In 2004, the Institut Montaigne estimated that within Metropolitan France, 51 million people were white (85% of the population), 6 million were North African (10%), 2 million were black (3.5%), and 1 million were Asian (1.5%).
A law originating from the 1789 revolution and reaffirmed in the 1958 French Constitution makes it illegal for the French state to collect data on ethnicity and ancestry, although some surveys, such as the TeO ("Trajectories and origins") poll conducted jointly by INED and INSEE in 2008, are allowed to do so. It was estimated that 5 million people were of Italian ancestry (the most numerous immigrant community), between 3 million and 6 million people are of North African ancestry, 2.5 million people are of Sub-Saharan African origin, 200,000 people are of Turkish ancestry, and many more are of other European ethnic ancestry, namely Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Greek.
Indeed, it is currently estimated that 40% of the French population is descended at least partially from the different waves of immigration the country has received since the early 20th century; between 1921 and 1935 alone, about 1.1 million net immigrants came to France. The next largest waves came in the 1960s, when around 1.6 million pieds noirs returned to France following the independence of its North African possessions.
France remains a major destination for immigrants, accepting about 200,000 legal immigrants annually. It is also Western Europe's leading recipient of asylum seekers, with an estimated 50,000 applications in 2005 (a 15% decrease from 2004). The European Union allows free movement between the member states, although France established controls to curb Eastern European migration, and immigration remains a contentious political issue.
In 2008, the French national institute of statistics INSEE estimated that the total number of foreign-born immigrants was around 5 million (8% of the population), while their French-born descendants numbered 6.5 million, or 11% of the population. Thus, nearly a fifth of the country's population were either first or second-generation immigrants, more than 5 million of European origin and 4 million of Maghrebi origin. In 2008, France granted citizenship to 137,000 persons, mostly to people from Morocco, Algeria and Turkey.
France is an outlier among developed countries in general, and European countries in particular, in having a fairly high rate of natural population growth: by birth rates alone, France was responsible for almost all natural population growth in the European Union in 2006, with the natural growth rate (excess of births over deaths) rising to 300,000. This was the highest rate since the end of the baby boom in 1973, and coincides with the rise of the total fertility rate from a nadir of 1.7 in 1994 to 2.0 in 2010. From 2006 to 2011 population growth was on average +0.6% per year. Immigrants are also major contributors to this trend; in 2010, 27% of newborns in metropolitan France had at least one foreign-born parent and 24% had at least one parent born outside of Europe (parents born in overseas territories are considered as born in France).
France is a highly urbanized country, with its largest cities (in terms of metropolitan area population) in 2011 being Paris (12,292,900 inh.), Lyon (2,182,482), Marseille (1,721,031), Toulouse (1,250,251), Lille (1,159,547), Bordeaux (1,140,668), Nice (1,003,947), Nantes (884,275), and Strasbourg (763,739). Rural flight was a perennial political issue throughout most of the 20th century.
Demographics of France. Population density in the French Republic at the 1999 census.
All territories are shown at the same geographic scale. The demography of France is monitored by the Institut national d'études démographiques (INED) and the Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques (INSEE). French people. The French (French: Français) are a nation and ethnic group native to France that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue.
Language. French language. French (le français [lə fʁ̥ɒ̃sɛ] ( ) or la langue française [la lɑ̃ɡ fʁɑ̃sɛz]) is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the provinces of Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick (Acadia region) in Canada also in Haiti, the Acadiana region of the U.S. state of Louisiana, the northern parts of the U.S. states of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont in the New England region, and by various communities elsewhere.
Other speakers of French, who often speak it as a second language, are distributed throughout many parts of the world, the largest numbers of whom reside in Francophone Africa. In Africa, French is most commonly spoken in Gabon (where 80% report fluency), Mauritius (78%), Algeria (75%), Senegal and Côte d'Ivoire (70%). French is estimated as having 110 million native speakers and 190 million more second language speakers. Geographic distribution
Languages of France. The languages of France include the French language and some regional languages.
The French language is the only official language of France according to the second article of the French Constitution, and is by far the most widely spoken. Several regional languages are also spoken to varying degrees as a secondary language after French, such as German dialects (Alsacian 1.44%), Celtic languages (Breton 0.61%) and other Gallo-Romance languages (Langues d'Oïl 1.25%, Occitan 1.33%).
Some of these languages have also been spoken in neighbouring countries, such as Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy or Spain. Language policy in France. France has one official language, the French language.
The French government does not regulate the choice of language in publications by individuals but the use of French is required by law in commercial and workplace communications. Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. The Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), known informally and more commonly as La Francophonie (or, more simply, Francophonie) is an international organization representing countries and regions where French is the first ("mother") or customary language; and/or where a significant proportion of the population are francophones (French speakers); and/or where there is a notable affiliation with French culture.
The organization comprises 57 member states and governments, three associate members and twenty observers. The term francophonie (with a lowercase "f") also refers to the global community of French-speaking peoples, comprising a network of private and public organizations promoting special ties among all Francophones. In a majority of member states, French is not the predominant native language. The modern organization was created in 1970. History Structure Executive Secretariat (Secretaries-General) Summits Previous Summits. Religion in France. Religion. Health care in France. The French health care system is one of universal health care largely financed by government national health insurance. In its 2000 assessment of world health care systems, the World Health Organization found that France provided the "close to best overall health care" in the world. In 2005, France spent 11.2% of GDP on health care, or US$3,926 per capita, a figure much higher than the average spent by countries in Europe but less than in the US.
Approximately 77% of health expenditures are covered by government funded agencies. Most general physicians are in private practice but draw their income from the public insurance funds. These funds, unlike their German counterparts, have never gained self-management responsibility. Average life expectancy in France at birth is 81 years. Healthcare. Education in France. School system in France The French educational system is highly centralized and organized.
It is divided into three stages: Primary education (enseignement primaire);Secondary education (enseignement secondaire);Higher education (enseignement supérieur). The following degrees are recognized by the Bologna Process (EU recognition): Licence and Licence Professionnelle (Bachelor)Master (Master)Doctorat (Doctorate) History of education in France. The education system in France can be traced back to the Roman Empire.
Schools may have operated continuously from the later empire to the early Middle Ages in some towns in southern France. Gaul and Roman empire Middle Ages As in other parts of medieval Western Europe, literacy was mainly in Latin. Church schools associated to abbeys and cathedrals developed from the 8th century onwards and were controlled by the Catholic Church.
Earlier modern period In the early modern period, colleges were established by various Catholic orders, notably the Oratorians. Revolution By the 1780s France had about 350 eight-year and six-year colleges; they provided classical education to about 50,000 young men from the ages of 10 to 20. Condorcet in 1792 drew up plans for universal schooling, but it was based on the assumption that the historic endowments would be available. Education. Baccalauréat. The diploma given to all baccalauréat graduates.
The diploma is issued by the recteur d'académie by delegation from the Minister of National Education. The baccalauréat (French pronunciation: [bakaloʁeˈa]), often known in France colloquially as le bac, is an academic qualification which French and international students take at the end of the lycée (High School) (secondary education). It was introduced by Napoleon I in 1808. It is the main diploma required to pursue university studies. There is also the European Baccalaureate which students take at the end of the European School education.
Overview Just about all students in their final year of secondary school take the exam. The word bac is also used to refer to one of the end-of-year exams that students must pass in order to get their baccalauréat diploma: le bac de philo, for example, is the philosophy exam (which all students must take, regardless of their field of study). Baccalauréat général streams