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General overview

  • Area: 632,834 km² (INSEE 2013)
  • Population: 66,627,602 (INSEE 2016; see also the population of France, INED)
  • Capital: Paris
  • Largest cities and number of inhabitants: Paris 2,1274,880; Marseille 859,367; Lyon 499,785; Toulouse 455,002; Nice 348,195; Nantes 296,027; Strasbourg 276,750; Montpellier 268,244; Bordeaux 243,199; Lille 234,033 (INSEE 2013 ; for further details see INSEE).
  • Official language: French
  • Regions:
    Since the 1st January 2016, according to the August 2015 territorial reform, France counts 13 regions in mainland France, 2 overseas (Guadeloupe and La Réunion) and 2 overseas unique communities (Guyane et Martinique).
    The 13 regions in mainland France are: Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine, Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Bretagne, Centre-Val de Loire, région Centre, Collectivité territoriale de Corse, Île-de-France, Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées, Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie, Normandie, Pays de la Loire and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (see Panorama des nouvelles régions françaises by INSEE).

France has been for a long time a Catholic country, but religious belonging is declining. According to a 2011 study, 61 % of all French people still defined themselves as Catholics, 7% as Muslims, 4% as Protestants, 2% as members of another religion, 1% as Jews, and 25% said they had "no religion".

Source : The French and religious belief, Les Français et la croyance religieuse, IFOP 2011

D 7 January 2016   

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