Home

France vs. Switzerland

Introduction

FranceSwitzerland
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.
The Swiss Confederation was founded in 1291 as a defensive alliance among three cantons. In succeeding years, other localities joined the original three. The Swiss Confederation secured its independence from the Holy Roman Empire in 1499. A constitution of 1848, subsequently modified in 1874, replaced the confederation with a centralized federal government. Switzerland's sovereignty and neutrality have long been honored by the major European powers, and the country was not involved in either of the two world wars. The political and economic integration of Europe over the past half century, as well as Switzerland's role in many UN and international organizations, has strengthened Switzerland's ties with its neighbors. However, the country did not officially become a UN member until 2002. Switzerland remains active in many UN and international organizations but retains a strong commitment to neutrality.

Geography

FranceSwitzerland
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, east of France, north of Italy
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
47 00 N, 8 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: 41,277 sq km
land: 39,997 sq km
water: 1,280 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly more than four times the size of Georgia; slightly less than the size of Texas
slightly less than twice the size of New Jersey
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: 1,770 km
border countries (5): Austria 158 km, France 525 km, Italy 698 km, Liechtenstein 41 km, Germany 348 km
Coastlinetotal: 4,853 km
metropolitan France: 3,427 km
0 km (landlocked)
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
none (landlocked)
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, but varies with altitude; cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters; cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers
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
mostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes
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: 1,350 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Lake Maggiore 195 m
highest point: Dufourspitze 4,634 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
hydropower potential, timber, salt
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: 38.7%
arable land 10.2%; permanent crops 0.6%; permanent pasture 27.9%
forest: 31.5%
other: 29.8% (2011 est.)
Irrigated landtotal: 26,420 sq km 26,950 sq km
metropolitan France: 26,000 sq km (2012)
630 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)
avalanches, landslides; flash floods
Environment - current issuessome forest damage from acid rain; air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; water pollution from urban wastes, agricultural runoff
air pollution from vehicle emissions and open-air burning; acid rain; water pollution from increased use of agricultural fertilizers; loss of biodiversity
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 Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
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
landlocked; crossroads of northern and southern Europe; along with southeastern France, northern Italy, and southwestern Austria, has the highest elevations in the Alps
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
population distribution corresponds to elevation with the northern and western areas far more heavily populated; the higher Alps of the south limit settlement

Demographics

FranceSwitzerland
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.)
8,179,294 (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: 15.1% (male 635,840/female 599,255)
15-24 years: 11.11% (male 463,953/female 444,500)
25-54 years: 43.46% (male 1,783,071/female 1,771,590)
55-64 years: 12.37% (male 506,010/female 506,103)
65 years and over: 17.96% (male 645,225/female 823,747) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 41.2 years
male: 39.5 years
female: 42.9 years (2016 est.)
total: 42.2 years
male: 41.3 years
female: 43.2 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate0.41% (2016 est.)
0.7% (2016 est.)
Birth rate12.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
10.5 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate9.3 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
8.2 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate1.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
4.7 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: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1 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: 3.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.3 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: 82.6 years
male: 80.3 years
female: 85 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate2.07 children born/woman (2016 est.)
1.55 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rateNA
0.35% (2013 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Frenchman(men), Frenchwoman(women)
adjective: French
noun: Swiss (singular and plural)
adjective: Swiss
Ethnic groupsCeltic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Indochinese, Basque minorities
overseas departments: black, white, mulatto, East Indian, Chinese, Amerindian
German 65%, French 18%, Italian 10%, Romansch 1%, other 6%
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDSNA
20,200 (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 37.3%, Protestant 24.9%, other Christian 5.8%, Muslim 5.1%, other 1.4%, Jewish 0.2%, none 23.9%, unspecified 1.3% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths1,500 (2013 est.)
300 (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 (or Swiss German) (official) 63%, French (official) 22.7%, Italian (official) 8.1%, English 4.9%, Portuguese 3.7%, Albanian 3%, Serbo-Croatian 2.4%, Spanish 2.2%, Romansch (official) 0.5%, other 7.1%
note: German, French, Italian, and Romansch are all national and official languages; totals more than 100% because some respondents indicated more than one main language (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 16 years
male: 16 years
female: 17 years (2014)
total: 16 years
male: 16 years
female: 16 years (2014)
Education expenditures5.5% of GDP (2013)
5.1% 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: 73.9% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.08% 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: 99.9% of population
rural: 99.8% of population
total: 99.9% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0.1% of population
rural: 0.2% of population
total: 0.1% 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)
Zurich 1.246 million; BERN (capital) 358,000 (2015)
Maternal mortality rate8 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
5 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Health expenditures11.5% of GDP (2014)
11.7% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density3.23 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
4.11 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density6.4 beds/1,000 population (2011)
5 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate25.7% (2014)
21% (2014)
Mother's mean age at first birth28.1 years (2010 est.)
30.4 years (2012 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate83% (2010/11)
72.9% (2012)
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: 48.8
youth dependency ratio: 22
elderly dependency ratio: 26.9
potential support ratio: 3.7 (2015 est.)

Government

FranceSwitzerland
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: Swiss Confederation
conventional short form: Switzerland
local long form: Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft (German); Confederation Suisse (French); Confederazione Svizzera (Italian); Confederaziun Svizra (Romansh)
local short form: Schweiz (German); Suisse (French); Svizzera (Italian); Svizra (Romansh)
etymology: name derives from the canton of Schwyz, one of the founding cantons of the Old Swiss Confederacy that formed in the 14th century
Government typesemi-presidential republic
federal republic (formally a confederation)
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: Bern
geographic coordinates: 46 55 N, 7 28 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)
"
26 cantons (cantons, singular - canton in French; cantoni, singular - cantone in Italian; Kantone, singular - Kanton in German); Aargau, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Berne/Bern, Fribourg/Freiburg, Geneve, Glarus, Graubuenden/Grigioni/Grischun, Jura, Luzern, Neuchatel, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Sankt Gallen, Schaffhausen, Schwyz, Solothurn, Thurgau, Ticino, Uri, Valais/Wallis, Vaud, Zug, Zuerich
note: 6 of the cantons - Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Nidwalden, Obwalden - are referred to as half cantons because they elect only one member to the Council of States and, in popular referendums where a majority of popular votes and a majority of cantonal votes are required, these 6 cantons only have a half vote
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)
1 August 1291 (founding of the Swiss Confederation)
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)
Founding of the Swiss Confederation in 1291; note - since 1 August 1891 celebrated as Swiss National Day
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 1848, 1874; latest adopted by referendum 18 April 1999, effective 1 January 2000
amendments: proposed by the two houses of the Federal Assembly or by petition of at least one million voters (called the ""federal popular initiative""); passage of proposals requires majority vote in a referendum; following drafting of an amendment by the Assembly, its passage requires approval by majority vote in a referendum and approval by the majority of cantons; amended many times, last in 2016 (2016)
"
Legal systemcivil law; review of administrative but not legislative acts
civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts, except for federal decrees of a general obligatory character
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: President of the Swiss Confederation Doris LEUTHARD (since 1 January 2017); Vice President Alain BERSET (since 1 January 2017; note - the Federal Council, which is comprised of 7 federal councillors, constitutes the federal government of Switzerland; council members rotate in a 1-year term as federal president (chief of state and head of government)
head of government: President of the Swiss Confederation Doris LEUTHARD (since 1 January 2017); Vice President Alain BERSET (since 1 January 2017)
cabinet: Federal Council or Bundesrat (in German), Conseil Federal (in French), Consiglio Federale (in Italian) indirectly elected usually from among its members by the Federal Assembly for a 4-year term
elections/appointments: president and vice president elected by the Federal Assembly from among members of the Federal Council for a 1-year, non-consecutive term; election last held on 7 December 2016 (next to be held in early December 2017)
election results: Doris LEUTHARD elected president; Federal Assembly vote - 188 of 207; Alain BERSET elected vice president
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 Federal Assembly or Bundesversammlung - in German, Assemblee Federale - in French, Assemblea Federale - in Italian consists of the Council of States or Staenderat - in German, Conseil des Etats - in French, Consiglio degli Stati - in Italian (46 seats; members in multi-seat constituencies representing cantons and single-seat constituencies representing half cantons directly elected by simple majority vote; members serve 4-year terms) and the National Council or Nationalrat - in German, Conseil National - in French, Consiglio Nazionale - in Italian (200 seats; 195 members in cantons directly elected by proportional representation vote and 6 in half cantons directly elected by simple majority vote; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: Council of States - last held in most cantons on 18 October 2015 (each canton determines when the next election will be held); National Council - last held on 18 October 2015 (next to be held in October 2019)
election results: Council of States - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party (as of 18 October 2015) - Christian Democratic People's Party 13, Free Democratic Party 13, SDP 12, Swiss People's Party 6, other 2; National Council - percent of vote by party - SVP 29.4%, SPS 18.8%, FDP 16.4%, CVP 11.6%, Green Party 7.1%, GLP 4.6%, BDP 4.1%, other 8.0%; seats by party - SVP 68, SPS 43, FDP 33, CVP 30, Green Party 12, GLP 7, BDP 7
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 Supreme Court (consists of 38 judges and 31 substitutes and organized into 5 sections)
judge selection and term of office: judges elected by the Federal Assembly for 6-year terms; note - judges are affiliated with political parties and are elected according to linguistic and regional criteria in approximate proportion to the level of party representation in the Federal Assembly
subordinate courts: Federal Criminal Court (began in 2004); Federal Administrative Court (began in 2007); note - each of Switzerland's 26 cantons has its own 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]
Christian Democratic People's Party (Christlichdemokratische Volkspartei der Schweiz or CVP, Parti Democrate-Chretien Suisse or PDC, Partito Popolare Democratico Svizzero or PPD, Partida Cristiandemocratica dalla Svizra or PCD) [Gerhard PFISTER]
Conservative Democratic Party (Buergerlich-Demokratische Partei Schweiz or BDP, Parti Bourgeois Democratique Suisse or PBD, Partito Borghese Democratico Svizzero or PBD, Partido burgais democratica Svizera or PBD) [Martin LANDOLT]
Free Democratic Party or FDP.The Liberals (FDP.Die Liberalen, PLR.Les Liberaux-Radicaux, PLR.I Liberali, Ils Liberals) [Petra GOESSI]
Green Liberal Party (Grunliberale or GLP, Parti vert liberale or PVL, Partito Verde-Liberale or PVL, Partida Verde Liberale or PVL) [Martin BAEUMLE]
Green Party (Gruene Partei der Schweiz or Gruene, Parti Ecologiste Suisse or Les Verts, Partito Ecologista Svizzero or I Verdi, Partida Ecologica Svizra or La Verda) [Regula RYTZ]
Social Democratic Party (Sozialdemokratische Partei der Schweiz or SPS, Parti Socialiste Suisse or PSS, Partito Socialista Svizzero or PSS, Partida Socialdemocratica de la Svizra or PSS) [Christian LEVRAT]
Swiss People's Party (Schweizerische Volkspartei or SVP, Union Democratique du Centre or UDC, Unione Democratica di Centro or UDC, Uniun Democratica dal Center or UDC) [Albert ROESTI]
other minor parties
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
NA
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), Australia Group, BIS, CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EFTA, EITI (implementing country), ESA, FAO, FATF, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMISS, UNMOGIP, UNRWA, UNTSO, 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 Martin DAHINDEN (since 18 November 2014)
chancery: 2900 Cathedral Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 745-7900
FAX: [1] (202) 387-2564
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, 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 Tara Feret ERATH (since 20 January 2017) note - also accredited to Liechtenstein
embassy: Sulgeneckstrasse 19, CH-3007 Bern
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [41] (031) 357-70-11
FAX: [41] (031) 357-73-20
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
"
red square with a bold, equilateral white cross in the center that does not extend to the edges of the flag; various medieval legends purport to describe the origin of the flag; a white cross used as identification for troops of the Swiss Confederation is first attested at the Battle of Laupen (1339)
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
"
"the Swiss anthem has four names: ""Schweizerpsalm"" [German] ""Cantique Suisse"" [French] ""Salmo svizzero,"" [Italian] ""Psalm svizzer"" [Romansch] (Swiss Psalm)
lyrics/music: Leonhard WIDMER [German], Charles CHATELANAT [French], Camillo VALSANGIACOMO [Italian], and Flurin CAMATHIAS [Romansch]/Alberik ZWYSSIG
note: unofficially adopted 1961, officially 1981; the anthem has been popular in a number of Swiss cantons since its composition (in German) in 1841; translated into the other three official languages of the country (French, Italian, and Romansch), it is official in each of those languages
"
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
Swiss cross (white cross on red field, arms equal length); national colors: red, white
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 citizen of Switzerland
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 12 years including at least 3 of the last 5 years prior to application

Economy

FranceSwitzerland
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.
Switzerland, a country that espouses neutrality, is a prosperous and modern market economy with low unemployment, a highly skilled labor force, and a per capita GDP among the highest in the world. Switzerland's economy benefits from a highly developed service sector, led by financial services, and a manufacturing industry that specializes in high-technology, knowledge-based production. Its economic and political stability, transparent legal system, exceptional infrastructure, efficient capital markets, and low corporate tax rates also make Switzerland one of the world's most competitive economies.

The Swiss have brought their economic practices largely into conformity with the EU's to enhance their international competitiveness, but some trade protectionism remains, particularly for its small agricultural sector. The fate of the Swiss economy is tightly linked to that of its neighbors in the euro zone, which purchases half of Swiss exports. The global financial crisis of 2008 and resulting economic downturn in 2009 stalled demand for Swiss exports and put Switzerland into a recession. During this period, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) implemented a zero-interest rate policy to boost the economy, as well as to prevent appreciation of the franc, and Switzerland's economy began to recover in 2010.

The sovereign debt crises unfolding in neighboring euro-zone countries, however, coupled with ongoing economic instability in Russia and other eastern European economies continue to pose a significant risk to the Swiss economy, driving up demand for the Swiss franc by investors seeking a safe-haven currency. In January 2015, the SNB abandoned the Swiss franc’s peg to the euro, roiling global currency markets and making active SNB intervention a necessary hallmark of present-day Swiss monetary policy. The independent SNB has upheld its zero interest rate policy and conducted major market interventions to prevent further appreciation of the Swiss franc, but parliamentarians have urged it to do more to weaken the currency. The franc's strength has made Swiss exports less competitive and weakened the country's growth outlook; GDP growth fell below 2% per year from 2011-16.

In recent years, Switzerland has responded to increasing pressure from neighboring countries and trading partners to reform its banking secrecy laws, by agreeing to conform to OECD regulations on administrative assistance in tax matters, including tax evasion. The Swiss government has also renegotiated its double taxation agreements with numerous countries, including the US, to incorporate OECD standards, and is openly considering the possibility of imposing taxes on bank deposits held by foreigners.
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
$496.3 billion (2016 est.)
$489.5 billion (2015 est.)
$485.5 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate1.1% (2016 est.)
1.3% (2015 est.)
0.6% (2014 est.)
1.4% (2016 est.)
0.8% (2015 est.)
2% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$42,400 (2016 est.)
$42,000 (2015 est.)
$41,700 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$59,400 (2016 est.)
$59,400 (2015 est.)
$59,600 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 1.7%
industry: 19.4%
services: 78.8% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 0.7%
industry: 25.9%
services: 73.4% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line14% (2013 est.)
6.6% (2014 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 3.6%
highest 10%: 25.4% (2013)
lowest 10%: 7.5%
highest 10%: 19% (2007)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)0.3% (2016 est.)
0.1% (2015 est.)
-0.4% (2016 est.)
-1.1% (2015 est.)
Labor force30.48 million (2016 est.)
3.843 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 2.4%
industry: 18.3%
services: 79.3% (2015 est.)
agriculture: 3.3%
industry: 19.8%
services: 76.9% (2015)
Unemployment rate9.7% (2016 est.)
10.1% (2015 est.)
note: includes overseas territories
3.3% (2016 est.)
3.2% (2015 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index29.2 (2015)
30.5 (2012)
29.5 (2014 est.)
33.1 (1992)
Budgetrevenues: $1.308 trillion
expenditures: $1.392 trillion (2016 est.)
revenues: $215.9 billion
expenditures: $213.4 billion
note: includes federal, cantonal, and municipal budgets (2016 est.)
Industriesmachinery, chemicals, automobiles, metallurgy, aircraft, electronics; textiles, food processing; tourism
machinery, chemicals, watches, textiles, precision instruments, tourism, banking, insurance, pharmaceuticals
Industrial production growth rate0.5% (2016 est.)
2.1% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productswheat, cereals, sugar beets, potatoes, wine grapes; beef, dairy products; fish
grains, fruits, vegetables; meat, eggs, dairy products
Exports$489.1 billion (2016 est.)
$493.6 billion (2015 est.)
$301.1 billion (2016 est.)
$303.5 billion (2015 est.)
note: trade data exclude trade with Switzerland
Exports - commoditiesmachinery and transportation equipment, aircraft, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, iron and steel, beverages
machinery, chemicals, metals, watches, agricultural products
Exports - partnersGermany 16.1%, Spain 7.5%, US 7.4%, Italy 7.3%, UK 7%, Belgium 6.8% (2016)
Germany 14.2%, US 10.6%, Hong Kong 8.7%, India 7.3%, China 6.9%, France 6.1%, Italy 5.4%, UK 4.8% (2015)
Imports$561 billion (2016 est.)
$563.4 billion (2015 est.)
$243.4 billion (2016 est.)
$247.7 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, vehicles, crude oil, aircraft, plastics, chemicals
machinery, chemicals, vehicles, metals; agricultural products, textiles
Imports - partnersGermany 16.9%, China 9.1%, Italy 7.5%, US 7%, Belgium 6.7%, Spain 6.4%, Netherlands 6%, UK 4.3% (2016)
Germany 20.7%, UK 12.8%, US 8.1%, Italy 7.8%, France 6.7%, China 5.1% (2015)
Debt - external$5.36 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
$5.25 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
$1.664 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
$1.663 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.)
Swiss francs (CHF) per US dollar -
0.9992 (2016 est.)
0.9627 (2015 est.)
0.9627 (2014 est.)
0.9152 (2013 est.)
0.9377 (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
34.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
34.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: general government gross debt; gross debt consists of all liabilities that require payment or payments of interest and/or principal by the debtor to the creditor at a date or dates in the future; includes debt liabilities in the form of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), currency and deposits, debt securities, loans, insurance, pensions and standardized guarantee schemes, and other accounts payable; all liabilities in the GFSM 2001 system are debt, except for equity and investment fund shares and financial derivatives and employee stock options
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$153.9 billion (29 April 2016 est.)
$138.2 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$602.7 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$545.5 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Current Account Balance-$26.85 billion (2016 est.)
-$4.832 billion (2015 est.)
$78.93 billion (2016 est.)
$77.29 billion (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$2.488 trillion (2016 est.)
$662.5 billion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$796.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$772 billion (2015 est.)
$1.359 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.262 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$1.339 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.314 trillion (2015 est.)
$1.565 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.498 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.)
$1.519 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.495 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
$1.541 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
0.5% (31 December 2016)
0.75% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate2% (31 December 2016 est.)
1.93% (31 December 2015 est.)
2.6% (31 December 2016 est.)
2.68% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$3.64 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.528 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.108 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.142 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
$504.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$508.2 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$2.541 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
$2.771 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$1.347 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
$1.301 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues52.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
32.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-3.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
0.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 23.2%
male: 24.1%
female: 22.1% (2014 est.)
total: 8.6%
male: 8.6%
female: 8.5% (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: 54%
government consumption: 11.2%
investment in fixed capital: 23.8%
investment in inventories: -0.9%
exports of goods and services: 63.8%
imports of goods and services: -51.9% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving21.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
22.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
21.4% of GDP (2014 est.)
32.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
34.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
34.9% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

FranceSwitzerland
Electricity - production562.8 billion kWh (2014 est.)
63.66 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - consumption415.3 billion kWh (2014 est.)
62.63 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - exports75.06 billion kWh (2014 est.)
43.34 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - imports7.873 billion kWh (2014 est.)
42.31 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Oil - production16,670 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - imports1.174 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
60,400 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - exports21,960 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - proved reserves84.08 million bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
0 bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves8.75 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
NA cu m
Natural gas - production17 million cu m (2014 est.)
0 cu m (2016 est.)
Natural gas - consumption36.72 billion cu m (2014 est.)
3.281 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports7.077 billion cu m (2014 est.)
0 cu m (2016 est.)
Natural gas - imports45.13 billion cu m (2014 est.)
3.261 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity129 million kW (2014 est.)
19 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels20.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
2.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants14.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
67.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels48.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
16.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources11.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
4.6% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production1.277 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
60,150 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption1.691 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
229,600 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports444,900 bbl/day (2015 est.)
8,057 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports866,500 bbl/day (2015 est.)
168,800 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy385.6 million Mt (2013 est.)
45 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesselectrification - total population: 100% (2016)
electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Telecommunications

FranceSwitzerland
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 38.929 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 58 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 4.14 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 51 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 66.681 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 100 (July 2015 est.)
total: 11.7 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 144 (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: highly developed telecommunications infrastructure with excellent domestic and international services
domestic: ranked among leading countries for fixed-line teledensity and infrastructure; mobile-cellular subscribership roughly 145 per 100 persons; extensive cable and microwave radio relay networks
international: country code - 41; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean) (2015)
Internet country codemetropolitan France - .fr; French Guiana - .gf; Guadeloupe - .gp; Martinique - .mq; Mayotte - .yt; Reunion - .re
.ch
Internet userstotal: 56.367 million
percent of population: 84.7% (July 2015 est.)
total: 7.145 million
percent of population: 88% (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)
the publicly owned radio and TV broadcaster, Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG/SSR), operates 7 national TV networks, 3 broadcasting in German, 2 in Italian, and 2 in French; private commercial TV stations broadcast regionally and locally; TV broadcasts from stations in Germany, Italy, and France are widely available via multi-channel cable and satellite TV services; SRG/SSR operates 17 radio stations that, along with private broadcasters, provide national to local coverage (2015)

Transportation

FranceSwitzerland
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: 5,651.5 km
standard gauge: 4,424.8 km 1.435-m gauge (3,634.1 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 2 km 1.200-m gauge (2 km electrified); 1,188.3 km 1.000-m gauge (1,167.3 km electrified); 36.4 km 0.800-m gauge (36.4 km electrified) (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: 71,464 km
paved: 71,464 km (includes 1,415 of expressways) (2011)
Waterwaysmetropolitan France: 8,501 km (1,621 km navigable by craft up to 3,000 metric tons) (2010)
1,292 km (there are 1,227 km of waterways on lakes and rivers for public transport and 65 km on the Rhine River between Basel-Rheinfelden and Schaffhausen-Bodensee for commercial goods transport) (2010)
Pipelinesgas 15,322 km; oil 2,939 km; refined products 5,084 km (2013)
gas 1,800 km; oil 94 km; refined products 7 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
river port(s): Basel (Rhine)
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: 50
by type: bulk carrier 31, cargo 2, chemical/petroleum tanker 7, container 10
(2017)
registered in other countries: 127 (Antigua and Barbuda 7, Bahamas 1, Belize 1, Cayman Islands 1, France 5, Germany 2, Hong Kong 5, Italy 13, Liberia 25, Luxembourg 1, Malta 20, Marshall Islands 12, NZ 2, Panama 15, Portugal 3, Russia 3, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 7, Singapore 3, Spain 1) (2010)
Airports464 (2013)
63 (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: 40
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 17 (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: 23
under 914 m: 23 (2013)
Heliports1 (2013)
2 (2013)

Military

FranceSwitzerland
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)
Swiss Armed Forces: Land Forces, Swiss Air Force (Schweizer Luftwaffe) (2013)
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)
19-26 years of age for male compulsory military service; 18 years of age for voluntary male and female military service; every Swiss male has to serve at least 260 days in the armed forces; conscripts receive 18 weeks of mandatory training, followed by seven 3-week intermittent recalls for training during the next 10 years (2012)
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)
0.71% of GDP (2015)
0.65% of GDP (2014)
0.73% of GDP (2013)
0.69% of GDP (2012)
0.71% of GDP (2011)

Transnational Issues

FranceSwitzerland
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
a major international financial center vulnerable to the layering and integration stages of money laundering; despite significant legislation and reporting requirements, secrecy rules persist and nonresidents are permitted to conduct business through offshore entities and various intermediaries; transit country for and consumer of South American cocaine, Southwest Asian heroin, and Western European synthetics; domestic cannabis cultivation and limited ecstasy production
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): 26,264 (Eritrea); 11,159 (Syria); 5,458 (Sri Lanka) (2016)
stateless persons: 66 (2016)

Source: CIA Factbook