This page is one of the annex pages of www.understandfrance.org, the foremost site on Franco-American intercultural differences. It contains documents, facts and figures illustrating the content of some of its pages.

Facts & figures

This page contains Facts and Figures about France and the French. Some are significant, other less so....

(credit)

Immigration

  • According to a recent study (IHT Dec.24 2002, OECD 1999), the breakdown of foreign population between the four major EU countries is as follows (* indicates more than 10% of the annual inflows) : (but these figures do not include the children of foreigners, if born in France : according to French law, they have French citizenship)
 millions  Turkey  Yugosl.  Italy  Portug.  Morocco  Ireland  Algeria  Greece  India  EastEur  USA  Poland  Albania  Philip.
 France  0,2    0,2  0,6  0,5 *    0,5 *              
 Germany  2,1  0,7 *  0,6          0,4        0,3    
 UK      0,1      0,4      0,2  0,1  0,1 *      
 Italy    0,1 *      0,2 *          0,1      0,1 *  0,1

The total number of foreigners in the 25 countries of Europe in 2002 (source : Eurostat 2003) in million (* means : more than 5% of total population and ** : more than 10%):

 Germany*

 7,3
 Belgium*

 0,8
 Sweden*

 0,5
 Czech R

 0,2
 Slovenia

ns 
 France*

 3,4
 Greece*

 0,8
 Estonia**

0,3 
 Luxembrg*

 0,2
 Poland

 ns
 UK

 2,5
 Austria**

 0,7
 Denmark

 0,3
 Hungary

 0,1
 Lithuania

 ns
 Italy

 1,5
 Netherland

 0,7
 Portugal

 0,2
 Finland

 0,1
 Slovakia

 ns
 Spain

 1,4
 Latvia**

 0,6
 Ireland

 0,2
 Cyprus

 0,1
 Malta

 ns

Back to French society

  • Science : in terms of % of articles published, United-Kingdom (8,1%) and Germany (6,9%) are ahead of France (5,2%) in the world hit parade of scientific publications ; only in mathematics, does France do better (8%) than the other European countries (source : Observatoire des Sciences et des Techniques, 2002), because of the importance of math in French education. French mathematicians are very successful with the Fields Medal (the equivalent for Mathematics of the Nobel Prize) and in 2003 Jean Pierre Serre was awarded the first Abel Prize (the new Nobel Prize for maths). In terms of Research & Development, France is behind USA (around 3%) and Nordic countries for % of GNP in R&D (Source : OECD 2002)

   Swd  Flnd  Germ  Frnce  Dnm  Neth  Belg  UK  Aust Irlnd   Ital  Spain Portg  Grec USA  Japn Cand   Kor
 Total % R&D  3,65  3,40  2,51  2,18  2,10  2,02  1,96  1,88  1,84  1,20  1,04 0,94   0,75  0,67  ?      
 of which: private  2,47  2,39  1,68  1,18  1,22  1,00  1,30  0,91  0,73  0,77  0,45  0,47  0,16  0,16  ?      
 % of GNP to higher education  1,7  1,7  1,0  1,1        1,0      0,9  1,2    0,9  2,7  1,1  2,6  2,6

  • Strikes : with only 0,9% of the French workforce, SNCF, the French train operator, represents 20% of the number of strike days every year... ; many strikes include street demonstrations and The Economist (Nov.2002) published a funny statistic on officially registered demonstrations in Paris in 2001 : out of a total of 10,050, 7,458 had a festive cause, 1,461 were for better pay, job security, etc..., 800 purely political and 331 for celebrity visits ! More about strikes and labour unions...
  • More to come....

 

  • Europe : writes J.Rifkin : "While the american Spirit is tiring and languishing in the past, a new European Dream is being born. That dream emphasizes community relationships over individual autonomy, cultural diversity over assimilation, quality of life over the accumulation of wealth, sustainable development over unlimited material growth, deep play over unrelenting toil, universal human rights and the rights of nature over property rights, and global cooperation over the unilateral exercise of power."
  • Bibliography : Every year, a book called Francoscopie-Comment vivent les Français (Larousse, Paris), by Gérard Mermet gives thousands of updated figures on France and the French.
  • Back to Europe, with more Facts and Figures about France

Americans abroad

  • How many Americans live in France ? This is a frequently asked question and the answer varies between 100,000 and 200,00 depending on the source and the definition (with or without government staff and army). A recently published (2003) map gives the following figures of the largest (private sector only) US communities among the 4,1 million American citizens living abroad (Source : AARO The Association of Americans Residents Overseas, AAWE Asssociation of American Wives of Europeans, ACA American Citizens Abroad, FAWCO Federation of American Women's Clubs Overseas Inc., EBA European Benefits Administrators) :

 1  Mexico

 1 036 300
 7  Philippines

105 000 
 13  China

 65 167
19   Belgium

 35 328
 2 Canada 

 687 700
 8  Australia  102 800  14  Ireland

46 984 
 20  Colombia

30 680 
 3  UK

 224 000
 9  France

 101 750
 15  Brazil

 40 640
 21  Argentina

 27 600
 4  Germany

 210 880
 10  Spain

  94 513
 16  Poland

 39 300
 22  Venezuela

 25 000
 5  Israel

 184 195
 11  Greece

  72 500
 17  Taiwan

 38 000
 23  Netherlands

 23 707
 6  Italy

 168 967
 12  Japan

  70 350
 18  Saudi Arabia

 35 989
 24  Costa Rica

 19 800

  • (conversely) The French abroad.... (Source : Maison des Français à l'Etranger 2004) With more than 2 million expatriates, France has proportionally more than twice more expats than the USA.
     USA

     281 978
     Germany

     158 281
     Spain

     124 978
     Algeria

     70 964
     UK

     201 562
     Belgium

    154 069 
     Israel

     87 916
    Biggest growth rates : China (16%), Russia (8%), Ireland (8%),...
     Switzerland

     191 074
     Canada

     138 364
     Italy

     74 797
  • What is the best destination for leading a good life ? The country the most frequently named as their land of opportunity, as an answer to the question "Suppose a young person who wanted to leave this country asked you to recommend where to go to lead a good life, what country would you recommend ?" (Source : Pew Research Center, in I.H.T. June 24, 2005)
     people from...  recommend  people from...  recommend  people from...  recommend  people from...  recommend
     Britain  Australia 31%  Germany  Australia/Canada 11%  Lebanon  France 19%  Russia  Germany 22%
     Canada  Australia 18%  India  USA 38%  Netherlands  Australia/Canada 16%  Spain  Britain 14%
     China  Canada 13%  Indonesia  Japan 24%  Pakistan  China 18%  Turkey  Germany 18%
     France  Canada 14%  Jordan  U.A.E. 17%  Poland  Britain 21%  United States  Canada 16%

Back to American Community in Paris

American foreign policy 

"How desirable is it that the US exert strong leadership in world affairs ?" Poll for the German Marshall Fund (International Herald Tribune Sept.4, 2003).
 "undesirable"

 % in 2002
 %in 2003
 France

 48

 70
 Europe

 31

 49
 Germany

 27

 50
 Italy

 33

 50
 Portugal

 n/a

 44
 Netherlands

 23

 41
 Britain

 25

 38
 Poland

 22

 34
 "Do you think that the USA plays a positive role in the world for..." (Poll July 2004, Figaro Magazine)
 

 France

 USA
 ... the progress of democracy and the rights of Man

 42%

 76%
 ... reducing international tensions

27%

 57%
 ... finding a solution to the Israelo - Palestinian conflict

 24%

 61%
 ...finding a solution in Iraq

 22%

 59%
 "Do you think the war with Iraq has made the world safer or more dangerous ? (Poll, July 2005, Pew Research Center, I.H.T. June 24, 2005)
   safer  more dangerous
 France

 23%

 70%
 Spain

 13%

 68%
 Jordan

 26%

 66%
 Netherl.

 31%

 62%
 Lebanon

 16%

59%
 Turkey

 14%

 59%
 Germany

 28%

 58%
 China

 9%

 56%
 Canada

 37%

 53%
 Pakistan

 9%

 53%
 Indonesia

 13%

 53%
 Russia

 17%

 49%
 Poland

 27%

 48%
 Britain

39%

 47%
 USA

 49%

 40%
 India

 45%

 26%

Public Aid for Development (Source : OECD 2001 & OECD1999) : in spite of slight fluctuations (exchange rates, data year), there is no doubt that all other developed countries spend significantly more in public aid than the USA....
 

 Aid, billion $

2001

 GNP 1999

(bn $)

 Aid as % of GNP  Population 2001 (million)  Aid in $/inhabitant
 USA  10,88  9073  0,12  285  38
 Japan  9,68  3199  0,30  127  76
 Germany  4,88  1933  0,25  82  60
 United Kingdom  4,66  1333  0,35  60  78
 FRANCE  4,29  1363  0,31  59  73
 Netherlands  3,16  391  0,81  16  197
 Spain  1,75  710  0,25  40  44
 Denmark  1,60  138  1,16  5,4  296
 Sweden  1,58  197  0,90  9  176
 Canada  1,57  789  0,20  31  51
 To related pages : more facts & figures, figures on Europe, etc...

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Harriet Welty Rochefort writes articles and books about France and the French. Order her books :

  • "French Toast, An American in Paris Celebrates The Maddening Mysteries of the French", St.Martin's Press, New York, 1999
  • "French Fried, The Culinary Capers of An American in Paris", St.Martin's Press, New York, 2001

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