Population in France
Of the more than 65 million people who live in France today, around 10% have entered the country or are descendants of such. According to directoryaah, France had been a country of immigration since the beginning of industrialization, as the need for labor could no longer be met by the indigenous population, which was stagnating in growth. The majority of migrants today are of Portuguese descent, followed by North Africans, Turks, Italians and Spaniards. A large proportion of immigrants in recent years also come from the former French colonies in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. Despite immigration, France’s population is growing by less than 0.5% a year. The travel destination is the most populous country in Europe after the Federal Republic of Germany, However, due to the large area of the state, it only has half the population density. The population of France is mainly concentrated in the large metropolitan cities such as Paris, Lyon, Toulouse or Marseille.
In addition to French as the sole official and lingua franca in France, various dialectical regional languages such as Picard, Norman, Gallo, Poitevin-Saintongeais and Walloon were in use for a long time. Therefore, since 2008, the French constitution mentions the long-neglected regional languages as a cultural heritage of France. Immigrants from various nations, especially from Portugal, Eastern Europe, the Maghreb and the rest of Africa, have also brought their languages with them and cultivate them in their locally limited residential areas. Although the importance of the English language is increasing among the young French population, especially in the education sector, knowledge of French is very beneficial when traveling through France.
Politics and economics in France
With the new constitution of 1958, France as a travel destination is a democracy organized centrally from the capital with a semi-presidential system of government in which the executive power and the power of the president have been largely strengthened. The state president, directly elected by the people, is the highest state organ and stands above all other institutions, monitors compliance with the constitution, ensures the functioning of public powers, the inviolability of the national territory and compliance with agreements concluded with other states. The state president, who is also the commander in chief of the armed forces and is responsible for the use of nuclear weapons, is also allowed to shape foreign and security policy decisively and to enter into international agreements that are binding for France. In addition, the state president is not subject to any control by the judiciary; he is only responsible to parliament in the event of high treason. The legislative parliament consists of two chambers. The National Assembly has 577 members directly elected for five years, while the Senate has 348 members who are indirectly elected for six years. The government, which is formed by the prime minister and the other ministers of state and appointed by the president, depends primarily on the confidence of parliament. Once a government has been appointed, the President can no longer formally dismiss it.
According to ebizdir, France is a managed economy in which state actors pursue an intensive economic and industrial policy. Similar to Germany, a state-set minimum wage ensures that employees receive adequate value for their working hours. Due to the change in France from an agricultural to an industrialized country, only less than four percent of the workforce now work in agriculture, forestry and fishing, while over 24 percent work in industry and over 72 percent in the service sector. French exports come largely from mechanical engineering, the automotive industry, aerospace technology, the pharmaceutical industry, electronics, viticulture and the food industry. The tourism and luxury goods industries also play a major role.
In terms of GDP, France’s economy has grown by an average of 0.6% in recent years. As a founding member of the European Community, France plays a central role in Europe’s economic policy.
Transport network in France
Rail traffic in France is characterized by the alignment of the rail network to the greater Paris area. Passenger train transport, which has made significant advances in France since the 1980s through the development of high-speed trains and lines (TGV), is more important than freight and is operated almost exclusively by the state-owned Société nationale des chemins de fer français (SNCF). The French rail network covers a total of around 30,000 kilometers, around half of which are electrified and over 2,000 km have been developed as high-speed lines for high-speed trains. Local public rail transport is superbly laid out in the large cities and metropolises. When traveling in France, you can therefore travel very comfortably by train from one metropolis to the next, as well as move within the metropolitan areas. Places far outside the metropolitan areas are, however, less easy to reach.
As a traditional maritime nation, France has extensive, natural and artificial inland waterways as well as efficient seaports in Dunkerque, Le Havre, Rouen, La Rochelle, Saint-Nazaire, Bordeaux, and Marseille. Passenger shipping is gaining in importance again today, especially in the form of cruise trips, also in France.
Air traffic in France takes place mainly centrally from the two airports in the capital Paris (Charles de Gaulle and Orly), with Charles de Gaulle airport being the second largest airport in Europe and handling practically all long-haul traffic to and from France. In addition, the airports of Nice, Lyon and Marseille are important for European and domestic flight connections. These airports can be used to conveniently start trips through France close to the intended destinations.