Regional Geography of [Country/Region]


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

Physical Characteristics

Relative Location:

            France is located in the Eastern part of Europe. It is bordered by the countries of Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, and the Netherlands. It has long coastlines on the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. On its Northwestern border, lies the English Channel and across that is the United Kingdom. In the Mediterranean Sea, there is the island of Corsica. France is about the same size of its neighboring country Spain.


Landscape and Physical Environment:

            Around two-thirds of France is covered in mountains and hills, they are mainly in the eastern, southern and south central parts of France (World Atlas). The Alps, Pyrenees, and Vosges mountain ranges go through the country. The tallest mountain in Europe, Mont Blanc, is in France, the mountain is 15,770 feet tall. The portions of France that are not mountainous are flat plains. Located in the southeastern area of France is the Gorges du Verdon, a large canyon that holds beautiful views. A large portion of the country is touching the water of either the Atlantic Ocean to the West, and the Mediterranean Sea to the Southeast. The Mediterranean is home to the popular French Riviera. Along the English Channel coastline, there are rugged cliffs. The country also has a plethora of rivers, the longest being the Loire, which is over 600 miles long. Another famous river in France is the Rhine, as well as the Rhone Seine.


Weather and Climate:

            France is located about halfway between the equator and the furthest north point on Earth. France has three types of climate: Oceanic, Continental, and Mediterranean. Oceanic is found in the Western parts of the country, it has a small temperature range, lots of rainfall, cool summers, and cold winters. Continental climate is the transition climate, the eastern and central parts of France have this climate. This means warmer summers and colder winters, and a lot of rainfall and snowfall. The Mediterranean climate is throughout southern France. It has cool winters, hot summers, and not much rainfall. The average temperature ranges from around 50° F to about 60° F (Nations Encyclopedia). The average rainfall is around 27 to 39 inches.

Human Characteristics

Population, Density, and Age/Sex characteristics:

            According to the PRB, the population of France is 65.1 million. The population density (people per sq. km) in France is 122 sq. Km (Trading Economics). The Population Reference Bureau gives a huge amount of information, and some of those statistics will be listed here. The average life expectancy for males is 80, and it is 85 for females (PRB). 18% of the population is under 15 years old while 20% is 65 or older (PRB). About 80% of the population lives in urban areas which is right on par with Western Europe (PRB).


Language and Religion:

            Obviously, the official language of France is French. According to World Atlas, there are many different regional versions of the French language, the largest being Occitan. Other languages spoken in France are English, German, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, among others (World Atlas). According to my World Regional Geography book, Fundamentals of World Regional Geography the Fourth Edition by Joseph J. Hobbs, the main religion in France is Christianity, more specifically, Roman Catholic. A small amount are Protestant, even fewer are Jewish and Baha’is. Slightly under 10% are Muslim, and about 4% have no religion at all (Nations Encyclopedia).


Cultural/Ethnic Groups:

            According to Nations Encyclopedia, about 94% of the worlds population holds French citizenship. Although there are plenty of other ethnic groups in France. There are plenty of immigrants in the country of France, these include Algerians, Portuguese, Moroccans, Italians, Spaniards, Tunisians, and Turks. While these are the biggest groups, there is also many other small groups. These include: Flemings, Catalans, Germans, Armenians, Gypsies, Russians, Poles, and others (Nations Encyclopedia).


Economic Characteristics

Major Economic Activities:

            According to the World Atlas, one of the major industries in France is energy. France’s biggest electric company is Electricite de France (EDF), which is the largest utility company in the world (World Atlas). They produce about a quarter of the electricity for the European Union. The energy production in France is not quite as environmentally hazardous as other countries because they rely mainly on nuclear energy. They also thrive on tourism. “France is the most popular destination in the world, receiving about 85.7 million tourists each year.” (World Atlas). They have plenty of tourist attractions throughout the country and are loaded with incredible sights. They also make a lot of money off of transport with there road and railways, manufacturing, as the fourth largest automobile manufacturer in the world, technology is huge there as well, and finally agriculture with the sixth largest agricultural production in the world (World Atlas).


Imports and Exports:

            France’s leading exports are capital goods, like machinery, heavy electrical equipment, transport equipment, and aircraft, consumer goods, like automobiles, textiles, and leather, and semi finished products like chemicals, iron, and steel (World Atlas). They trade most with Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, the United States, and Belgium. Their largest export being automobiles followed closely by aircraft. They import a lot of fuels, machinery and equipment, chemicals and paper goods, and consumer goods (World Atlas). Their most prevalent imports being industrial supplies and machinery. They receive the most goods from Germany and the United States. According to World Atlas, France had a trade surplus of $34 Billion and is the fourth largest exporter of goods in the world. This speaks to their success as a country.


GNP and GNP per capita:

            According to CEIC, Frances Gross National Product was 2.934 trillion dollars. They bring a huge amount of money, slightly more than the United Kingdom and about a trillion less than their neighbor Germany. According to PRB, The GNI per capita is $43,720. This is about $6000 behind the average for Western Europe (PRB).



Sawe, B. E. (2017, September 26). Which Are the Biggest Industries in France? Retrieved from


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France Gross National Product [1957 - 2019] [Data & Charts]. (n.d.). Retrieved from


FRANCE. (n.d.). Retrieved from


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France Geography. (n.d.). Retrieved from


Hobbs, J. J. (2016). Fundamentals of World Regional Geography(4th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.


Planet, L. (2014). Lonely Planet the World: A Travellers Guide to the Planet(2nd ed.). Lonely Planet.

Submitted by Noah DeMaria on April 11, 2019.