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
- 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):
- 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.
- 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;
- a 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;
- a 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 2:00.am
- ends on the last Sunday of October at 3:00.am