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General overview

  • Area: 633,109 km² (2017)
  • Population: 67,064,000 (INSEE 2020; see also the population of France, INED)
  • Capital: Paris
  • Largest cities and number of inhabitants: Paris 2,187,526; Marseille 863,310; Lyon 516,092; Toulouse 479,553; Nice 340,017; Nantes 309,346; Montpellier 285,121; Strasbourg 280,966; Bordeaux 254,436; Lille 232,787 (INSEE 2020; 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 unique overseas communities (Guyane and 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 the 2018 European Values Study (European Values Study) confirms that membership in Catholicism is declining significantly: the Catholic membership rate is 32%, down from 70% in 1981. Two other trends are visible: more and more people declare themselves "without religion" (58% of respondents), and the number of people belonging to religious minority groups is on the rise: 10% of respondents say they belong to a religious minority (3% in 1981). These minorities include mostly Muslims (6%) but also Protestants (2%) and other minorities.

See also the article on the Values Survey 2018.

D 2 December 2020   

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