Political Status: Republic under mixed parliamentary-presidential system established by constitution adopted by referendum of September 28, 1958, and instituted on October 4.
Area: 211,207 sq. mi. (547,026 sq. km.).
Population: 58,518,395 (1999C); 62,254,000 (2008E). Area and population figures are for metropolitan France (including Corsica); for overseas departments and other dependent jurisdictions, see Related Territories, below.
Major Urban Centers (2005E): PARIS (2,147,000), Marseilles (797,000), Lyons (473,000), Toulouse (435,000), Nice (338,000), Nantes (277,000), Strasbourg (275,000), Montpellier (249,000), Bordeaux (233,000), Rennes (210,000), Le Havre (186,000), Saint-Étienne (176,000).
Official Language: French.
Monetary Unit: Euro (market rate December 1, 2009: 1 euro = $1.51US).
President: Nicolas SARKOZY (Union for a Popular Movement); elected for a five-year term in runoff balloting on April 22, 2007, and inaugurated May 16, succeeding Jacques CHIRAC (Union for a ...