France Statistics – Prepare your adventure to France with some Facts

France statistics: The highest (ski area), the longest (beach), the number of (cheeses, bakeries) …

Prepare your adventure with some basic France statistics about the country. France statistics are obviously continually changing… but these will give you a good idea of interesting facts about France

France statistics - A topographical map, sea level to Mont Blanc the highest point in France and Europe

France statistics – A topographical map, sea level to Mont Blanc the highest point in France and Europe

Total area:

  • 551 100 km2 of territory (appr. 180,000 sq. miles – almost like Texas)
  • 95 metropolitan departments
  • 8 overseas departments and territories.
  • Each is administered by a general council with a Préfet who works from a Préfecture.


  • 65 million inhabitants (10 million in the Paris region alone)
  • 36 000 towns and villages,
  • 964 356 km (599,240 miles) of roads
  • 31 940 km (19,847 miles) of railway.


  • 3120 km (= 1939 miles) (including inlets and bays);
  • 1600 km (995 miles) as the crow flies.
  • 4 sea fronts (the North Sea, the Channel, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean) with
  • 5500 km (3,418 miles) of coastline
  • The largest beach in Europe at La Baule (Loire-Atlantique department).
    (12 km – 7.5 miles):

The highest:

  • Sand dune: Dune de Pilat – 150 m (492 feet) (the Gironde département of Aquitaine)
  • The highest mountain in Western Europe: Mont Blanc, ascending to 4807 meters (15,771 feet), in the Savoy Alps
  • Inhabited village (2200 m – 7218 feet) Saint-Véran (Hautes-Alpes)
  • Skiable area of 1,950 km2 equipped with 4200 ski lifts and 13000 km (8,078 miles) of downhill ski pistes.

Other stats:

  • 6000 species of plant life (200 specific to France)
  • 365 different sorts of cheese – one for every day of the year
  • About 450 AOC wines!
  • 15 million hectares of forest.
  • France has 35,000 boulangeries (bakeries). Buy a baguette, a ficelle, a flûte, a boule, an épi or a longuet and enjoy!
  • 3.7 million tons of bread consumed every year,
  • 25 million cars,
  • 750 000 associations,
  • 16 million dogs and cats owned by 51% of households,
  • 36 673 mayors,
  • 600 000 farmers,
  • 780 000 shopkeepers, 1000 hypermarkets, 7000 supermarkets,
  • 816 000 craftsmen.


  • 84 million overseas visitors in 2003, making France the 1st tourist destination in the world!
  • 19 912 hotels,
  • About 3900 museums which attract tens of millions of visitors every year,
  • 12 million visitors come every year to the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay and Versailles alone!
  • 5.6 million annual visitors to the Eiffel Tower (320 meters high, 7000 tons and 1652 steps from base to summit)
  • 1500 private châteaux open to the public,
  • 4400 cinemas,
  • 38 879 historic monuments,
  • 50 000 theatrical productions every year.


  • 63% of French people consider themselves Catholic,
  • 30% declare themselves without religion.


  • France has a temperate climate, and is made up of four broad climatic zones:
    • the humid seaboard zone west of the line Bayonne-Lille with cool summers;
    • semi-continental zone with cold winters and hot summers in Alsace-Lorraine, along the rhodanian corridor and in the mountainous massifs (Alps, Pyrénées, Massif Central);
    • an intermediate zone with cold winters and hot summers in the North, the Paris region and the central region;
    • Mediterranean zone with mild winters and very hot summers in the south of France.

Daylight Savings Time:

As decided upon by the European Parliament, daylight savings time in the European Union

  • begins on the last Sunday of March at
  • ends on the last Sunday of October at
Author: Skneller

I'm the creator of BonjourLaFrance which started off as a personal site in 1998 and has developed into the global site it is today.

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