This page is one of the annex pages of, 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....

 France for foreigners    
  • Most visited French touristic sites (Source : Observatoire National du Tourisme 2003) :
 Site    visitors/year (millions)
 Notre-Dame  Paris

 Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre  Paris

 Tour Eiffel  Paris

 Musée du Louvre  Paris

 Centre Georges-Pompidou  Paris

 Mont-Saint-Michel  Manche

 Chateau de Versailles  Versailles

 Cité des Sciences de la Villette  Paris

 Musée d'Orsay  Paris

 Cathédrale de Reims  Champagne

 Cathédrale de Chartres  Eure-et-Loir

 American Cemetery Omaha Beach  Normandie

 Pont Romain du Gard  Gard

 Puy-du-Fou (spectacle médieval)  Vendée

 Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile  Paris

 Ville de Sarlat  Dordogne

 Musée de l'Armée  Paris


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




     From Europe




     From Africa




     From SouthAm




     From NorthAm









(°) : 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

  • 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%

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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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