France is divided into 22 Adminstrative regions (see the map above.) Each region has its own personality, history, traditions, wines and food.
These regions are further subdivided into 96 departments
. There are at least two, and sometimes as many as eight "départements"
for each region.
The départements' names are organised alphabetically and each one is numbered. The numbers of the département are used for post codes and car registration number plates.
In 2005 - the estimated Population of France was about 61 million. The Paris area (Ile de France) has about 9 million people. Other cities of France are much smaller. Lyon is the second city of France, with about 2 million inhabitants. Marseille is the third largest city of France, just a little smaller than Lyon.
Life expectancy at birth for the total population is 76 years for men, and 83 years for women.
Population density 105 persons per sq km. This varies from region to region. The mostly densely populated areas are the Parisian region, the Rhone valley (around Lyon), the Rhone delta (around Marseille) and the South of France. Other areas, such as the Auvergne, have a very small population.
The unemployment rate is about 10%