France was initially defined as the western area of Germany known as Rhineland, but it was later referred to part of a territory within Europe that was known as Gaul during the Iron Age and Roman era. Historically, French culture was influenced by Celtic and Gallo-Roman cultures as well as the Franks, a German tribe.
In recent years, France has become the most common and general name, and indicates the entire country, while la République is the most patriotic term, which refers to France by way of its republican constitution. Other names for France may include; l’Hexagone, la Métropole, or la France métropolitaine, which refer to the shape of the mainland’s borders. La France profonde (deep France) also refers to rural France or the villages and provincial life found outside of the cities. The people in France are called the French. For courtesy, you should address people in France as “monsieur” (a man), “mademoiselle” (young lady) or “madame” (mature woman).
Intermittently, at least since about 1830 and rather steadily from 1850, there has been a substantial flow of immigrant population into France. France had the reputation into the early 20th century of being the European country most open to immigrants, including political refugees, but this reputation changed in the late 20th century, when opposition rose to continued immigration from Africa. In recent years however, rural France is popular with people who want to stay for a couple of months at a time and visit on the occasional weekend for the rest of the year. Over 15% of the total population living in France is over the age of 65, this being indicative of its popularity as a home for retired expats. So, bonjour!
Area: 640,679 km2 (247,368 sq mi)
Paris by Jace Afsoon on Unsplash
National Anthem: La Marseillaise
Government Type: Unitary semi-presidential constitutional republic
· 51% Christianity
· 40% No religion
· 5% Islam
· 93.0% French Citizens
· 7.0% Foreign Nationals
Climate: Temperatures can drop below 0°C in some months. In the South, the climate is Mediterranean. Summers are hot and the winters are mild and dry.
Drome by Leonard Cotte on Unsplash
Currency: Euro (€) (EUR), CFP franc (XPF)
Expat Population: 4.3 million
The French take immense pride in their nation and government, and are typically offended by any negative comments about their country. When speaking French, you may end up insulting someone if you do not choose the right pronoun. “Tu” denotes a familiarity or level of closeness, while “vous” shows formality and respectful distance. Make sure you choose the proper ‘you’ for each situation.
The French believe in égalité, which means equality, and is part of the country’s motto: “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité.” French place a higher importance on equality than liberty and fraternity; the other two words in the motto. Conversely, food and wine are central to the French life at all socioeconomic levels, and much socializing is done around lengthy dinners.
Country Ranking in HDI (Human Development Index): Ranked 26th in the world
Cost of Living:
The average cost in Paris for monthly maintenance charges, is €25 ($29.75) per square meter per year (€2.32 [$2.76] per square foot)