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France Geography 2012

SOURCE: 2012 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK AND OTHER SOURCES











France Geography 2012
SOURCE: 2012 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK AND OTHER SOURCES


Page last updated on February 27,

Location:
metropolitan France: Western Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay and English Channel, between Belgium and Spain, southeast of the UK; bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Italy and Spain
French Guiana: Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Brazil and Suriname
Guadeloupe: Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Puerto Rico
Martinique: Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago
Mayotte: Southern Indian Ocean, island in the Mozambique Channel, about half way between northern Madagascar and northern Mozambique
Reunion: Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar

Geographic coordinates:
metropolitan France: 46 00 N, 2 00 E
French Guiana: 4 00 N, 53 00 W
Guadeloupe: 16 15 N, 61 35 W
Martinique: 14 40 N, 61 00 W
Mayotte: 12 50 S, 45 10 E
Reunion: 21 06 S, 55 36 E

Map references:
metropolitan France: Europe
French Guiana: South America
Guadeloupe: Central America and the Caribbean
Martinique: Central America and the Caribbean
Mayotte: Africa
Reunion: World

Area:
total: 643,801 sq km; 551,500 sq km (metropolitan France)
[see also: Area - total country ranks ]
country comparison to the world: 43
land: 640,427 sq km; 549,970 sq km (metropolitan France)
[see also: Area - land country ranks ]
water: 3,374 sq km; 1,530 sq km (metropolitan France)
[see also: Area - water country ranks ]
note: the first numbers include the overseas regions of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Reunion

Area - comparative:
slightly less than the size of Texas

Land boundaries:
metropolitan France - total: 2,889 km
border countries: Andorra 56.6 km, Belgium 620 km, Germany 451 km, Italy 488 km, Luxembourg 73 km, Monaco 4.4 km, Spain 623 km, Switzerland 573 km
French Guiana - total: 1,183 km
border countries: Brazil 673 km, Suriname 510 km
[see also: Land boundaries country ranks ]

Coastline:
total: 4,853 km
metropolitan France: 3,427 km
[see also: Coastline country ranks ]

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm (does not apply to the Mediterranean)
continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation

Climate:
metropolitan France: generally cool winters and mild summers, but mild winters and hot summers along the Mediterranean; occasional strong, cold, dry, north-to-northwesterly wind known as mistral
French Guiana: tropical; hot, humid; little seasonal temperature variation
Guadeloupe and Martinique: subtropical tempered by trade winds; moderately high humidity; rainy season (June to October); vulnerable to devastating cyclones (hurricanes) every eight years on average
Mayotte: tropical; marine; hot, humid, rainy season during northeastern monsoon (November to May); dry season is cooler (May to November)
Reunion: tropical, but temperature moderates with elevation; cool and dry (May to November), hot and rainy (November to April)

Terrain:
metropolitan France: mostly flat plains or gently rolling hills in north and west; remainder is mountainous, especially Pyrenees in south, Alps in east
French Guiana: low-lying coastal plains rising to hills and small mountains
Guadeloupe: Basse-Terre is volcanic in origin with interior mountains; Grande-Terre is low limestone formation; most of the seven other islands are volcanic in origin
Martinique: mountainous with indented coastline; dormant volcano
Mayotte: generally undulating, with deep ravines and ancient volcanic peaks
Reunion: mostly rugged and mountainous; fertile lowlands along coast

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Rhone River delta -2 m
[see also: Elevation extremes - lowest point country ranks ]
highest point: Mont Blanc 4,807 m
[see also: Elevation extremes - highest point country ranks ]
note: in order to assess the possible effects of climate change on the ice and snow cap of Mont Blanc, its surface and peak have been extensively measured in recent years; these new peak measurements have exceeded the traditional height of 4,807 m and have varied between 4,808 m and 4,811 m; the actual rock summit is 4,792 m and is 40 m away from the ice-covered summit

Natural resources:
metropolitan France: coal, iron ore, bauxite, zinc, uranium, antimony, arsenic, potash, feldspar, fluorspar, gypsum, timber, fish
French Guiana: gold deposits, petroleum, kaolin, niobium, tantalum, clay

Land use:
arable land: 33.46%
[see also: Land use - arable land country ranks ]
permanent crops: 2.03%
[see also: Land use - permanent crops country ranks ]
other: 64.51%
[see also: Land use - other country ranks ]
note: French Guiana - arable land 0.13%, permanent crops 0.04%, other 99.83% (90% forest, 10% other); Guadeloupe - arable land 11.70%, permanent crops 2.92%, other 85.38%; Martinique - arable land 9.09%, permanent crops 10.0%, other 80.91%; Reunion - arable land 13.94%, permanent crops 1.59%, other 84.47% (2005)

Irrigated land:
total: 26,950 sq km;
metropolitan France: 26,700 sq km (2008)
[see also: Irrigated land country ranks ]

Total renewable water resources:
189 cu km (2005)
[see also: Total renewable water resources country ranks ]

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 33.16 cu km/yr (16%/74%/10%)
[see also: Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural) - total country ranks ]
per capita: 548 cu m/yr (2000)
[see also: Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural) - per capita country ranks ]

Natural hazards:
metropolitan France: flooding; avalanches; midwinter windstorms; drought; forest fires in south near the Mediterranean
overseas departments: hurricanes (cyclones); flooding; volcanic activity (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion)

Environment - current issues:
some forest damage from acid rain; air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; water pollution from urban wastes, agricultural runoff

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:
largest West European nation


NOTE: 1) The information regarding France on this page is re-published from the 2012 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of France Geography 2012 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about France Geography 2012 should be addressed to the CIA.
2) The rank that you see is the CIA reported rank, which may habe the following issues:
  a) They assign increasing rank number, alphabetically for countries with the same value of the ranked item, whereas we assign them the same rank.
  b) The CIA sometimes assignes counterintuitive ranks. For example, it assigns unemployment rates in increasing order, whereas we rank them in decreasing order






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