France Essay

1862 words - 7 pages

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Country InformationFrance is the largest country in Western Europe and one of the world's major economic and political powers. France is a country with varied and beautiful landscapes, modern industries, and historic towns and cities. It has helped to shape the history and culture of Western Europe as well as many parts of the world. France has produced great thinkers, scientists, politicians, musicians, writers, and fashion designers. The French are also famous for their fine cuisine and wine, which is often said to be the best in the world. Enjoyment of these is an important part of life for most French people and visitors to the country.EconomyFrance is ranked currently as the second largest economy is Europe and the fifth largest in the world by nominal GDP ("Gross domestic product 2010," 2011). France is a member of the G8 group of leading industrialized countries and in 1999 joined 11 other EU members to create the Euro.France's economy is a mixed economy, meaning it comprises of private enterprise as well as extensive government ownership. This has been changing in recent years, however with the government fully or partially privatizing many large companies, banks, and insurers, and has ceded stakes in such leading firms as Air France, France Telecom, Renault, and Thales. The government still maintains a strong presence in key sectors, particularly power, public transport, and defense industries (Central Intelligence Agency, 2011).France has weathered the global financial crisis quite well due in large part to domestic consumer spending, a large public sector, and less exposure to the downturn in global demand than in some other countries. France is also the most visited country in the world and maintains the third largest income in the world from tourism with over 75 million tourists visiting annually (Central Intelligence Agency, 2011). France's GDP is $2.145 trillion (2010 est.) and the GDP per capita is $33,100 (2010 est.)SocietyFrance is home to a number of different peoples. Most are descended from settlers and invaders of ancient times, The Gauls, Romans, and Scandinavian adventurers known as Vikings all came here. Other settlers included Germanic peoples, such as Franks, Visigoths, and Burgundians. Along the eastern borders of France, local people may be of either Italian or German descent (Circling the Globe, 1995).The current population of Metropolitan France is 62,814,233 (July est. 2011). The population for the Republic of France, which includes mainland France and five overseas regions is 65,312,249 (July 2011 est.) Most French people live in towns and cities. They work in government, education, manufacturing, or service industries. The standard of living in France is high, and most workers have long summer vacations. In the countryside, many people work in agriculture, and rural areas have many small, family farms (Circling the Globe, 1995).There are strong differences in traditional customs, food, drinks, from one...

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