France is a republic located in western Europe, with several overseas territories and islands in the Caribbean, Atlantic, Indian, and the Pacific oceans. With an area of 674,843 square kilometers and an estimated 64,876,618 inhabitants (in 2010), it is one of the largest countries in Europe. Service industries (79.5 percent), manufacturing (18.5 percent), and agriculture (2 percent) are the main contributors to its gross domestic product (GDP), which was $2.56 trillion in 2010. According to the World Bank, France's economy is ranked fifth worldwide. France is a founding member of the European Union, and a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Since 1958, France has been structured according to the constitution of the Fifth Republic as a presidential-parliamentary democracy.

France's history of education has been ...

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