and falling unemployment. These advances, as well as a government subsidized, reduced working hour scheme, help explain the relatively modest increase in unemployment during the 2008-09 recession - the deepest since World War II. The German Government introduced a minimum wage in 2015 that increased to $9.79 (8.84 euros) on 1 January 2017.

Stimulus and stabilization efforts initiated in 2008 and 2009 and tax cuts introduced in Chancellor Angela MERKEL's second term increased Germany's total budget deficit - including federal, state, and municipal - to 4.1% in 2010, but slower spending and higher tax revenues reduced the deficit to 0.8% in 2011 and in 2016 Germany reached a budget surplus of 0.6%. A constitutional amendment approved in 2009 limits the federal government to structural deficits of no more than 0.35% of GDP per annum as of 2016, though the target was already reached in 2012.

The German economy suffers from low levels of investment, and a government plan to invest 15 billion euros during 2016-18, largely in infrastructure, is intended to spur needed private investment. Following the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Chancellor Angela MERKEL announced in May 2011 that eight of the country's 17 nuclear reactors would be shut down immediately and the remaining plants would close by 2022. Germany plans to replace nuclear power largely with renewable energy, which accounted for 29.5% of gross electricity consumption in 2016, up from 9% in 2000. Before the shutdown of the eight reactors, Germany relied on nuclear power for 23% of its electricity generating capacity and 46% of its base-load electricity production. Domestic consumption, bolstered by low energy prices and a weak euro, and exports are likely to drive German GDP growth again in 2017.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$2.699 trillion (2016 est.)
$2.67 trillion (2015 est.)
$2.667 trillion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$3.979 trillion (2016 est.)
$3.911 trillion (2015 est.)
$3.854 trillion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate1.1% (2016 est.)
1.3% (2015 est.)
0.6% (2014 est.)
1.7% (2016 est.)
1.5% (2015 est.)
1.6% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$42,400 (2016 est.)
$42,000 (2015 est.)
$41,700 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$48,200 (2016 est.)
$47,600 (2015 est.)
$47,500 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 1.7%
industry: 19.4%
services: 78.8% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 0.6%
industry: 30.3%
services: 69.1%
(2016 est.)
Population below poverty line14% (2013 est.)
16.7% (2015 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 3.6%
highest 10%: 25.4% (2013)
lowest 10%: 3.6%
highest 10%: 24% (2000)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)0.3% (2016 est.)
0.1% (2015 est.)
0.5% (2016 est.)
0.3% (2015 est.)
Labor force30.48 million (2016 est.)
45.3 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 2.4%
industry: 18.3%
services: 79.3% (2015 est.)
agriculture: 1.4%
industry: 24.2%
services: 74.3%
(2016)
Unemployment rate9.7% (2016 est.)
10.1% (2015 est.)
note: includes overseas territories
4.3% (2016 est.)
4.6% (2015 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index29.2 (2015)
30.5 (2012)
27 (2006)
30 (1994)
Budgetrevenues: $1.308 trillion
expenditures: $1.392 trillion (2016 est.)
revenues: $1.523 trillion
expenditures: $1.497 trillion (2016 est.)
Industriesmachinery, chemicals, automobiles, metallurgy, aircraft, electronics; textiles, food processing; tourism
among the world's largest and most technologically advanced producers of iron, steel, coal, cement, chemicals, machinery, vehicles, machine tools, electronics, automobiles, food and beverages, shipbuilding, textiles
Industrial production growth rate0.5% (2016 est.)
1.5% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productswheat, cereals, sugar beets, potatoes, wine grapes; beef, dairy products; fish
potatoes, wheat, barley, sugar beets, fruit, cabbages; milk products; cattle, pigs, poultry
Exports$489.1 billion (2016 est.)
$493.6 billion (2015 est.)
$1.283 trillion (2016 est.)
$1.309 trillion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesmachinery and transportation equipment, aircraft, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, iron and steel, beverages
motor vehicles, machinery, chemicals, computer and electronic products, electrical equipment, pharmaceuticals, metals, transport equipment, foodstuffs, textiles, rubber and plastic products
Exports - partnersGermany 16.1%, Spain 7.5%, US 7.4%, Italy 7.3%, UK 7%, Belgium 6.8% (2016)
US 9.6%, France 8.6%, UK 7.5%, Netherlands 6.6%, China 6%, Italy 4.9%, Austria 4.8%, Poland 4.4%, Switzerland 4.2% (2015)
Imports$561 billion (2016 est.)
$563.4 billion (2015 est.)
$987.6 billion (2016 est.)
$1.017 trillion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, vehicles, crude oil, aircraft, plastics, chemicals
machinery, data processing equipment, vehicles, chemicals, oil and gas, metals, electric equipment, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, agricultural products
Imports - partnersGermany 16.9%, China 9.1%, Italy 7.5%, US 7%, Belgium 6.7%, Spain 6.4%, Netherlands 6%, UK 4.3% (2016)
Netherlands 13.7%, France 7.6%, China 7.3%, Belgium 6%, Italy 5.2%, Poland 5%, US 4.7%, Czech Republic 4.5%, UK 4.2%, Austria 4.2%, Switzerland 4.2% (2015)
Debt - external$5.36 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
$5.25 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
$5.326 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
$5.21 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
Exchange rateseuros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.9214 (2016 est.)
0.885 (2015 est.)
0.885 (2014 est.)
0.7634 (2013 est.)
0.7752 (2012 est.)
euros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.9214 (2016 est.)
0.885 (2015 est.)
0.885 (2014 est.)
0.7634 (2013 est.)
0.7752 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Public debt96% of GDP (2016 est.)
95.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions
68.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
71.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: general government gross debt is defined in the Maastricht Treaty as consolidated general government gross debt at nominal value, outstanding at the end of the year in the following categories of government liabilities (as defined in ESA95): currency and deposits (AF.2), securities other than shares excluding financial derivatives (AF.3, excluding AF.34), and loans (AF.4); the general government sector comprises the sub-sectors of central government, state government, local government and social security funds; the series are presented as a percentage of GDP and in millions of euro; GDP used as a denominator is the gross domestic product at current market prices; data expressed in national currency are converted into euro using end-of-year exchange rates provided by the European Central Bank
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$153.9 billion (29 April 2016 est.)
$138.2 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$173.7 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$173.7 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$26.85 billion (2016 est.)
-$4.832 billion (2015 est.)
$294.3 billion (2016 est.)
$280.3 billion (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$2.488 trillion (2016 est.)
$3.495 trillion
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$796.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$772 billion (2015 est.)
$1.416 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.36 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$1.339 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.314 trillion (2015 est.)
$2.08 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.972 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$1.591 trillion (31 March 2017 est.)
$2.088 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$2.086 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
$1.716 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.739 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
$1.936 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
Central bank discount rate0% (31 December 2016)
0.05% (31 December 2015)
note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area
0.25% (31 December 2016)
0.3% (31 December 2010)
note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area
Commercial bank prime lending rate2% (31 December 2016 est.)
1.93% (31 December 2015 est.)
1.7% (31 December 2016 est.)
1.84% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$3.64 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.528 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$4.327 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$4.452 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$1.144 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.079 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 18 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders
$2.049 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.923 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 18 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders
Stock of broad money$2.541 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
$2.771 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$4.347 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
$4.451 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues52.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
43.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-3.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
0.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 23.2%
male: 24.1%
female: 22.1% (2014 est.)
total: 7.7%
male: 8.3%
female: 7.1% (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 53.5%
government consumption: 26.4%
investment in fixed capital: 21.8%
investment in inventories: 1.3%
exports of goods and services: 30.4%
imports of goods and services: -33.4% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 53.7%
government consumption: 19.5%
investment in fixed capital: 20.1%
investment in inventories: -1%
exports of goods and services: 45.7%
imports of goods and services: -38% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving21.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
22.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
21.4% of GDP (2014 est.)
27.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
27.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
27% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

FranceGermany
Electricity - production562.8 billion kWh (2014 est.)
646.9 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - consumption415.3 billion kWh (2014 est.)
530.6 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - exports75.06 billion kWh (2014 est.)
82 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports7.873 billion kWh (2014 est.)
26.6 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production16,670 bbl/day (2015 est.)
48,060 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports1.174 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
1.844 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - exports21,960 bbl/day (2015 est.)
6,569 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - proved reserves84.08 million bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
100 million bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves8.75 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
47.4 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Natural gas - production17 million cu m (2014 est.)
9.469 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption36.72 billion cu m (2014 est.)
79.21 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports7.077 billion cu m (2014 est.)
22.27 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - imports45.13 billion cu m (2014 est.)
89.89 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity129 million kW (2014 est.)
204 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels20.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
43.2% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants14.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
5.1% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels48.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
6.3% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources11.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
41.6% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production1.277 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
2.175 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption1.691 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
2.372 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports444,900 bbl/day (2015 est.)
462,700 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports866,500 bbl/day (2015 est.)
785,700 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy385.6 million Mt (2013 est.)
744 million Mt (2015 est.)
Electricity accesselectrification - total population: 100% (2016)
electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Telecommunications

FranceGermany
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 38.929 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 58 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 45.352 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 56 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 66.681 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 100 (July 2015 est.)
total: 96.36 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 119 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: highly developed
domestic: extensive cable and microwave radio relay; extensive use of fiber-optic cable; domestic satellite system
international: country code - 33; numerous submarine cables provide links throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and US; satellite earth stations - more than 3 (2 Intelsat (with total of 5 antennas - 2 for Indian Ocean and 3 for Atlantic Ocean), NA Eutelsat, 1 Inmarsat - Atlantic Ocean region); HF radiotelephone communications with more than 20 countries
overseas departments: country codes: French Guiana - 594; Guadeloupe - 590; Martinique - 596; Mayotte - 262; Reunion - 262 (2015)
general assessment: one of the world's most technologically advanced telecommunications systems; as a result of intensive capital expenditures since reunification, the formerly backward system of the eastern part of the country, dating back to World War II, has been modernized and integrated with that of the western part
domestic: extensive system of automatic telephone exchanges connected by modern networks of fiber-optic cable, coaxial cable, microwave radio relay, and a domestic satellite system; cellular telephone service is widely available, expanding rapidly, and includes roaming service to many foreign countries
international: country code - 49; Germany's international service is excellent worldwide, consisting of extensive land and undersea cable facilities as well as earth stations in the Inmarsat, Intelsat, Eutelsat, and Intersputnik satellite systems (2015)
Internet country codemetropolitan France - .fr; French Guiana - .gf; Guadeloupe - .gp; Martinique - .mq; Mayotte - .yt; Reunion - .re
.de
Internet userstotal: 56.367 million
percent of population: 84.7% (July 2015 est.)
total: 70.82 million
percent of population: 87.6% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast mediaa mix of both publicly operated and privately owned TV stations; state-owned France television stations operate 4 networks, one of which is a network of regional stations, and has part-interest in several thematic cable/satellite channels and international channels; a large number of privately owned regional and local TV stations; multi-channel satellite and cable services provide a large number of channels; public broadcaster Radio France operates 7 national networks, a series of regional networks, and operates services for overseas territories and foreign audiences; Radio France Internationale, under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is a leading international broadcaster; a large number of commercial FM stations, with many of them consolidating into commercial networks (2008)
a mixture of publicly operated and privately owned TV and radio stations; national and regional public broadcasters compete with nearly 400 privately owned national and regional TV stations; more than 90% of households have cable or satellite TV; hundreds of radio stations including multiple national radio networks, regional radio networks, and a large number of local radio stations (2008)

Transportation

FranceGermany
Railwaystotal: 29,640 km
standard gauge: 29,473 km 1.435-m gauge (15,561 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 167 km 1.000-m gauge (63 km electrified) (2014)
total: 43,468.3 km
standard gauge: 43,209.3 km 1.435-m gauge (19,973 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 220 km 1.000-m gauge (79 km electrified); 15 km 0.900-m gauge; 24 km 0.750-m gauge (2014)
Roadwaystotal: 1,028,446 km (metropolitan France)
paved: 1,028,446 km (includes 11,416 km of expressways)
note: not included are 5,100 km of roadways in overseas departments (2010)
total: 645,000 km
paved: 645,000 km (includes 12,800 km of expressways)
note: includes local roads (2010)
Waterwaysmetropolitan France: 8,501 km (1,621 km navigable by craft up to 3,000 metric tons) (2010)
7,467 km (Rhine River carries most goods; Main-Danube Canal links North Sea and Black Sea) (2012)
Pipelinesgas 15,322 km; oil 2,939 km; refined products 5,084 km (2013)
condensate 37 km; gas 26,985 km; oil 2,826 km; refined products 4,479 km; water 8 km (2013)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Brest, Calais, Dunkerque, Le Havre, Marseille, Nantes,
river port(s): Paris, Rouen (Seine); Strasbourg (Rhine); Bordeaux (Garronne)
container port(s): Le Havre (2,215,262) (2011)
cruise/ferry port(s): Calais, Cherbourg, Le Havre
LNG terminal(s) (import): Fos Cavaou, Fos Tonkin, Montoir de Bretagne
major seaport(s): Baltic Sea - Rostock; North Sea - Wilhelmshaven
river port(s): Bremen (Weser); Bremerhaven (Geeste); Duisburg, Karlsruhe, Neuss-Dusseldorf (Rhine); Brunsbuttel, Hamburg (Elbe); Lubeck (Wakenitz)
oil terminal(s): Brunsbuttel Canal terminals
container port(s): Bremen/Bremerhaven (5,480,000), Hamburg (8,821,000) (2015)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Hamburg
Merchant marinetotal: 169
by type: container 24, dry bulk 1, liquefied gas 6, passenger 67, roll on/roll off 21, tanker 34, other 16 (2016)
foreign-owned: 50 (Belgium 7, Bermuda 5, Denmark 11, French Polynesia 11, Germany 1, New Caledonia 3, Singapore 3, Sweden 4, Switzerland 5) (2010)
registered in other countries: 151 (Bahamas 15, Belgium 7, Bermuda 1, Canada 1, Cyprus 16, Egypt 1, Hong Kong 4, Indonesia 1, Ireland 2, Italy 2, Luxembourg 15, Malta 8, Marshall Islands 7, Mexico 1, Morocco 3, Netherlands 2, Norway 5, Panama 7, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2, Singapore 3, South Korea 2, Taiwan 2, UK 39, US 4, unknown 1) (2010)
total: 427
by type: barge carrier 2, bulk carrier 6, cargo 51, carrier 1, chemical tanker 15, container 298, liquefied gas 6, passenger 4, passenger/cargo 24, petroleum tanker 10, refrigerated cargo 3, roll on/roll off 6, vehicle carrier 1
foreign-owned: 6 (Finland 3, Netherlands 1, Switzerland 2)
registered in other countries: 3,420 (Antigua and Barbuda 1094, Australia 2, Bahamas 30, Bermuda 14, Brazil 6, Bulgaria 12, Burma 1, Cayman Islands 3, Cook Islands 1, Curacao 25, Cyprus 192, Denmark 9, Dominica 5, Estonia 1, France 1, Gibraltar 123, Hong Kong 10, Isle of Man 56, Jamaica 10, Liberia 1185, Luxembourg 9, Malta 135, Marshall Islands 248, Morocco 1, Netherlands 86, NZ 2, Panama 24, Papua New Guinea 1, Philippines 2, Portugal 14, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 3, Singapore 32, Slovakia 3, Spain 4, Sri Lanka 8, Sweden 3, UK 59, US 5, Venezuela 1) (2010)
Airports464 (2013)
539 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 294
over 3,047 m: 14
2,438 to 3,047 m: 25
1,524 to 2,437 m: 97
914 to 1,523 m: 83
under 914 m: 75 (2013)
total: 318
over 3,047 m: 14
2,438 to 3,047 m: 49
1,524 to 2,437 m: 60
914 to 1,523 m: 70
under 914 m: 125 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 170
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 64
under 914 m: 105 (2013)
total: 221
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 35
under 914 m: 185 (2013)
Heliports1 (2013)
23 (2013)

Military

FranceGermany
Military branchesArmy (Armee de Terre; includes Marines, Foreign Legion, Army Light Aviation), Navy (Marine Nationale), Air Force (Armee de l'Air (AdlA); includes Air Defense) (2011)
Federal Armed Forces (Bundeswehr): Army (Heer), Navy (Deutsche Marine, includes naval air arm), Air Force (Luftwaffe), Joint Support Service (Streitkraeftebasis, SKB), Central Medical Service (Zentraler Sanitaetsdienst, ZSanDstBw), Cyber and Information Space Command (Kommando Cyber- und Informationsraum, Kdo CIR) (2017)
Military service age and obligation18-25 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription; 1-year service obligation; women serve in noncombat posts (2013)
17-23 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; conscription ended 1 July 2011; service obligation 8-23 months or 12 years; women have been eligible for voluntary service in all military branches and positions since 2001 (2013)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP1.78% of GDP (2016)
2.1% of GDP (2015)
2.24% of GDP (2014)
2.22% of GDP (2013)
2.24% of GDP (2012)
1.19% of GDP (2016 est.)
1.19% of GDP (2015)
1.19% of GDP (2014)
1.23% of GDP (2013)
1.31% of GDP (2012)

Transnational Issues

FranceGermany
Disputes - internationalMadagascar claims the French territories of Bassas da India, Europa Island, Glorioso Islands, and Juan de Nova Island; Comoros claims Mayotte; Mauritius claims Tromelin Island; territorial dispute between Suriname and the French overseas department of French Guiana; France asserts a territorial claim in Antarctica (Adelie Land); France and Vanuatu claim Matthew and Hunter Islands, east of New Caledonia
none
Illicit drugsmetropolitan France: transshipment point for South American cocaine, Southwest Asian heroin, and European synthetics
French Guiana: small amount of marijuana grown for local consumption; minor transshipment point to Europe
Martinique: transshipment point for cocaine and marijuana bound for the US and Europe
source of precursor chemicals for South American cocaine processors; transshipment point for and consumer of Southwest Asian heroin, Latin American cocaine, and European-produced synthetic drugs; major financial center
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 24,326 (Sri Lanka); 15,232 (Russia); 15,037 (Democratic Republic of the Congo); 13,154 (Serbia and Kosovo); 11,566 (Cambodia); 10,615 (Turkey); 8,991 (Syria); 8,008 (Vietnam); 7,685 (Afghanistan); 7,049 (Sudan); 6,841 (Laos); 6,823 (Guinea); 6,043 (Iraq); 5,183 (Mauritania) (2016)
stateless persons: 1,370 (2016)
refugees (country of origin): 375,122 (Syria); 86,045 (Iraq); 46,292 (Afghanistan); 30,020 (Eritrea); 22,910 (Iran); 19,136 (Turkey); 9,189 (Serbia and Kosovo); 7,879 (Somalia); 5,255 (Russia); 5,169 (Pakistan) (2016)
stateless persons: 12,017 (2016)

Source: CIA Factbook