Here are some places where I have visited during my exchange period....
Paris has long inspired opinionated outbursts, from delusional to denouncing, but on one matter travellers remain in agreement: it's among the most stimulating cities in the world. Paris assaults all the senses, demanding to be seen, heard, touched, tasted and smelt. From luminescent landmarks to fresh poodle droppings on the pavement, the city is everything it should be - the very essence of all things French. If you come here expecting all you've heard to be true, you won't leave disappointed.
facts at a glance
58.3 million (1 January 1996)
Population density :
105 persons per sq km
Men: 73.8, Women: 81.9
Birth rate (1995) :
12 per 1000
Death rate (1995) :
9 per 1000
Marriages (1995) :
Divorces (1995) :
Education (1995) :
Pre-school - high school: 12.6 million pupils
Higher education: 2.075 million students
Active population :
26 million working, of which 19 million in salaried positions (December 1995)
Farmers: 2.7% of the active pop. (a.p.)
and self-employed: 6.5% of a.p.
and professionals: 10.7% of a.p.
Intermediate occupations: 17.6% of a.p.
White-collar workers: 23.5% of a.p.
Manual workers: 30% of the active population.
The French abroad
1.7 million French people live outside France (1995)
52% in Europe
25.2% in North America
10.8% in Africa
5% in the Middle East
4.5% in Oceania
2.5% in Asia
550 000 sq km
2/3 of the area is plains
Major ranges : Alps, Pyrenees, Jura, Ardennes, the Massif Central, Vosges
5 500 sq km of coastline
Forest : 26% of the territory
maritime in the west, Mediterranean in the south, continental in the center and the east
Administrative divisions :
Metropolitan France is divided into 22 regions and 96 departments
4 Overseas departments: Guadalupe, Martinique, French Guyana, Reunion
4 Overseas territories: French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna Islands, the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (comprising Adelie Land), the Crozet and Kerguelen archipelagos and the islands of Amsterdam and Saint-Paul
2 possessions with the status of collectivit} territoriale: Mayotte and Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon
GNP (1995) :
7,600 billion Francs (world's fourth economic power)
Inflation (1995) :
Balance of payments (1995):
surplus of 104.5 billion Francs
Primary energy consumption :
231 million equivalent tons oil equivalent
Oil : 41.2%
Primary electricity : 37.8%
Gas : 13%
Coal : 6.2%
Renewable energies : 1.8%
964,356 km of roads, of which 7 396 km of superhighways
31 940 km of rails, of which 1 268 reserved for the high-speed TGV
55.5 (US) billion travellers/km and 48.9 billion tons of freight/km in 1995
Air travel :
98.7 million passengers per year and 1.4 billion tons of freight per year
Merchant marine :
91.5 million tons of merchandise per year
Over 61million foreign tourists in 1996, making France the number one worlwide destination!