Regional Geography of France


  1. Physical Characteristics
  2. Human Characteristics
  3. Economic Characteristics
  4. References

Physical Characteristics

            France is located in western Europe and surrounded by Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy.  It is also surrounded by two large bodies of water being the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.  Being so close to these bodies of water it allowed France to be able to trade with North America and the UK as well as other countries along the Mediterranean Sea.

            From mountains to beaches, France has quite a diverse landscape.  In the southern region near the Spain border the Pyrenees Mountains are located.  In the eastern region near Italy and Switzerland lie the Alps along with the highest peak in Europe, Mont Blanc.  The northern region is a beach along the Atlantic ocean.  The southeastern region is along the Mediterranean Sea.  Along the southwestern and southeastern borders it is mainly dedicated to National Parks.

            Depending where you are in France determines how the weather will be.  France is divided into 4 distinct climactic areas.  The oceanic climate receives average rainfall and moderate temperatures of western France.  The continental climate has cold winters and hot summers.  The Mediterranean climate has hot, dry summers and sunshine all year round in southeastern France.  The mountainous climate has heavy rainfall and snow 3-6 months of the year (France FR).

Human Characteristics

            As of 2019 there are 65 million citizens living in France.  In 2019 the population growth rate is .38% according (Worldometers).  There has been a very steady growth from 1960.  Franc’s capital Paris, is home to over 2 million people.  Which is in the top 10 highest populated cities in Europe.  The population density of France is 117 people per km^2.  However, in Paris it’s roughly 22,000 people per km^2.  By the year 2100, France is expected to reach 75 million people living there (Population Pyramid).  Between men and women each make up nearly 50% each side.  Roughly 25% are 0-20 years old, from 20-65 makes up around 56%, then roughly 20% are over 65 years old.

            The official languages of France is French.  Near its borders with other countries there are dialects.  Roughly 40% of the population can speak English.  Other languages spoken are German, Italian and Portuguese.  The main religion in France is Roman Catholicism.  Christianity makes up about 2/3 of the 90% that are Roman Catholics.  The rest of the population is a mix of Islamic/Muslim or non-religious and a very small amount of Judaism followers.

            Roughly 90% of the people that live in France are from French ancestry.  Many people immigrate to France including; North Africans, Germans, Portuguese, Italians, Russians and Americans to name the major ones.  Roughly 10% of the population is from immigration.

Economic Characteristics

            France’s economy is doing quite well because it’s industries are doing very well.  These include agriculture, energy, manufacturing and tourism.  This gives France the third largest economy in Europe and sixth largest in the world (World Atlas)..  With France being the most popular tourist destination in the world it drives its economy.

            France’s primary exports are: machinery and transportation equipment, aircraft, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, iron and steel and beverages; totaling $567 billion.  France’s primary imports are: machinery and equipment, vehicles, crude oil, aircraft, plastics and chemicals; totaling $641 billion (France Trade).

            In 2017, France’s GNI was just shy of $3 trillion, this makes the GNI per capita roughly $44,000.  Which is far less than here in the US being around 60 million.  Compared to other European countries it’s a little under average in the higher income countries (World Bank).


“France Population (LIVE).” Worldometers, “Geography and Climate.”, France FR, 8 Mar. 2019,


“Population Pyramids of the World from 1950 to 2100.”,


Sawe, Benjamin Elisha. “Which Are the Biggest Industries in France?” WorldAtlas, 26 Sept. 2017,


“France Trade, Exports and Imports.” France Trade, Exports and Imports | Economy Watch,


“GNI per Capita, PPP (Current International $).” Data,

Submitted by Zach Coartney on 4-12.