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Hannah Steele
"During my first week in Hamburg, I went to an InterNations event and immediately felt connected. Many members are now close friends of mine."
Andrey Vasilyev
"Thanks to InterNations, I joined an after-work soccer team of other expatriates even before moving to Hamburg."

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France: Introduction & Key Facts

Planning to move to France? This section provides a general introduction to the French Republic — from key facts and figures on its languages, demographics, and climate to an overview of the territories that make up overseas France.

Prepare your relocation to France and read up on basic facts about the country. With around 65 million of its citizens living in metropolitan France, France has the second-largest population in the European Union, following Germany. Around a sixth of the residents (i.e. 10.8 million) live in Paris and its surrounding areas. In contrast, only about 2.2 million inhabitants can be found in France’s overseas territories, which are located all over the world.

France around the Globe…

Due to its colonial history, parts of France can be found all around the globe. It has a total of 13 overseas territories, although Clipperton Island and the French Southern and Antarctic Territories have no permanent population and are directly managed by the French government. The legal status of the other eleven territories varies: The five Overseas Departments and Regions (DOM-ROMs: La Réunion, Mayotte, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and French Guiana) have the same level of power and autonomy as departments in metropolitan France. However, the five Overseas Collectivities (COMs: Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna, Saint Pierre and Miquelon) enjoy greater autonomy. Last but not least, New Caledonia is the territory with the greatest autonomy, and a referendum on its possible independence is scheduled for 2018.

…with a Wide Range of Local Climates

Considering the size of metropolitan France and the diverse locations of its overseas territories worldwide, there’s a wide range of climates in France. On the mainland, expats will find a temperate, oceanic climate in the west and a Mediterranean climate in the southeast and on the island of Corsica. In the Alps, Pyrenees, and the Massif Central there’s an alpine climate, with a continental one in the west of mainland France. Most overseas territories have a tropical climate, with the exception of French Guiana (equatorial), Saint Pierre and Miquelon (subpolar), and parts of the French Southern and Antarctic Territories.
Hannah Steele
"During my first week in Hamburg, I went to an InterNations event and immediately felt connected. Many members are now close friends of mine."
Andrey Vasilyev
"Thanks to InterNations, I joined an after-work soccer team of other expatriates even before moving to Hamburg."

Our Global Partners

France Guide Topics