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)
 France for foreigners    
  • Most visited French touristic sites (Source : Observatoire National du Tourisme 2003 & 2013) :
 Site    visitors/year (millions) 2013  visitors/year (millions) 2003
Disneyand Paris
14.9
n/a
 Notre-Dame  Paris
14

 (10)

 Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre  Paris
10.5

 (8)

 Musée du Louvre  Paris
9.2

( 5,7)

 Chateau de Versailles  Versailles
7.5

 (2,9)

 Tour Eiffel  Paris
6.7

 (5,9)

Notre Dame de Lourdes Lourdes
5
n/a
 Centre Georges-Pompidou  Paris
3.7

 (5,3)

Cathedrale de Strasbourg Strasbourg
3.5
n/a
 Musée d'Orsay  Paris
3.4

 (1,8)

 Cité des Sciences de la Villette  Paris
2.6

 (2,9)

 Mont-Saint-Michel  Manche
2.2

 (3,3)

Notre Dame de la Medaille Miraculeuse Paris
2
n/a
Museum d'Histoire Naturelle Paris
1.9
n/a
 Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile  Paris
1.8

 (1,0)

 Puy-du-Fou (spectacle médieval)  Vendée
1.7

 (1,1)

Parc Asterix Paris
1.6
n/a
 Futuroscope  Poitiers
1.5

 n/a

 Grand Palais  Paris
1.4

 n/a

Musee de l'Armee  Paris
1.4

 n/a

 Cathédrale de Reims  Champagne
n/a

 (1,5)

 Cathédrale de Chartres  Eure-et-Loir
n/a

 (1,5)

 American Cemetery Omaha Beach  Normandie
n/a

 (1,3)

 Pont Romain du Gard  Gard
n/a

 (1,1)

 Ville de Sarlat  Dordogne
n/a

(1,0)

To French provinces

 
  • Foreign students in France as compared to USA (Source : OECD 2004)
       France  USA  UK  Germany

    Total number of

    foreign students

     152,881  586,323  275,270  163,213
     From Asia

     13,9%

     62,5%

     35,6%

     34,5%
     From Europe

     25,6%

     13,8%

     45,4%

     50,5%
     From Africa

     53,3%

     6,5%

     8,3%

     9,5%
     From SouthAm

     2,9%

     6,1%

     1,2%

     2%
     From NorthAm

     3,5%(°)

     10,2%

     8,5%(°°)

     2,5%
     Others

     0,8%

     0,9%

     1%

     1%

(°) : including USA : 1,5% (°°) : including USA : 5,4%

Back to Education.

 French attitudes and traditions    
  • Charities : Americans give to charities between 6 and 7 times more per capita than the French (but the French pay much more taxes for social help, museums, universities, hospitals, etc...). According to Giving USA Foundation and CerPhi (in France), the gap is even bigger : in 2005, 199 billion $ vs. 3,2 in France. But when it comes to public aid for development, the USA are far beyond France and Europe (between one third and one half)... Among many others, the most well known French charitable organizations include :
    • Compagnons d'Emmaüs, for the homeless, founded by Abbé Pierre
    • Restaurants du Coeur, free meals for people who can't afford food, founded by Coluche
    • Secours Catholique, sponsored by the Catholic church
    • Secours Populaire, very similar, but sponsored by unions and left-wing political parties
    • Medecins Sans Frontières, the "French Doctors", in Third World countries, founded by Bernard Kouchner
 

Nobility in France : a few facts and figures

  • For French law, being or not "noble" does not give any privilege (except the right to use your title) and nobility is not protected by the law : it is a purely private matter
  • The number of authentic noble families in France does not exceed 4000 (but the number of families who pretend they are is three or four times bigger) ; being a member of ANF (Association d'Entraide de la Noblesse Française) can be considered a proof
  • Having a "de" before your name is not a proof of nobility (and conversely a few truly noble families have a name without a "de")
  • France is one of the European countries (with the UK, Spain, Belgium, Italy and a few others) with a nobility ; most of the titles were granted before the Revolution ("noblesse d'Ancien Régime"), the rest during the Empire ("noblesse d'Empire") and of course not anymore
  • The oldest (still existing) noble families are, for example, de la Rochefoucault or de Rohan, going back in a straight line to the 10th Century or before ; most prestigious titles are "prince" and "duc", others are "marquis", "comte", "vicomte" or "baron"
  • The coat of arms ("blason") is not at all a sign of nobility

Back to nobility

 Miscellaneous    
  • Use of tranquilizers once a year or more (source : Le Figaro Aug.26, 2008) : France : 21,4%, Spain : 15,5%, Italy : 13,7%, Germany : 5,9%

Back to Europe

   

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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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