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Published on November 21, 2007

As of January 2014, the total population of metropolitan France (mainland and Corsica) and French overseas departments was estimated at 65,821 million inhabitants. France has the second largest population behind Germany in the European Union and before the United Kingdom. France thus accounts for 13 percent of the European Union’s population.

Life expectancy is high and rising, at 78 years for men and 85 years for women in 2013. The French population continues to age, and the proportion of the children and young people is diminishing despite a significant number of births in recent years.

Source: (National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies)


"In 2014, education spending amounted to $172.7 billion USD. There are 64,000 preschool and primary schools, collèges (middle schools) and lycées (high schools). Some 4,600 higher education establishments exist in France.”

Preschool, primary and secondary schools (2014)
- 12,233,500 pupils
- 839,700 teachers

Primary school pupil/teacher ratio (2012): 18.9 to 1
Secondary school pupil/teacher ratio (2012): 12.5 to 1
Baccalauréat pass rate (2013 estimate): 73.7%

Higher Education (2014)
- 1,499,600 students
- 91,800 teaching staff



Health is a major priority. France spent €240.3 billion ($312.6 billion) in health expenditures.
Consumer care and medical goods accounts for three quarters of this spending, reaching an amount of €180 billion ($233.86 billion).


Labor Force

France has a total workforce of some 26.4 million, by a 2013 estimate. Within this category, 23.8 million are wage and salary earners, 2.6 million are non-salaried wage earners.

Breakdown by type of employment:
- 2.5 percent agriculture
- 24.3 percent industry
- 71.8 percent services



The French Republic is a secular state where all religious faiths and denominations are represented.
- Roman Catholic: 83 percent - 88 percent
- Muslim: 5 percent - 10 percent
- Protestant: 2 percent
- Jewish: 1 percent
- Unaffiliated: 4 percent

Social and Demographic Information

- Fertility rate: 2.0 children born/woman (2014)
- Birth rate: 12.3 births/1,000 population (2014)
- Life expectancy: 85 years old for women, 79 years old for men (2014)
- Marriages: 241,000 (2014)
- Marriage Rate: 3.5 marriages/1,000 population (2014).


Population breakdown by age (January 1, 2015)
- 24.7 percent under 20 years old
- 50.8 percent 20 to 59 years old
- 24.5 percent 60 years old and over
- Average age: 40 years (2014)


Social Security

The French Social Security system was introduced in 1945. It is based on the principle of solidarity which guarantees financial protection against hardships of financial, health and other kinds. In order to better address new demographic trends, the pension system underwent a major overhaul which was adopted as law in July 2003.

It covers health insurance, compensation for occupational injuries and illnesses, pensions and family benefits. These four main branches of the social security system are completed by the collection of social contributions and cash management.

In 2011, total net expenditures amounted to €320.3 billion ($416.13 billion) for the general scheme and are estimated at €442.2 billion ($574.51 billion) for all schemes combined in the most recent amending
Social Security financing bill. The French social security system is financed by social contributions paid by employers and employees, a general social welfare contribution (CSG) and various other contributions and taxes.


Trade unions

Approximately 1.8 million people in France—8 percent of the working population—are union members. This is one of the lowest percentages in the European Union.

The main centralized trade unions are:

- the CGT (Confédération générale du travail),
- the CFDT (Confédération démocratique du travail),
- FO (Force ouvrière),
- the CFTC (Confédération française des travailleurs chrétiens)
- the FSU (Fédération syndicale unitaire).

Source :

Learn more

Ministry of Employment and Solidarity
Ministry of Education
National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE)
Welfare in France

French media
France’s school system
France’s sporting activities