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Government Stats: compare key data on France & United States

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Definitions

  • Administrative divisions: This entry generally gives the numbers, designatory terms, and first-order administrative divisions as approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Changes that have been reported but not yet acted on by BGN are noted.
  • Capital city > Geographic coordinates: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
  • Capital city > Name: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
  • Constitution: The dates of adoption, revisions, and major amendments to a nation's constitution
  • Executive branch > Cabinet: Cabinet includes the official name for any body of high-ranking advisers roughly comparable to a U.S. Cabinet. Also notes the method for selection of members.
  • Executive branch > Chief of state: The name and title of any person or role roughly equivalent to a U.S. Chief of State. This means the titular leader of the country who represents the state at official and ceremonial functions but may not be involved with the day-to-day activities of the government
  • Executive branch > Head of government: Head of government includes the name and title of the top administrative leader who is designated to manage the day-to-day activities of the government. For example, in the UK, the monarch is the chief of state, and the prime minister is the head of government. In the US, the president is both the chief of state and the head of government.
  • Government type: A description of the basic form of government (e.g., republic, constitutional monarchy, federal republic, parliamentary democracy, military dictatorship).
  • International organization participation: This entry lists in alphabetical order by abbreviation those international organizations in which the subject country is a member or participates in some other way.
  • Judicial branch: The name(s) of the highest court(s) and a brief description of the selection process for members.
  • Legal system: A brief description of the legal system's historical roots, role in government, and acceptance of International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction.
  • Legislative branch: This entry contains information on the structure (unicameral, bicameral, tricameral), formal name, number of seats, and term of office. Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election. Election results includes the percent of vote and/or number of seats held by each party in the last election.
  • Political parties and leaders: Significant political organizations and their leaders.
  • Political pressure groups and leaders: Organizations with leaders involved in politics, but not standing for legislative election.
  • Suffrage: The age at enfranchisement and whether the right to vote is universal or restricted
  • Country name > Conventional long form: This entry is derived from Government > Country name, which includes all forms of the country's name approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (Italy is used as an example): conventional long form (Italian Republic), conventional short form (Italy), local long form (Repubblica Italiana), local short form (Italia), former (Kingdom of Italy), as well as the abbreviation. Also see the Terminology note.
  • Executive branch > Elections: Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election
  • National symbol(s): A national symbol is a faunal, floral, or other abstract representation - or some distinctive object - that over time has come to be closely identified with a country or entity. Not all countries have national symbols; a few countries have more than one.
  • Flag description: A written flag description produced from actual flags or the best information available at the time the entry was written. The flags of independent states are used by their dependencies unless there is an officially recognized local flag. Some disputed and other areas do not have flags.
  • Red tape > Time required to start a business > Days: Time required to start a business (days). Time required to start a business is the number of calendar days needed to complete the procedures to legally operate a business. If a procedure can be speeded up at additional cost, the fastest procedure, independent of cost, is chosen.
  • Country name > Conventional short form: This entry is derived from Government > Country name, which includes all forms of the country's name approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (Italy is used as an example): conventional long form (Italian Republic), conventional short form (Italy), local long form (Repubblica Italiana), local short form (Italia), former (Kingdom of Italy), as well as the abbreviation. Also see the Terminology note.
  • Constitutional form: Constitutional form of government.
  • Transnational Issues > Disputes > International: This entry includes a wide variety of situations that range from traditional bilateral boundary disputes to unilateral claims of one sort or another. Information regarding disputes over international terrestrial and maritime boundaries has been reviewed by the US Department of State. References to other situations involving borders or frontiers may also be included, such as resource disputes, geopolitical questions, or irredentist issues; however, inclusion does not necessarily constitute official acceptance or recognition by the US Government.
  • National anthem: A generally patriotic musical composition - usually in the form of a song or hymn of praise - that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions, or struggles of a nation or its people. National anthems can be officially recognized as a national song by a country's constitution or by an enacted law, or simply by tradition. Although most anthems contain lyrics, some do not.
  • Legislative branch > Elections: This entry contains information on the structure (unicameral, bicameral, tricameral), formal name, number of seats, and term of office. Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election. Election results includes the percent of vote and/or number of seats held by each party in the last election.
  • Legislative branch > Election results: This entry contains information on the structure (unicameral, bicameral, tricameral), formal name, number of seats, and term of office. Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election. Election results includes the percent of vote and/or number of seats held by each party in the last election.
  • Democracy and rights > Press freedom index: Compares countries by their degree of government censorship, according to the Press freedom index. This index, created by the non-governmental organization Reporters without borders (RWS), is ellaborated using data from an extensive annual survey sent to professional reporters throughout the world. The survey contains questions about the type and ownership of media present in the country, freedom of speech, violence exerted against reporters, election campaigns, access of political parties to the media, etc.
  • Parliament > Seats held by women > Percentage: Percentage of seats held by women in country's national parliament or legislative houses.
  • Independence: For most countries, this entry gives the date that sovereignty was achieved and from which nation, empire, or trusteeship. For the other countries, the date given may not represent "independence" in the strict sense, but rather some significant nationhood event such as the traditional founding date or the date of unification, federation, confederation, establishment, fundamental change in the form of government, or state succession. Dependent areas include the notation "none" followed by the nature of their dependency status. "
  • Executive branch > Election results: Election results includes the percent of vote for each candidate in the last election (if any)
  • Judicial branch > Subordinate courts: This entry is derived from Government > Judicial branch, which includes three subfields. The highest court(s) subfield includes the name(s) of a country's highest level court(s), the number and titles of the judges, and the types of cases heard by the court, which commonly are based on civil, criminal, administrative, and constitutional law. A number of countries have separate constitutional courts. The judge selection and term of office subfield includes the organizations and associated officials responsible for nominating and appointing judges, and a brief description of the process. The selection process can be indicative of the independence of a country's court system from other branches of its government. Also included in this subfield are judges' tenures, which can range from a few years, to a specified retirement age, to lifelong appointments. The subordinate courts subfield lists the courts lower in the hierarchy of a country's court system. A few countries with federal-style governments, such as Brazil, Canada, and the US, in addition to their federal court, have separate state- or province-level court systems, though generally the two systems interact.
  • Basis of executive legitimacy: Basis of executive legitimacy.

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

  • Transnational Issues > Illicit drugs: This entry gives information on the five categories of illicit drugs - narcotics, stimulants, depressants (sedatives), hallucinogens, and cannabis. These categories include many drugs legally produced and prescribed by doctors as well as those illegally produced and sold outside of medical channels.
    Cannabis (Cannabis sativa) is the common hemp plant, which provides hallucinogens with some sedative properties, and includes marijuana (pot, Acapulco gold, grass, reefer), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, Marinol), hashish (hash), and hashish oil (hash oil).
    Coca (mostly Erythroxylum coca) is a bush with leaves that contain the stimulant used to make cocaine. Coca is not to be confused with cocoa, which comes from cacao seeds and is used in making chocolate, cocoa, and cocoa butter.
    Cocaine is a stimulant derived from the leaves of the coca bush.
    Depressants (sedatives) are drugs that reduce tension and anxiety and include chloral hydrate, barbiturates (Amytal, Nembutal, Seconal, phenobarbital), benzodiazepines (Librium, Valium), methaqualone (Quaalude), glutethimide (Doriden), and others (Equanil, Placidyl, Valmid).
    Drugs are any chemical substances that effect a physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral change in an individual.
    Drug abuse is the use of any licit or illicit chemical substance that results in physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral impairment in an individual.
    Hallucinogens are drugs that affect sensation, thinking, self-awareness, and emotion. Hallucinogens include LSD (acid, microdot), mescaline and peyote (mexc, buttons, cactus), amphetamine variants (PMA, STP, DOB), phencyclidine (PCP, angel dust, hog), phencyclidine analogues (PCE, PCPy, TCP), and others (psilocybin, psilocyn).
    Hashish is the resinous exudate of the cannabis or hemp plant (Cannabis sativa).
    Heroin is a semisynthetic derivative of morphine.
    Mandrax is a trade name for methaqualone, a pharmaceutical depressant.
    Marijuana is the dried leaf of the cannabis or hemp plant (Cannabis sativa).
    Methaqualone is a pharmaceutical depressant, referred to as mandrax in Southwest Asia and Africa.
    Narcotics are drugs that relieve pain, often induce sleep, and refer to opium, opium derivatives, and synthetic substitutes. Natural narcotics include opium (paregoric, parepectolin), morphine (MS-Contin, Roxanol), codeine (Tylenol with codeine, Empirin with codeine, Robitussin AC), and thebaine. Semisynthetic narcotics ...
    Full definition
  • Democracy and rights > Freedom of the press: Compares countries by freedom of the press. The lower the score, the more free the press of that country is. The scores are taken from the Freedom of the Press Index, elaborated by Freedom House, self-defined as "an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom around the world". The data used in the index come from an annual survey of media independence in 197 countries and territories, assessing the degree of print, broadcast, and internet freedom in each of them.
  • Corruption > Bribe Payers Index: 2008
  • Proportion of seats held by women in national parliament: Women in parliaments are the percentage of parliamentary seats in a single or lower chamber occupied by women.
  • Red tape > Start-up procedures to register a business > Number: Start-up procedures to register a business (number). Start-up procedures are those required to start a business, including interactions to obtain necessary permits and licenses and to complete all inscriptions, verifications, and notifications to start operations. Data are for businesses with specific characteristics of ownership, size, and type of production.
  • Democracy > Civil and political liberties: Civil and political liberties
    Units: Index Ranging from 7 (High Levels of Liberties) to 1 (Low
    Units: This is the average of two indicators - civil liberties and political liberties.
  • General government final > Consumption expenditure > Current US$: General government final consumption expenditure (formerly general government consumption) includes all government current expenditures for purchases of goods and services (including compensation of employees). It also includes most expenditures on national defense and security, but excludes government military expenditures that are part of government capital formation. Data are in current U.S. dollars.
  • National holiday: The primary national day of celebration - often independence day.
  • Capital > Geographic coordinates: This entry is derived from Government > Capital, which gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
  • Democracy > First female parliamentarian: Year first woman elected or appointed to parliament.
  • Time required to start a business > Days: Time required to start a business is the number of calendar days needed to complete the procedures to legally operate a business. If a procedure can be speeded up at additional cost, the fastest procedure, independent of cost, is chosen.
  • Leaders > President: Government > Leaders > President
  • Judicial branch > Judge selection and term of office: This entry is derived from Government > Judicial branch, which includes three subfields. The highest court(s) subfield includes the name(s) of a country's highest level court(s), the number and titles of the judges, and the types of cases heard by the court, which commonly are based on civil, criminal, administrative, and constitutional law. A number of countries have separate constitutional courts. The judge selection and term of office subfield includes the organizations and associated officials responsible for nominating and appointing judges, and a brief description of the process. The selection process can be indicative of the independence of a country's court system from other branches of its government. Also included in this subfield are judges' tenures, which can range from a few years, to a specified retirement age, to lifelong appointments. The subordinate courts subfield lists the courts lower in the hierarchy of a country's court system. A few countries with federal-style governments, such as Brazil, Canada, and the US, in addition to their federal court, have separate state- or province-level court systems, though generally the two systems interact.
  • Democracy and rights > Democracy Index: DI 2012.
  • Red tape > Burden of customs procedure, WEF > 1=extremely inefficient to 7=extremely efficient: Burden of customs procedure, WEF (1=extremely inefficient to 7=extremely efficient). Burden of Customs Procedure measures business executives' perceptions of their country's efficiency of customs procedures. The rating ranges from 1 to 7, with a higher score indicating greater efficiency. Data are from the World Economic Forum's Executive Opinion Survey, conducted for 30 years in collaboration with 150 partner institutes. The 2009 round included more than 13,000 respondents from 133 countries. Sampling follows a dual stratification based on company size and the sector of activity. Data are collected online or through in-person interviews. Responses are aggregated using sector-weighted averaging. The data for the latest year are combined with the data for the previous year to create a two-year moving average. Respondents evaluated the efficiency of customs procedures in their country. The lowest score (1) rates the customs procedure as extremely inefficient, and the highest score (7) as extremely efficient.
  • Red tape > Time required to register property > Days: Time required to register property (days). Time required to register property is the number of calendar days needed for businesses to secure rights to property.
  • Politics: Country politics.
  • International law organization participation: This entry includes information on a country's acceptance of jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and of the International Criminal Court (ICCt); 55 countries have accepted ICJ jurisdiction with reservations and 11 have accepted ICJ jurisdiction without reservations; 114 countries have accepted ICCt jurisdiction. Appendix B: International Organizations and Groups explains the differing mandates of the ICJ and ICCt.
  • Parliament > Seats held by men: Number of seats held by men in country's naitonal parliament or legislative houses.
  • Red tape > Time to resolve insolvency > Years: Time to resolve insolvency (years). Time to resolve insolvency is the number of years from the filing for insolvency in court until the resolution of distressed assets.
  • Red tape > Start-up procedures to register a business > Number per million: Start-up procedures to register a business (number). Start-up procedures are those required to start a business, including interactions to obtain necessary permits and licenses and to complete all inscriptions, verifications, and notifications to start operations. Data are for businesses with specific characteristics of ownership, size, and type of production. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Parliament > Seats held by women: Number of seats held by women in country's parliament or legislative houses.
  • Leaders > President > Summary: Government > Leaders > President > Summary
  • Foreign relations > Date of recognition of Israel: Date on which Israel was officially recognized as a state. Note that some countries had a “de facto” recognition in place long before the legal recognition.
  • Democracy > Democratic institutions rating: Democratic institutions
    Units: Scale ranging from -10 (autocratic) to +10 (democratic)
  • UN membership date: Date of United Nations Membership
  • Democracy and rights > Democracy Index per million people: DI 2012. Figures expressed per million people for the same year.
  • Red tape > Procedures to build a warehouse > Number: Procedures to build a warehouse (number). Number of procedures to build a warehouse is the number of interactions of a company's employees or managers with external parties, including government agency staff, public inspectors, notaries, land registry and cadastre staff, and technical experts apart from architects and engineers.
  • Capital city: The location of the seat of government.
  • Capital > Name: This entry is derived from Government > Capital, which gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
  • Legal origin: Legal origin identifies the origin of the Company Law or Commercial Code in each country
  • General government final > Consumption expenditure > Current US$ > Per capita: General government final consumption expenditure (formerly general government consumption) includes all government current expenditures for purchases of goods and services (including compensation of employees). It also includes most expenditures on national defense and security, but excludes government military expenditures that are part of government capital formation. Data are in current U.S. dollars. Per capita figures expressed per 1 population.
  • Spending > Expense > Current LCU: Expense is cash payments for operating activities of the government in providing goods and services. It includes compensation of employees (such as wages and salaries), interest and subsidies, grants, social benefits, and other expenses such as rent and dividends."
  • Red tape > Time required to get electricity > Days: Time required to get electricity (days). Time required to get electricity is the number of days to obtain a permanent electricity connection. The measure captures the median duration that the electricity utility and experts indicate is necessary in practice, rather than required by law, to complete a procedure.
  • Democracy > Parliamentary elections > Registered voter turnout: The proportion of registered voters who actually voted.
  • Democracy and rights > Year women first voted at national level: Year women first voted at national level.
  • Legislature (parliament) > People per member: Number of people each member of the legislature represents on average. The number of members of the legislature is the sum of the members of all chambers of parliament, if applicable.
  • Capital > Time difference: This entry is derived from Government > Capital, which gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
  • Democracy > Presidential elections > Voting age population: International IDEA has chosen to use not only the reported registration rate to calculate turnout percentages, but also the voting age population (VAP) which includes all citizens above the legal voting age
  • International relations: Country international relations.
  • Red tape > Time required to get electricity > Days per million: Time required to get electricity (days). Time required to get electricity is the number of days to obtain a permanent electricity connection. The measure captures the median duration that the electricity utility and experts indicate is necessary in practice, rather than required by law, to complete a procedure. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Legislature (parliament) > Upper house members: Members of the upper house of the legislature. Does not include countries with a unicameral system.
  • Democracy > Female ministers: Women in government at ministerial level in 2000 (as % of total). Data were provided by states based on their definition of national executive and may therefore include women serving as ministers and vice ministers and those holding other ministerial positions, including parliamentary secretaries.
  • Legislature (parliament) > Lower house members: Members of the lower house of the legislature or of the only chamber in a unicameral system.
  • Leaders > Head of state > Term limit for head of state: Head(s) of state.

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

  • Red tape > Time required to enforce a contract > Days: Time required to enforce a contract (days). Time required to enforce a contract is the number of calendar days from the filing of the lawsuit in court until the final determination and, in appropriate cases, payment.
  • Democracy > Female parliamentarians: Seats in parliament held by women (as % of total). Data are as of 8 March 2002. Where there are lower and upper houses, data refer to the weighted average of women's shares of seats in both houses.
  • Red tape > Procedures to register property > Number: Procedures to register property (number). Number of procedures to register property is the number of procedures required for a businesses to secure rights to property.
  • Leaders > President > Profile: Government > Leaders > President > Profile
  • Role of head of state: Head of state.

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

  • General government final > Consumption expenditure > Current US$ per capita: General government final consumption expenditure (formerly general government consumption) includes all government current expenditures for purchases of goods and services (including compensation of employees). It also includes most expenditures on national defense and security, but excludes government military expenditures that are part of government capital formation. Data are in current U.S. dollars. Figures expressed per capita for the same year.
  • Democracy > Presidential elections > Registered voter turnout: The proportion of registered voters who actually voted.
  • Start-up procedures to register a business > Number: Start-up procedures are those required to start a business, including interactions to obtain necessary permits and licenses and to complete all inscriptions, verifications, and notifications to start operations. Data are for businesses with specific characteristics of ownership, size, and type of production.
  • Democracy > Presidential elections > Voting age population per 1000: International IDEA has chosen to use not only the reported registration rate to calculate turnout percentages, but also the voting age population (VAP) which includes all citizens above the legal voting age. Figures expressed per thousand population for the same year.
  • Red tape > Burden of customs procedure, WEF > 1=extremely inefficient to 7=extremely efficient per million: Burden of customs procedure, WEF (1=extremely inefficient to 7=extremely efficient). Burden of Customs Procedure measures business executives' perceptions of their country's efficiency of customs procedures. The rating ranges from 1 to 7, with a higher score indicating greater efficiency. Data are from the World Economic Forum's Executive Opinion Survey, conducted for 30 years in collaboration with 150 partner institutes. The 2009 round included more than 13,000 respondents from 133 countries. Sampling follows a dual stratification based on company size and the sector of activity. Data are collected online or through in-person interviews. Responses are aggregated using sector-weighted averaging. The data for the latest year are combined with the data for the previous year to create a two-year moving average. Respondents evaluated the efficiency of customs procedures in their country. The lowest score (1) rates the customs procedure as extremely inefficient, and the highest score (7) as extremely efficient. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Strength of legal rights index > 0=weak to 10=strong: Strength of legal rights index measures the degree to which collateral and bankruptcy laws protect the rights of borrowers and lenders and thus facilitate lending. The index ranges from 0 to 10, with higher scores indicating that these laws are better designed to expand access to credit."
  • Spending > Subsidies and other transfers > Current LCU: Subsidies, grants, and other social benefits include all unrequited, nonrepayable transfers on current account to private and public enterprises; grants to foreign governments, international organisations, and other government units; and social security, social assistance benefits, and employer social benefits in cash and in kind."
  • Spending > Compensation of employees > Current LCU: Compensation of employees consists of all payments in cash, as well as in kind (such as food and housing), to employees in return for services rendered, and government contributions to social insurance schemes such as social security and pensions that provide benefits to employees."
  • Foreign relations > Comprehensive National Power: Comprehensive National Power (CNP) is an index devised in the People's Republic of China, used to measure the general power of a nation-state. It takes into account both military factors (called hard power) and economic and cultural factors (called soft power). It's widely thought the main goal of contemporary China is to maximize the country's CNP, though by their own projections it's unlikely they will surpass nations like the USA, Russia, and the UK during this century.
  • Legislature (parliament) > Term of office for upper house members: Members of the upper house*.

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

  • General government final > Consumption expenditure > Current US$ > Per $ GDP: General government final consumption expenditure (formerly general government consumption) includes all government current expenditures for purchases of goods and services (including compensation of employees). It also includes most expenditures on national defense and security, but excludes government military expenditures that are part of government capital formation. Data are in current U.S. dollars. Per $ GDP figures expressed per 1 $ gross domestic product.
  • Parliament > Seats held by women per million people: Number of seats held by women in country's parliament or legislative houses. Figures expressed per million people for the same year.
  • Democracy > Female suffrage: Year in which women received the right to vote. Data refer to the year in which right to vote or stand for election on a universal and equal basis was recognized. Where two years are shown, the first refers to the first partial recognition of the right to vote.
  • Red tape > Time required to build a warehouse > Days: Time required to build a warehouse (days). Time required to build a warehouse is the number of calendar days needed to complete the required procedures for building a warehouse. If a procedure can be speeded up at additional cost, the fastest procedure, independent of cost, is chosen.
  • Foreign relations > Date of recognition of Syrian National Council: Date on which the Syrian National Council was recognized, at least as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people. For more information, please see http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Government/Foreign-relations/International-recognition-of-the-Syrian-National-Council-notes
  • Red tape > Procedures to enforce a contract > Number per million: Procedures to enforce a contract (number). Number of procedures to enforce a contract are the number of independent actions, mandated by law or courts, that demand interaction between the parties of a contract or between them and the judge or court officer. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Red tape > Time required to start a business > Days per million: Time required to start a business (days). Time required to start a business is the number of calendar days needed to complete the procedures to legally operate a business. If a procedure can be speeded up at additional cost, the fastest procedure, independent of cost, is chosen. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Red tape > Time required to register property > Days per million: Time required to register property (days). Time required to register property is the number of calendar days needed for businesses to secure rights to property. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Red tape > Time required to build a warehouse > Days per million: Time required to build a warehouse (days). Time required to build a warehouse is the number of calendar days needed to complete the required procedures for building a warehouse. If a procedure can be speeded up at additional cost, the fastest procedure, independent of cost, is chosen. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Red tape > Procedures to build a warehouse > Number per million: Procedures to build a warehouse (number). Number of procedures to build a warehouse is the number of interactions of a company's employees or managers with external parties, including government agency staff, public inspectors, notaries, land registry and cadastre staff, and technical experts apart from architects and engineers. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Capital > Daylight saving time: This entry is derived from Government > Capital, which gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
  • Spending > Interest payments > Current LCU: Interest payments include interest payments on government debt--including long-term bonds, long-term loans, and other debt instruments--to domestic and foreign residents."
  • Democracy and rights > Major left wing party: Left-wing major party.

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

  • Dependent areas: This entry contains an alphabetical listing of all nonindependent entities associated in some way with a particular independent state.
  • General government final > Consumption expenditure > Constant 2000 US$ > Per capita: General government final consumption expenditure (formerly general government consumption) includes all government current expenditures for purchases of goods and services (including compensation of employees). It also includes most expenditures on national defense and security, but excludes government military expenditures that are part of government capital formation. Data are in constant 2000 U.S. dollars. Per capita figures expressed per 1 population.
  • Time required to build a warehouse > Days: Time required to build a warehouse is the number of calendar days needed to complete the required procedures for building a warehouse. If a procedure can be speeded up at additional cost, the fastest procedure, independent of cost, is chosen.
  • Democracy > Parliamentary elections > Voting age population: International IDEA has chosen to use not only the reported registration rate to calculate turnout percentages, but also the voting age population (VAP) which includes all citizens above the legal voting age
  • Failed States Index: FSI 2013.
  • Democracy > Female candidacy: Year in which women received the right to stand for election. Data refer to the year in which right to vote or stand for election on a universal and equal basis was recognized. Where two years are shown, the first refers to the first partial recognition of the right to stand for election.
  • Trademarks > Nonresidents > Per capita: Trademark applications filed are applications for registration of a trademark with a national or regional trademark office. Trademarks are distinctive signs that identify goods or services as those produced or provided by a specific person or enterprise. Trademarks protect owners of the mark by ensuring exclusive right to use it to identify goods or services or to authorize its use in return for payment. Per capita figures expressed per 1,000 population.
  • Trademarks > Nonresidents per 1000: Trademark applications filed are applications for registration of a trademark with a national or regional trademark office. Trademarks are distinctive signs that identify goods or services as those produced or provided by a specific person or enterprise. Trademarks protect owners of the mark by ensuring exclusive right to use it to identify goods or services or to authorize its use in return for payment. Figures expressed per thousand population for the same year.
  • Democracy > Parliamentary elections > Total vote: The total number of votes cast in the relevant election. Total vote includes valid and invalid votes, as well as blank votes in cases where these are separated from invalid votes. More information on valid, invalid and blank votes can be found at aceproject.org
  • Democracy > Parliamentary elections > Voter registration: The number of registered voters. The figure represents the number of names on the voters' register at the time that the registration process closes, as reported by the electoral management body.
  • Time required to enforce a contract > Days: Time required to enforce a contract is the number of calendar days from the filing of the lawsuit in court until the final determination and, in appropriate cases, payment.
  • Start-up procedures to register a business > Number > Per capita: Start-up procedures are those required to start a business, including interactions to obtain necessary permits and licenses and to complete all inscriptions, verifications, and notifications to start operations. Data are for businesses with specific characteristics of ownership, size, and type of production. Per capita figures expressed per 1 million population.
  • Democracy and rights > Electoral system: Political scientist Robert A. Dahl compares the constitutions of countries which have been “steadily democratic since 1950” on the characteristic of electoral system (First Past the Post electoral system; Single-Member District Plurality, also known as First Past the Post (FPTP): There is one seat per district, the candidate with the most votes wins it; Proportional Representation: There are multiple seats for each voting district, allocation is based on either party lists, multi-member proportional (MMP), single transferable vote (STV) or semi-PR; FrenchTtwo-RoundSsystem; Alternative Vote (AV)).
  • Procedures to register property > Number: Number of procedures to register property is the number of procedures required for a businesses to secure rights to property.
  • Procedures to build a warehouse > Number: Number of procedures to build a warehouse is the number of interactions of a company's employees or managers with external parties, including government agency staff, public inspectors, notaries, land registry and cadastre staff, and technical experts apart from architects and engineers.
  • Democracy and rights > Party system: Political scientist Robert A. Dahl compares the constitutions of countries which have been “steadily democratic since 1950” on the characteristic of party system (two-party or multi-party).
  • Democracy > Presidential elections > Total vote: The total number of votes cast in the relevant election. Total vote includes valid and invalid votes, as well as blank votes in cases where these are separated from invalid votes. More information on valid, invalid and blank votes can be found at aceproject.org
  • Democracy and rights > Structure: Political scientist Robert A. Dahl compares the constitutions of countries which have been “steadily democratic since 1950” on the characteristic of structure (presidential or parliamentary).
  • Procedures to enforce a contract > Number per million: Number of procedures to enforce a contract are the number of independent actions, mandated by law or courts, that demand interaction between the parties of a contract or between them and the judge or court officer. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Trademarks > Nonresidents: Trademark applications filed are applications for registration of a trademark with a national or regional trademark office. Trademarks are distinctive signs that identify goods or services as those produced or provided by a specific person or enterprise. Trademarks protect owners of the mark by ensuring exclusive right to use it to identify goods or services or to authorize its use in return for payment.
  • Time required to register property > Days: Time required to register property is the number of calendar days needed for businesses to secure rights to property.
  • General government final > Consumption expenditure > Annual % growth: Annual percentage growth of general government final consumption expenditure based on constant local currency. Aggregates are based on constant 2000 U.S. dollars. General government final consumption expenditure (general government consumption) includes all government current expenditures for purchases of goods and services (including compensation of employees). It also includes most expenditures on national defense and security, but excludes government military expenditures that are part of government capital formation.
  • Time to resolve insolvency > Years: Time to resolve insolvency is the number of years from the filing for insolvency in court until the resolution of distressed assets.
  • Red tape > Procedures to register property > Number per million: Procedures to register property (number). Number of procedures to register property is the number of procedures required for a businesses to secure rights to property. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Red tape > Procedures to enforce a contract > Number: Procedures to enforce a contract (number). Number of procedures to enforce a contract are the number of independent actions, mandated by law or courts, that demand interaction between the parties of a contract or between them and the judge or court officer.
  • Capital city > Note: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
  • Proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments > %: Proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments (%). Women in parliaments are the percentage of parliamentary seats in a single or lower chamber held by women.
  • Spending > Expense > % of GDP: Expense is cash payments for operating activities of the government in providing goods and services. It includes compensation of employees (such as wages and salaries), interest and subsidies, grants, social benefits, and other expenses such as rent and dividends."
  • Spending > Compensation of employees > % of expense: Compensation of employees consists of all payments in cash, as well as in kind (such as food and housing), to employees in return for services rendered, and government contributions to social insurance schemes such as social security and pensions that provide benefits to employees."
  • Spending > Subsidies and other transfers > % of expense: Subsidies, grants, and other social benefits include all unrequited, nonrepayable transfers on current account to private and public enterprises; grants to foreign governments, international organisations, and other government units; and social security, social assistance benefits, and employer social benefits in cash and in kind."
  • Democracy and rights > Next election: Next election.

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

  • Parliament > Seats held by men per million people: Number of seats held by men in country's naitonal parliament or legislative houses. Figures expressed per million people for the same year.
  • Spending > Interest payments > % of revenue: Interest payments include interest payments on government debt--including long-term bonds, long-term loans, and other debt instruments--to domestic and foreign residents."
  • Democracy and rights > Last election: Last election.

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

  • Democracy > Presidential elections > Voter registration: The number of registered voters. The figure represents the number of names on the voters' register at the time that the registration process closes, as reported by the electoral management body.
  • Foreign relations > Date of establishment of relations with China: The date on which each country established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China.
  • Democracy and rights > Strong judicial review?: Political scientist Robert A. Dahl compares the constitutions of countries which have been “steadily democratic since 1950” on the characteristic of judicial review, which is the power to declare unconstitutional laws duly passed by parliament and/or signed by the president. (As distinct from the ability to strike down acts of subordinate governments, such as states or provinces. (Strong judicial review or no strong judicial review).
  • Democracy and rights > Strongly federal?: Political scientist Robert A. Dahl compares the constitutions of countries which have been “steadily democratic since 1950” on the characteristic of federalism (strongly federal or not strongly federal).
  • Democracy > Parliamentary elections > Voting age population per 1000: International IDEA has chosen to use not only the reported registration rate to calculate turnout percentages, but also the voting age population (VAP) which includes all citizens above the legal voting age. Figures expressed per thousand population for the same year.
  • Start-up procedures to register a business > Number per million: Start-up procedures are those required to start a business, including interactions to obtain necessary permits and licenses and to complete all inscriptions, verifications, and notifications to start operations. Data are for businesses with specific characteristics of ownership, size, and type of production. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Procedures to enforce a contract > Number: Number of procedures to enforce a contract are the number of independent actions, mandated by law or courts, that demand interaction between the parties of a contract or between them and the judge or court officer.
  • Foreign relations > International recognition of the Syrian National Council notes:

    Degree to which the Syrian National Council is recognized as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

  • Foreign relations > Recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia: Statements on the status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia issued by countries who do not recognize their sovereignty.
  • Foreign relations > Date of recognition of Kosovo: Date on which Kosovo was officially recognized as a state.
  • Democracy and rights > Major right wing party: Right-wing major party.

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

  • Legislature (parliament) > Total members of parliament: Number of members of the legislature (sum of members of all chambers of parliament where applicable).
  • Legislature (parliament) > Strongly bicameral?: Political scientist Robert A. Dahl compares the constitutions of countries which have been “steadily democratic since 1950” on the characteristic of bicameralism, determing if there are two houses in the legislature, both with substantial powers. (Strongly bicameral or not strongly bicameral).
  • General government final > Consumption expenditure > Current LCU: General government final consumption expenditure (formerly general government consumption) includes all government current expenditures for purchases of goods and services (including compensation of employees). It also includes most expenditures on national defense and security, but excludes government military expenditures that are part of government capital formation. Data are in current local currency.
  • Legislature (parliament) > Term of office for lower house members: Members of the lower (or sole) house.

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

  • Red tape > Time required to enforce a contract > Days per million: Time required to enforce a contract (days). Time required to enforce a contract is the number of calendar days from the filing of the lawsuit in court until the final determination and, in appropriate cases, payment. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Trademarks > Residents: Trademark applications filed are applications for registration of a trademark with a national or regional trademark office. Trademarks are distinctive signs that identify goods or services as those produced or provided by a specific person or enterprise. Trademarks protect owners of the mark by ensuring exclusive right to use it to identify goods or services or to authorize its use in return for payment.
  • Time to prepare and pay taxes > Hours: Time to prepare and pay taxes is the time, in hours per year, it takes to prepare, file, and pay (or withhold) three major types of taxes: the corporate income tax, the value added or sales tax, and labor taxes, including payroll taxes and social security contributions.
  • General government final > Consumption expenditure > Constant 2000 US$: General government final consumption expenditure (formerly general government consumption) includes all government current expenditures for purchases of goods and services (including compensation of employees). It also includes most expenditures on national defense and security, but excludes government military expenditures that are part of government capital formation. Data are in constant 2000 U.S. dollars.
  • Procedures to register property > Number > Per capita: Number of procedures to register property is the number of procedures required for a businesses to secure rights to property. Per capita figures expressed per 1 million population.
  • Procedures to enforce a contract > Number > Per capita: Number of procedures to enforce a contract are the number of independent actions, mandated by law or courts, that demand interaction between the parties of a contract or between them and the judge or court officer. Per capita figures expressed per 1 million population.
  • Procedures to build a warehouse > Number > Per capita: Number of procedures to build a warehouse is the number of interactions of a company's employees or managers with external parties, including government agency staff, public inspectors, notaries, land registry and cadastre staff, and technical experts apart from architects and engineers. Per capita figures expressed per 1 million population.
  • Spending > Goods and services expense > Current LCU: Goods and services include all government payments in exchange for goods and services used for the production of market and nonmarket goods and services. Own-account capital formation is excluded.
  • Republic establishment date: The date on which each country (or its precursor) changed its form of government to a republic. In a republic, the power resides in the country’s people, the government and legislature is elected and the country is ruled according to its laws.
  • Capital city > Time difference: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
  • General government final > Consumption expenditure > Constant LCU: General government final consumption expenditure (formerly general government consumption) includes all government current expenditures for purchases of goods and services (including compensation of employees). It also includes most expenditures on national defense and security, but excludes government military expenditures that are part of government capital formation. Data are in constant local currency.
  • Spending > Goods and services expense > % of expense: Goods and services include all government payments in exchange for goods and services used for the production of market and nonmarket goods and services. Own-account capital formation is excluded.
  • General government final > Consumption expenditure > Constant 2000 US$ per capita: General government final consumption expenditure (formerly general government consumption) includes all government current expenditures for purchases of goods and services (including compensation of employees). It also includes most expenditures on national defense and security, but excludes government military expenditures that are part of government capital formation. Data are in constant 2000 U.S. dollars. Figures expressed per capita for the same year.
  • Trademarks > Residents > Per capita: Trademark applications filed are applications for registration of a trademark with a national or regional trademark office. Trademarks are distinctive signs that identify goods or services as those produced or provided by a specific person or enterprise. Trademarks protect owners of the mark by ensuring exclusive right to use it to identify goods or services or to authorize its use in return for payment. Per capita figures expressed per 1,000 population.
  • Spending > Interest payments > % of expense: Interest payments include interest payments on government debt--including long-term bonds, long-term loans, and other debt instruments--to domestic and foreign residents."
  • Spending > Other expense > % of expense: Other expense is spending on dividends, rent, and other miscellaneous expenses, including provision for consumption of fixed capital."
  • Spending > Other expense > Current LCU: Other expense is spending on dividends, rent, and other miscellaneous expenses, including provision for consumption of fixed capital."
  • Trademarks > Residents per million: Trademark applications filed are applications for registration of a trademark with a national or regional trademark office. Trademarks are distinctive signs that identify goods or services as those produced or provided by a specific person or enterprise. Trademarks protect owners of the mark by ensuring exclusive right to use it to identify goods or services or to authorize its use in return for payment. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Procedures to register property > Number per million: Number of procedures to register property is the number of procedures required for a businesses to secure rights to property. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Ruling party: In power now.

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

  • Procedures to build a warehouse > Number per million: Number of procedures to build a warehouse is the number of interactions of a company's employees or managers with external parties, including government agency staff, public inspectors, notaries, land registry and cadastre staff, and technical experts apart from architects and engineers. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
STAT France United States HISTORY
Administrative divisions 27 regions (regions, singular - region); Alsace, Aquitaine, Auvergne, Basse-Normandie (Lower Normandy), Bourgogne (Burgundy), Bretagne (Brittany), Centre, Champagne-Ardenne, Corse (Corsica), Franche-Comte, Guadeloupe, Guyane (French Guiana), Haute-Normandie (Upper Normandy), Ile-de-France, Languedoc-Roussillon, Limousin, Lorraine, Martinique, Mayotte, Midi-Pyrenees, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Pays de la Loire, Picardie, Poitou-Charentes, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, Reunion, Rhone-Alpes 50 states and 1 district*; Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia*, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Capital city > Geographic coordinates 48 52 N, 2 20 E 38 53 N, 77 02 W
Capital city > Name Paris Washington, DC
Constitution 4 October 1958 (French Constitution) previous 1781 (Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union); latest drafted July - September 1787, submitted to the Congress of the Confederation 20 September 1787, submitted for states' ratification 28 September 1787, ratification completed by nine sta
Executive branch > Cabinet Council of Ministers appointed by the president at the suggestion of the prime minister Cabinet appointed by the president with Senate approval
Executive branch > Chief of state President Francois HOLLANDE (since 15 May 2012) President Barack H. OBAMA (since 20 January 2009); Vice President Joseph R. BIDEN (since 20 January 2009)
Executive branch > Head of government Prime Minister Jean-Marc AYRAULT (since 16 May 2012) President Barack H. OBAMA (since 20 January 2009); Vice President Joseph R. BIDEN (since 20 January 2009)
Government type republic Constitution-based federal republic; strong democratic tradition
International organization participation ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BDEAC, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, FZ, G-20, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), SPC, UN, UN Security Council, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNRWA, UNSC (permanent), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), ANZUS, APEC, Arctic Council, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CD, CE (observer), CERN (observer), CICA (observer), CP, EAPC, EAS, EBRD, EITI (implementing country), FAO, FATF, G-20, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAFTA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SELEC (observer), SICA (observer), SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNSC (permanent), UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Judicial branch Supreme Court of Appeals or Cour de Cassation (judges are appointed by the president from nominations of the High Council of the Judiciary); Constitutional Council or Conseil Constitutionnel (three members appointed by the president, three appointed by the president of the National Assembly, and three appointed by the president of the Senate); Council of State or Conseil d'Etat Supreme Court (nine justices; nominated by the president and confirmed with the advice and consent of the Senate; appointed to serve for life); United States Courts of Appeal; United States District Courts; State and County Courts
Legal system civil law; review of administrative but not legislative acts common law system based on English common law at the federal level; state legal systems based on common law except Louisiana, which is based on Napoleonic civil code; judicial review of legislative acts
Legislative branch bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat bicameral Congress consists of the Senate
Political parties and leaders Centrist and Republican Union or UCR [Francois ZOCCHETTO] (previously Centrist Union<br />Democratic Movement or MoDem [Francois BAYROU] (previously Union for French Democracy or UDF)<br />Europe Ecology - The Greens or EELV [Pascal DURAND]<br />French Communist Party or PCF [Pierre LAURENT]<br />Left Front Coalition or FDG [Jean-Luc MELENCHON]<br />Left Party or PG [Jean-Luc MELENCHON and Martine BILLARD]<br />Left Radical Party or PRG [Jean-Michel BAYLET] (previously Radical Socialist Party or PRS and the Left Radical Movement or MRG)<br />Movement for France or MPF [Philippe DE VILLIERS]<br />National Front or FN [Marine LE PEN]<br />New Anticapitalist Party or NPA [collective leadership; main spokesperson Christine POUPIN]<br />New Center or NC [Herve MORIN]<br />Radical Party [Jean-Louis BORLOO]<br />Rally for France or RPF [Charles PASQUA]<br />Republican and Citizen Movement or MRC [Jean-Luc LAURENT]<br />Socialist Party or PS [Haerlem DESIR]<br />United Republic or RS [Dominique DE VILLEPIN]<br />Union for a Popular Movement or UMP [Jean-Francois COPE]<br />Worker's Struggle (Lutte Ouvriere) or LO [collective leadership; spokespersons Nathalie ARTHAUD and Arlette LAQUILLER] Democratic Party [Debbie Wasserman SCHULTZ]<br />Green Party<br />Libertarian Party [Mark HINKLE]<br />Republican Party [Reince PRIEBUS]
Political pressure groups and leaders Confederation francaise democratique du travail or CFDT, left-leaning labor union with approximately 803,000 members<br />Confederation francaise de l'encadrement - Confederation generale des cadres or CFE-CGC, independent white-collar union with 196,000 members<br />Confederation francaise des travailleurs chretiens of CFTC, independent labor union founded by Catholic workers that claims 132,000 members<br />Confederation generale du travail or CGT, historically communist labor union with approximately 700,000 members<br />Confederation generale du travail - Force ouvriere or FO, independent labor union with an estimated 300,000 members<br />Mouvement des entreprises de France or MEDEF, employers' union with 750,000 companies as members (claimed)<br /><br /><strong>French Guiana:</strong><br />conservationists<br />gold mining pressure groups<br />hunting pressure groups<br /><br /><strong>Guadeloupe:</strong><br />Christian Movement for the Liberation of Guadeloupe or KLPG<br />General Federation of Guadeloupe Workers or CGT-G<br />General Union of Guadeloupe Workers or UGTG<br />Movement for an Independent Guadeloupe or MPGI<br />The Socialist Renewal Movement<br /><br /><strong>Martinique:</strong><br />Caribbean Revolutionary Alliance or ARC<br />Central Union for Martinique Workers or CSTM<br />Frantz Fanon Circle<br />League of Workers and Peasants<br />Proletarian Action Group or GAP<br /><br /><strong>Reunion:</strong><br />NA environmentalists; business groups; labor unions; churches; ethnic groups; political action committees or PACs; health groups; education groups; civic groups; youth groups; transportation groups; agricultural groups; veterans groups; women's groups; reform lobbies
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal 18 years of age; universal
Country name > Conventional long form French Republic United States of America
Executive branch > Elections president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 22 April and 6 May 2012 (next to be held in the spring of 2017); prime minister appointed by the president president and vice president elected on the same ticket by a college of representatives who are elected directly from each state; president and vice president serve four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held 6 November 2012 (next to be held on 8 November 2016)
National symbol(s) Gallic rooster and Marianne bald eagle
Flag description three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), white, and red; known as the "Le drapeau tricolore" (French Tricolor), the origin of the flag dates to 1790 and the French Revolution when the "ancient French color" of white was combined with the blue and red colors of the Parisian militia; the official flag for all French dependent areas 13 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; there is a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing 50 small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars (top and bottom) alternating with rows of five stars; the 50 stars represent the 50 states, the 13 stripes represent the 13 original colonies; the blue stands for loyalty, devotion, truth, justice, and friendship; red symbolizes courage, zeal, and fervency, while white denotes purity and rectitude of conduct; commonly referred to by its nickname of Old Glory
Red tape > Time required to start a business > Days 6.5
Ranked 155th. 30% more than United States
5
Ranked 170th.

Country name > Conventional short form France United States
Constitutional form Republic Republic
Transnational Issues > Disputes > International Madagascar claims the French territories of Bassas da India, Europa Island, Glorioso Islands, and Juan de Nova Island; Comoros claims Mayotte; Mauritius claims Tromelin Island; territorial dispute between Suriname and the French overseas department of French Guiana; France asserts a territorial claim in Antarctica (Adelie Land); France and Vanuatu claim Matthew and Hunter Islands, east of New Caledonia the US has intensified domestic security measures and is collaborating closely with its neighbors, Canada and Mexico, to monitor and control legal and illegal personnel, transport, and commodities across the international borders; abundant rainfall in recent years along much of the Mexico-US border region has ameliorated periodically strained water-sharing arrangements; 1990 Maritime Boundary Agreement in the Bering Sea still awaits Russian Duma ratification; Canada and the United States dispute how to divide the Beaufort Sea and the status of the Northwest Passage but continue to work cooperatively to survey the Arctic continental shelf; The Bahamas and US have not been able to agree on a maritime boundary; US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay is leased from Cuba and only mutual agreement or US abandonment of the area can terminate the lease; Haiti claims US-administered Navassa Island; US has made no territorial claim in Antarctica (but has reserved the right to do so) and does not recognize the claims of any other states; Marshall Islands claims Wake Island; Tokelau included American Samoa's Swains Island among the islands listed in its 2006 draft constitution
National anthem <strong>name: </strong>"La Marseillaise" (The Song of Marseille)<br /><strong>lyrics/music:</strong> Claude-Joseph ROUGET de Lisle <strong>name: </strong>"The Star-Spangled Banner"<br /><strong>lyrics/music:</strong> Francis Scott KEY/John Stafford SMITH
Legislative branch > Elections Senate - last held on 25 September 2011 (next to be held in September 2014); National Assembly - last held on 10 and 17 June 2012 (next to be held in June 2017) Senate - last held on 6 November 2012 (next to be held on 4 November 2014); House of Representatives - last held on 6 November 2012 (next to be held on 4 November 2014)
Legislative branch > Election results Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PS/Greens 140, UMP 132, UDF 31, PCF/MRC 21, PRG 17, other 7; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - PS 48.5%, UMP 33.6%, miscellaneous left wing parties 3.8%, Greens 3.0%, miscellaneous right wing parties 2.6%, NC 2.1%, PRG 2.1%, FDG 1.7%, other 2.6%; seats by party - PS 280, UMP 194, miscellaneous left wing parties 22, Greens 17, miscellaneous right wing parties 15, NC 12, PRG 12, FDG 10, other 15 Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 54, Republican Party 45, independent 1; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 201, Republican Party 234
Democracy and rights > Press freedom index 21.6
Ranked 10th. 19% more than United States
18.22
Ranked 13th.
Parliament > Seats held by women > Percentage 26.86%
Ranked 40th. 51% more than United States
17.78%
Ranked 91st.

Independence no official date of independence: 486 (Frankish tribes unified under Merovingian kingship); 10 August 843 (Western Francia established from the division of the Carolingian Empire); 14 July 1789 (French monarchy overthrown); 22 September 1792 (First French Republic founded); 4 October 1958 (Fifth French Republic established) 4 July 1776 (declared); 3 September 1783 (recognized by Great Britain)
Executive branch > Election results Francois HOLLANDE elected; first round: percent of vote - Francois HOLLANDE 28.6%, Nicolas SARKOZY 27.2%, Marine LE PEN 17.9%, Jean-Luc MELENCHON 11.1%, Francois BAYROU, 9.1%, others 6.1%; second round: HOLLANDE 51.6%, SARKOZY 48.4% Barack H. OBAMA reelected president; percent of popular vote - Barack H. OBAMA 50.6%, Mitt ROMNEY 47.9%, other 1.5%;
Judicial branch > Subordinate courts appellate courts or Cour d'Appel; regional courts or Tribunal de Grande Instance; first instance courts or Tribunal' d'instance Courts of Appeal (includes the US Court of Appeal for the Federal District and 12 regional appeals courts); 94 federal district courts in 50 states and territories
Basis of executive legitimacy Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence Presidency is independent of legislature
Transnational Issues > Illicit drugs <strong>metropolitan France: </strong>transshipment point for South American cocaine, Southwest Asian heroin, and European synthetics<br /><strong>French Guiana:</strong> small amount of marijuana grown for local consumption; minor transshipment point to Europe<br /><strong>Martinique:</strong> transshipment point for cocaine and marijuana bound for the US and Europe world's largest consumer of cocaine (shipped from Colombia through Mexico and the Caribbean), Colombian heroin, and Mexican heroin and marijuana; major consumer of ecstasy and Mexican methamphetamine; minor consumer of high-quality Southeast Asian heroin; illicit producer of cannabis, marijuana, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, and methamphetamine; money-laundering center
Democracy and rights > Freedom of the press 24
Ranked 152nd. 33% more than United States
18
Ranked 171st.
Corruption > Bribe Payers Index 8.1
Ranked 10th. The same as United States
8.1
Ranked 8th.
Proportion of seats held by women in national parliament 12.2%
Ranked 99th.
15.2%
Ranked 79th. 25% more than France

Red tape > Start-up procedures to register a business > Number 5
Ranked 147th.
6
Ranked 103th. 20% more than France

Democracy > Civil and political liberties 5.5
Ranked 34th.
6
Ranked 6th. 9% more than France
General government final > Consumption expenditure > Current US$ 504.41 billion$
Ranked 2nd.
1.84 trillion$
Ranked 1st. 4 times more than France

National holiday Fete de la Federation, 14 July (1790)(on 14 July 1789) and the establishment of a constitutional monarchy; other names for the holiday are Fete Nationale (National Holiday) and quatorze juillet (14th of July) Independence Day, 4 July (1776)
Capital > Geographic coordinates 48 52 N, 2 20 E 38 53 N, 77 02 W
Democracy > First female parliamentarian 1945 (elected) 1917 (elected)
Time required to start a business > Days 8 days
Ranked 162nd. 60% more than United States
5 days
Ranked 167th.

Leaders > President Francois Hollande Barack Obama
Democracy > Gender Parity Index in primary level enrolment 0.988
Ranked 58th.
0.991
Ranked 52nd. About the same as France

Judicial branch > Judge selection and term of office Court of Cassation judges appointed by the president of the republic from nominations from the High Council of the Judiciary, presided by the Court of Cassation and 15 appointed members; judge term of appointment NA; Constitutional Council members appointed - 3 by the president of the republic and 3 each by the National Assembly and Senate presidents; members serve 9-year, non-renewable terms with one third of the membership renewed every 3 years president nominates, and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoints Supreme Court justices; justices appointed for life
Democracy and rights > Democracy Index 7.88
Ranked 23th.
8.11
Ranked 18th. 3% more than France
Red tape > Burden of customs procedure, WEF > 1=extremely inefficient to 7=extremely efficient 4.6
Ranked 41st. 2% more than United States
4.5
Ranked 43th.

Red tape > Time required to register property > Days 49
Ranked 67th. 4 times more than United States
12
Ranked 158th.

Politics Francois Hollande is France&#039;s first Socialist president since Francois Mitterrand in 1981-95 Barack Obama, America&#039;s first black president, was re-elected in November 2012
International law organization participation has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction withdrew acceptance of compulsory ICJ jurisdiction in 2005; withdrew acceptance of ICCt jurisdiction in 2002
Parliament > Seats held by men 422
Ranked 11th. 19% more than United States
356
Ranked 21st.

Red tape > Time to resolve insolvency > Years 1.9
Ranked 126th. 27% more than United States
1.5
Ranked 144th.

Red tape > Start-up procedures to register a business > Number per million 0.0761
Ranked 174th. 4 times more than United States
0.0191
Ranked 185th.

Parliament > Seats held by women 155
Ranked 8th. 2 times more than United States
77
Ranked 27th.

Leaders > President > Summary Mr Hollande&#039;s tax rises have met with fierce resistance Barack Obama, the country&#039;s first black president
Foreign relations > Date of recognition of Israel None
None
Democracy > Democratic institutions rating 9
Ranked 41st.
10
Ranked 9th. 11% more than France
UN membership date 24 Oct. 1945 24 Oct. 1945
Democracy and rights > Democracy Index per million people 0.12
Ranked 29th. 5 times more than United States
0.0258
Ranked 34th.
Red tape > Procedures to build a warehouse > Number 9
Ranked 170th.
16
Ranked 60th. 78% more than France

Capital city Paris Washington, DC
Capital > Name Paris Washington, DC
Legal origin <a href=/country/fr>French</a> <a href=/encyclopedia/England>English</a>
General government final > Consumption expenditure > Current US$ > Per capita 8,286.27$ per capita
Ranked 8th. 32% more than United States
6,281.51$ per capita
Ranked 14th.

Spending > Expense > Current LCU 870.97 billion
Ranked 20th.
3.7 trillion
Ranked 1st. 4 times more than France

Red tape > Time required to get electricity > Days 79
Ranked 107th. 32% more than United States
60
Ranked 144th.

Democracy > Parliamentary elections > Registered voter turnout 60.3%
Ranked 115th.
63.8%
Ranked 101st. 6% more than France
Democracy and rights > Year women first voted at national level 1944 1920
Legislature (parliament) > People per member 72,465
Ranked 46th.
575,019
Ranked 3rd. 8 times more than France
Capital > Time difference UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time) UTC-5 (during Standard Time)
Democracy > Presidential elections > Voting age population 44.08 million
Ranked 7th.
213.95 million
Ranked 1st. 5 times more than France
International relations France is a key European and world player. It has a strong military. France is influential in Africa, especially in former colonies The US has a leading role on the world stage, militarily and diplomatically. Its combat troops are set to leave Afghanistan by late 2014
Red tape > Time required to get electricity > Days per million 1.2
Ranked 171st. 6 times more than United States
0.191
Ranked 186th.

Legislature (parliament) > Upper house members 321
Ranked 2nd. 3 times more than United States
100
Ranked 24th.
Democracy > Female ministers 5.3%
Ranked 104th.
7.1%
Ranked 92nd. 34% more than France
Legislature (parliament) > Lower house members 577
Ranked 9th. 33% more than United States
435
Ranked 25th.
Leaders > Head of state > Term limit for head of state 5
Ranked 108th. 25% more than United States
4
Ranked 129th.
Red tape > Time required to enforce a contract > Days 395
Ranked 157th. 7% more than United States
370
Ranked 164th.

Democracy > Female parliamentarians 10.9%
Ranked 79th.
13.8%
Ranked 60th. 27% more than France
Red tape > Procedures to register property > Number 8
Ranked 39th. Twice as much as United States
4
Ranked 145th.

Leaders > President > Profile <p>Francois Hollande beat the conservative incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy, in May 2012 to become France&#039;s first Socialist president since Francois Mitterrand held the post from 1981 to 1995.</p> <p>The standard-bearer of the right wing of the party, Mr Hollande saw off the more left-wing Martine Aubry in public primaries to become his party&#039;s presidential candidate.</p> <p>Despite his reputation as a moderate, Mr Hollande campaigned on strongly left-wing proposals, including a 75% top income tax rate, 60,000 new teachers, and the renegotiation of the European Union fiscal growth pact.</p> <p>His Socialists went on to won a comfortable majority in the June 2012 parliamentary elections, ensuring that President Hollande would not have to count on far-left or Green votes.</p> <p>But by the end of 2012, Mr Hollande&#039;s economic plans were in trouble, with growth stagnant and the continuing woes of the eurozone promising no relief.</p> <p>France continued to dip in an out of recession throughout the next year, and Mr Hollande&#039;s failure to make good on his promise to reduce unemployment by the end of 2013 left him with the lowest approval rating of any president since the founding of the Fifth Republic in 1958.</p> <p>His decision to opt for raising taxes rather than cutting spending - an option unpopular with his natural supporters - has come close to triggering a taxpayers&#039; revolt.</p> <p>Mr Hollande has also come under pressure from Brussels, with the EU Commission urging France to reduce its budget deficit and bring down public spending - the highest per capita in Europe.</p> <p>His private life also threatened potential embarrassment after claims of an affair with actress Julie Gayet prompted media questions about his partner Valerie Trierweiler&#039;s status as first lady.</p> <p>On the international stage, Mr Hollande has taken a strong lead in pushing for a more interventionist approach towards shoring up states threatened with destabilisation. </p> <p>In January 2013, he sent troops to Mali to help government regain control over the north of the country from Islamist militants, and in December he deployed additional peacekeepers to the Central African Republic to help restore order after a rebel takeover.</p> <p>Born in 1954 in Rouen, Normandy, and a product of the &quot;grandes ecoles&quot; elite education system, Mr Hollande was an economic advisor to President Mitterrand, and became an MP in 1988.</p> <p>He rose to lead the party in the long years of opposition in 1997-2008, and stood down over a party row about the failed presidential campaign of his long-standing partner, Segolene Royal.</p> <p>Mr Hollande and Ms Royal later split up over his affair with journalist Valerie Trierweiler, now his partner.</p> <p>He emerged as the Socialist candidate after the favourite, IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, saw his political career collapse in 2011 amid allegations of sexual misconduct.</p> <p>Barack Obama, a Democrat and America&#039;s first black president, was re-elected for a second term in November 2012 after a bitterly-fought campaign against Republican challenger Mitt Romney.</p> <p>The Democrats kept control of the Senate and the Republicans remained in control of the House of Representatives, leading to political gridlock in Congress on the budget in late 2013.</p> <p>The campaign focused on the ailing US economy. In his inaugural speech in January 2013, Mr Obama called on Democrats and Republicans to work together to sustain the country&#039;s fragile economic recovery. He also pledged an end to &quot;ten years of war&quot;, signalling the departure of US troops from Afghanistan in 2014.</p> <p>First term challenges</p> <p>The worst economic crisis in the US since the Great Depression of the 1930s dominated much of Mr Obama&#039;s first term. The president pursued an aggressive policy of economic stimulus, including bail-outs of major car makers.</p> <p>He made reform of the healthcare system to extend coverage and reduce ballooning costs one of his top domestic priorities.</p> <p>Despite a tortuous drafting process and vociferous Republican opposition, Mr Obama and Democrats in Congress finally succeeded in passing a health care bill in March 2010.</p> <p>However, the health reform, along with the $787bn stimulus package passed in February 2010 to shore up an ailing economy, galvanised opposition among opponents to Mr Obama&#039;s agenda.</p> <p>The American Right in particular worried about what it saw as moves to extend the role of the state in the economy, and the threat of excessive public debt.</p> <p>Tea Party boost for Republicans</span> <p>The rise of the conservative Tea Party movement in 2009 re-energised the Republicans and helped them to capitalise on popular discontent at the slow pace of America&#039;s economic recovery.</p> <p>The Republicans made sweeping gains in mid-term elections in November 2010, regaining control of the House of Representatives.</p> <p>In autumn 2011 anti-capitalist protestors took to the streets of major cities, marching under the slogan &quot;Occupy Wall Street&quot;, against &quot;corporate greed&quot; and increasing government debt. The protests inspired marches in other cities worldwide in October 2011.</p> <p>Bin Laden operation</span> <p>In May 2011, Mr Obama was widely applauded domestically - including by the Right - for his decision to order the operation that killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. </p> <p>Barack Obama was born in 1961 in Hawaii, the son of a black Kenyan father and a white American mother. After attending an elite Hawaiian academy and Columbia University in New York, he went on to Harvard Law School, where he graduated in 1991.</p> <p>Mr Obama practiced law and did community work in Chicago, where he also became active in the Democratic Party. He won a seat in the Illinois state senate in 1996, and followed this up by winning a US Senate seat in 2004.</p> <p>He emphatic victory over his opponent John McCain in the 2008 presidential election ended eight years of Republican rule in the White House.</p> <p>Mr Obama ran for president on a ticket promising change, and came to office riding a wave of high expectations from his supporters, both at home and abroad.</p> <p>He is widely acknowledged to be a charismatic figure and is noted for his stirring oratory. </p>
Role of head of state Executive Executive
General government final > Consumption expenditure > Current US$ per capita 7,984.17$
Ranked 9th. 27% more than United States
6,299.75$
Ranked 14th.

Democracy > Presidential elections > Registered voter turnout 79.7%
Ranked 21st. 18% more than United States
67.4%
Ranked 55th.
Start-up procedures to register a business > Number 7
Ranked 134th. 40% more than United States
5
Ranked 154th.

Democracy > Presidential elections > Voting age population per 1000 708.21
Ranked 18th.
737.5
Ranked 17th. 4% more than France
Red tape > Burden of customs procedure, WEF > 1=extremely inefficient to 7=extremely efficient per million 0.07
Ranked 120th. 5 times more than United States
0.0143
Ranked 141st.

Strength of legal rights index > 0=weak to 10=strong 7
Ranked 63th.
8
Ranked 27th. 14% more than France

Spending > Subsidies and other transfers > Current LCU 465.29 billion
Ranked 20th.
2.56 trillion
Ranked 1st. 5 times more than France

Spending > Compensation of employees > Current LCU 183.84 billion
Ranked 20th.
399.42 billion
Ranked 14th. 2 times more than France

Foreign relations > Comprehensive National Power 62
Ranked 4th.
90.62
Ranked 1st. 46% more than France
Legislature (parliament) > Term of office for upper house members 6
Ranked 6th. The same as United States
6
Ranked 17th.
General government final > Consumption expenditure > Current US$ > Per $ GDP 0.237$ per $1 of GDP
Ranked 18th. 50% more than United States
0.158$ per $1 of GDP
Ranked 76th.

Parliament > Seats held by women per million people 2.35
Ranked 114th. 10 times more than United States
0.243
Ranked 175th.

Foreign relations > Nepal > Date of Establishment April 20, 1949 April 25, 1947
Democracy > Female suffrage 1944 "1920 ,1960"
Red tape > Time required to build a warehouse > Days 184
Ranked 58th. 2 times more than United States
91
Ranked 157th.

Foreign relations > Date of recognition of Syrian National Council Recognised on 21 November 2011 (as legitimate interlocutor) , on 13 November 2012 (as sole legitimate representative) Recognised on 5 December 2011 (as legitimate representative)
Red tape > Procedures to enforce a contract > Number per million 0.441
Ranked 172nd. 4 times more than United States
0.102
Ranked 185th.

Red tape > Time required to start a business > Days per million 0.0989
Ranked 181st. 6 times more than United States
0.0159
Ranked 188th.

Red tape > Time required to register property > Days per million 0.898
Ranked 144th. 23 times more than United States
0.0382
Ranked 181st.

Red tape > Time required to build a warehouse > Days per million 2.8
Ranked 161st. 10 times more than United States
0.29
Ranked 183th.

Red tape > Procedures to build a warehouse > Number per million 0.137
Ranked 170th. 3 times more than United States
0.051
Ranked 182nd.

Capital > Daylight saving time +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November
Spending > Interest payments > Current LCU 49.58 billion
Ranked 24th.
270.49 billion
Ranked 1st. 5 times more than France

Democracy and rights > Major left wing party Socialist Party Democratic Party
Dependent areas Clipperton Island, French Polynesia, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, New Caledonia, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna American Samoa, Baker Island, Guam, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Islands, Navassa Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Palmyra Atoll, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Wake Island
General government final > Consumption expenditure > Constant 2000 US$ > Per capita 5,427.38 constant 2000 US$ per c
Ranked 7th.
5,464.23 constant 2000 US$ per c
Ranked 8th. 1% more than France

Time required to build a warehouse > Days 155 days
Ranked 106th. 2 times more than United States
69 days
Ranked 164th.

Democracy > Parliamentary elections > Voting age population 44.52 million
Ranked 14th.
213.95 million
Ranked 2nd. 5 times more than France
Failed States Index 32.6
Ranked 16th.
33.5
Ranked 14th. 3% more than France
Democracy > Female candidacy 1,944
Ranked 105th. 9% more than United States
1,788
Ranked 161st.
Trademarks > Nonresidents > Per capita 0.049 per 1,000 people
Ranked 47th.
0.092 per 1,000 people
Ranked 35th. 88% more than France

Trademarks > Nonresidents per 1000 0.0472
Ranked 45th.
0.0922
Ranked 35th. 95% more than France

Foreign relations > Croatia > Date of Establishment April 24, 1992 August 11, 1992
National anthem > Name "La Marseillaise" (The Song of Marseille) "The Star-Spangled Banner"
Democracy > Parliamentary elections > Total vote 22.19 million
Ranked 18th.
99.74 million
Ranked 3rd. 4 times more than France
Democracy > Parliamentary elections > Voter registration 36.78 million
Ranked 16th.
156.42 million
Ranked 2nd. 4 times more than France
Time required to enforce a contract > Days 331 days
Ranked 130th. 10% more than United States
300 days
Ranked 136th.

Start-up procedures to register a business > Number > Per capita 0.115 per 1 million people
Ranked 152nd. 7 times more than United States
0.017 per 1 million people
Ranked 168th.

Democracy and rights > Electoral system 2 round FPTP
Procedures to register property > Number 9
Ranked 20th. 2 times more than United States
4
Ranked 131st.

Procedures to build a warehouse > Number 10
Ranked 159th.
18
Ranked 67th. 80% more than France

Democracy and rights > Party system Multi Two
Democracy > Presidential elections > Total vote 32.83 million
Ranked 5th.
105.41 million
Ranked 1st. 3 times more than France
Democracy and rights > Structure Parliamentary Presidential
Procedures to enforce a contract > Number per million 0.33
Ranked 156th. 6 times more than United States
0.057
Ranked 166th.

Trademarks > Nonresidents 2,935
Ranked 18th.
26,988
Ranked 2nd. 9 times more than France

Time required to register property > Days 183 days
Ranked 23th. 15 times more than United States
12 days
Ranked 145th.

General government final > Consumption expenditure > Annual % growth 1.07%
Ranked 88th.
2.5%
Ranked 70th. 2 times more than France

Time to resolve insolvency > Years 1.9 years
Ranked 117th. 27% more than United States
1.5 years
Ranked 127th.

Red tape > Procedures to register property > Number per million 0.122
Ranked 156th. 10 times more than United States
0.0127
Ranked 181st.

Red tape > Procedures to enforce a contract > Number 29
Ranked 174th.
32
Ranked 154th. 10% more than France

Flag description > Note the design and/or colors are similar to a number of other flags, including those of Belgium, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, and Netherlands the design and colors have been the basis for a number of other flags, including Chile, Liberia, Malaysia, and Puerto Rico
National anthem > Note adopted 1795, restored 1870; originally known as "Chant de Guerre pour l'Armee du Rhin" (War Song for the Army of the Rhine), the National Guard of Marseille made the song famous by singing it while marching into Paris in 1792 during the French Revolutionary Wars adopted 1931; during the War of 1812, after witnessing the successful American defense of Fort McHenry in Baltimore following British naval bombardment, Francis Scott KEY wrote the lyrics to what would become the national anthem; the lyrics were set to the tune of "The Anacreontic Song;" only the first verse is sung
Capital city > Note applies to metropolitan France only, not to its overseas departments, collectivities, or territories the 50 United States cover six time zones
Proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments > % 26.9%
Ranked 45th. 50% more than United States
17.9%
Ranked 97th.

Spending > Expense > % of GDP 44.7%
Ranked 5th. 72% more than United States
25.94%
Ranked 2nd.

Spending > Compensation of employees > % of expense 21.11%
Ranked 46th. 75% more than United States
12.08%
Ranked 75th.

Spending > Subsidies and other transfers > % of expense 53.42%
Ranked 34th.
69.14%
Ranked 1st. 29% more than France

Democracy and rights > Next election April 2017 November 2016
Parliament > Seats held by men per million people 6.4
Ranked 144th. 6 times more than United States
1.12
Ranked 185th.

Spending > Interest payments > % of revenue 6.09%
Ranked 38th.
11.93%
Ranked 1st. 96% more than France

Democracy and rights > Last election April 2012 November 2012
Democracy > Presidential elections > Voter registration 41.19 million
Ranked 7th.
156.42 million
Ranked 1st. 4 times more than France
Foreign relations > Date of establishment of relations with China January 27, 1964 January 1, 1979
Democracy and rights > Strong judicial review? No Yes
Democracy and rights > Strongly federal? No Yes
Democracy > Parliamentary elections > Voting age population per 1000 715.3
Ranked 43th.
737.5
Ranked 40th. 3% more than France
Start-up procedures to register a business > Number per million 0.11
Ranked 153th. 7 times more than United States
0.0168
Ranked 167th.

Procedures to enforce a contract > Number 21
Ranked 153th. 24% more than United States
17
Ranked 164th.

Foreign relations > International recognition of the Syrian National Council notes "The Syrian National Council is the legitimate interlocutor with which we will continue to work," French foreign minister Alain Juppe stated on November 21, 2011. The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton , deemed the Syrian National Council as a \u201cleading and legitimate representative of Syrians seeking a peaceful democratic transition,\u201d and that the United States was \u201ccommitted to helping... make this transition.\u201d
Foreign relations > Recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia The French Foreign Ministry spokesman said, "We consider this is a regrettable decision and I recall our attachment to the territorial integrity of Georgia". French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said that "in a certain way, yes, ethnic cleansing is taking place" in villages previously controlled by the Georgian side. "We cannot accept these violations of international law, of accords for security and cooperation in Europe, of United Nations resolutions, and the taking ... of a territory by the army of a neighbouring country." President George W. Bush condemned the actions taken by Russia and called on them to "reconsider this irresponsible decision." Bush then stated that in "accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolutions that remain in force, Abkhazia and South Ossetia are within the internationally recognised borders of Georgia, and they must remain so." Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also said the decision made by Russia was "regrettable" and further stated that since "the United States is a permanent member of the Security Council this simply will be dead on arrival in the Security Council." United States President George W. Bush acknowledged the ceasefire accord brokered by the French President and President of the European Council , Nicolas Sarkozy . The accord was signed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on 12 August 2008 Cite error: There are &lt;ref&gt; tags on this page, but the references will not show without a &#123;&#123;reflist&#125;&#125; template (see the help page ).
Foreign relations > Date of recognition of Kosovo None
None
Democracy and rights > Major right wing party Union for a Popular Movement Republican Party
Legislature (parliament) > Total members of parliament 898
Ranked 4th. 68% more than United States
535
Ranked 25th.
Legislature (parliament) > Strongly bicameral? No Yes
General government final > Consumption expenditure > Current LCU 405596000000 1844600000000
Legislature (parliament) > Term of office for lower house members 5
Ranked 92nd. 3 times more than United States
2
Ranked 183th.
Red tape > Time required to enforce a contract > Days per million 5.94
Ranked 172nd. 5 times more than United States
1.18
Ranked 185th.

Trademarks > Residents 57,784
Ranked 6th.
213,495
Ranked 2nd. 4 times more than France

Time to prepare and pay taxes > Hours 128 hours
Ranked 134th.
325 hours
Ranked 54th. 3 times more than France

General government final > Consumption expenditure > Constant 2000 US$ 330.38 billion constant 2000 US$
Ranked 2nd.
1.6 trillion constant 2000 US$
Ranked 1st. 5 times more than France

Procedures to register property > Number > Per capita 0.147 per 1 million people
Ranked 137th. 11 times more than United States
0.013 per 1 million people
Ranked 164th.

Procedures to enforce a contract > Number > Per capita 0.344 per 1 million people
Ranked 158th. 6 times more than United States
0.057 per 1 million people
Ranked 167th.

Procedures to build a warehouse > Number > Per capita 0.164 per 1 million people
Ranked 154th. 3 times more than United States
0.06 per 1 million people
Ranked 165th.

Spending > Goods and services expense > Current LCU 53.84 billion
Ranked 34th.
518.29 billion
Ranked 9th. 10 times more than France

Republic establishment date September 4, 1870 September 3, 1783
Capital city > Time difference UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time) UTC-5 (during Standard Time)
General government final > Consumption expenditure > Constant LCU 358595200000 1604600000000
Spending > Goods and services expense > % of expense 6.18%
Ranked 79th.
15.67%
Ranked 32nd. 3 times more than France

General government final > Consumption expenditure > Constant 2000 US$ per capita 5,229.51 constant 2000 US$
Ranked 10th.
5,480.09 constant 2000 US$
Ranked 8th. 5% more than France

Trademarks > Residents > Per capita 0.961 per 1,000 people
Ranked 12th. 32% more than United States
0.727 per 1,000 people
Ranked 18th.

Spending > Interest payments > % of expense 5.69%
Ranked 40th.
7.31%
Ranked 3rd. 28% more than France

Spending > Other expense > % of expense 1.94%
Ranked 75th.
26.91%
Ranked 1st. 14 times more than France

Spending > Other expense > Current LCU 16.91 billion
Ranked 34th.
995.12 billion
Ranked 1st. 59 times more than France

Trademarks > Residents per million 928.37
Ranked 12th. 27% more than United States
729.14
Ranked 18th.

Procedures to register property > Number per million 0.141
Ranked 138th. 11 times more than United States
0.0134
Ranked 163th.

Ruling party Socialist Democratic
Procedures to build a warehouse > Number per million 0.157
Ranked 152nd. 3 times more than United States
0.0603
Ranked 164th.

SOURCES: CIA World Factbooks 18 December 2003 to 28 March 2011; CIA World Factbooks 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013; World Bank, Doing Business project (http://www.doingbusiness.org/).; Wikipedia: List of countries by system of government (Alphabetical list of countries); All CIA World Factbooks 18 December 2003 to 18 December 2008; Wikipedia: Censorship by country (Censorship by country) ("Press Freedom Index 2013" , Reporters Without Borders, 30 January 2013); United Nations Statistics Division; "2012 Freedom of the Press Data" , Freedom House, 1 May 2012; Wikipedia: Bribe Payers Index; World Development Indicators database; Freedom House, Freedom in the World 2000-2001, New York: Freedom House, 2001; IPU (Inter-Parliamentary Union). 1995. Women in Parliaments 1945-1995: A World Statistical Survey. Geneva and IPU (Inter-Parliamentary Union). 2001. Correspondence on year women received the right to vote and to stand for election and year first woman was elected or appointed to parliament. March. Geneva.; British Broadcasting Corporation 2014; Source: Millennium Development Goals Database | United Nations Statistics Division; Wikipedia: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (Indicators) ("Democracy Index 2012" (PDF). The Economist. March 2013 . Retrieved 2013-03-21 .); World Economic Forum, Global Competiveness Report and data files.; United Nations Statistics Division. Source tables; World Bank, Doing Business project (http://www.doingbusiness.org/). Population figures from World Bank: (1) United Nations Population Division. World Population Prospects, (2) United Nations Statistical Division. Population and Vital Statistics Report (various years), (3) Census reports and other statistical publications from national statistical offices, (4) Eurostat: Demographic Statistics, (5) Secretariat of the Pacific Community: Statistics and Demography Programme, and (6) U.S. Census Bureau: International Database.; United Nations Statistics Division. Source tables; Wikipedia: International recognition of Israel (UN member states); Polity IV Project, University of Maryland, at Polity IV Project; United Nations World Statistics Pocketbook and Statistical Yearbook; Wikipedia: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (Indicators) ("Democracy Index 2012" (PDF). The Economist. March 2013 . Retrieved 2013-03-21 .). Population figures from World Bank: (1) United Nations Population Division. World Population Prospects, (2) United Nations Statistical Division. Population and Vital Statistics Report (various years), (3) Census reports and other statistical publications from national statistical offices, (4) Eurostat: Demographic Statistics, (5) Secretariat of the Pacific Community: Statistics and Demography Programme, and (6) U.S. Census Bureau: International Database.; CIA World Factbook, 28 July 2005; International Monetary Fund, Government Finance Statistics Yearbook and data files.; Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance 2003; Wikipedia: Women's suffrage (Summary); Wikipedia: List of legislatures by number of members; IPU (Inter-Parliamentary Union). 2001. Correspondence on women in government at the ministerial level. March. Geneva; Wikipedia: Term of office (Terms of office by country); calculated on the basis of data on parliamentary seats from IPU (Inter-Parliamentary Union). 2002. Parline Database. March 2002; World Development Indicators database. Population figures from World Bank: (1) United Nations Population Division. World Population Prospects, (2) United Nations Statistical Division. Population and Vital Statistics Report (various years), (3) Census reports and other statistical publications from national statistical offices, (4) Eurostat: Demographic Statistics, (5) Secretariat of the Pacific Community: Statistics and Demography Programme, and (6) U.S. Census Bureau: International Database.; Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance 2003. Population figures from World Bank: (1) United Nations Population Division. World Population Prospects, (2) United Nations Statistical Division. Population and Vital Statistics Report (various years), (3) Census reports and other statistical publications from national statistical offices, (4) Eurostat: Demographic Statistics, (5) Secretariat of the Pacific Community: Statistics and Demography Programme, and (6) U.S. Census Bureau: International Database.; World Economic Forum, Global Competiveness Report and data files. Population figures from World Bank: (1) United Nations Population Division. World Population Prospects, (2) United Nations Statistical Division. Population and Vital Statistics Report (various years), (3) Census reports and other statistical publications from national statistical offices, (4) Eurostat: Demographic Statistics, (5) Secretariat of the Pacific Community: Statistics and Demography Programme, and (6) U.S. Census Bureau: International Database.; Wikipedia: Comprehensive National Power; United Nations Statistics Division. Source tables. Population figures from World Bank: (1) United Nations Population Division. World Population Prospects, (2) United Nations Statistical Division. Population and Vital Statistics Report (various years), (3) Census reports and other statistical publications from national statistical offices, (4) Eurostat: Demographic Statistics, (5) Secretariat of the Pacific Community: Statistics and Demography Programme, and (6) U.S. Census Bureau: International Database.; Wikipedia: Foreign relations of Nepal; IPU (Inter-Parliamentary Union). 1995. Women in Parliaments 1945-1995: A World Statistical Survey. Geneva and IPU (Inter-Parliamentary Union). 2001. Correspondence on year women received the right to vote and to stand for election and year first woman was elected or appointed to parliament. March. Geneva; Wikipedia: International recognition of the Syrian National Council (UN member states); Wikipedia: Major party (List of major parties); Wikipedia: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (Indicators) ("The Failed States Index 2013" . The Fund for Peace . July 2013 . Retrieved 2013-07-20 .); Wikipedia: Foreign relations of Croatia; How Democratic is the American Constitution? Robert A. Dahl.2001. ISBN 0-300-09218-0. Table 1.; Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) (www.ipu.org); International Monetary Fund, Government Finance Statistics Yearbook and data files, and World Bank and OECD GDP estimates.; Wikipedia: List of next general elections (Africa); United Nations Statistics Division. Source tables. Population figures from World Bank: (1) United Nations Population Division. World Population Prospects, (2) United Nations Statistical Division. Population and Vital Statistics Report (various years), (3) Census reports and other statistical publications from national statistical offices, (4) Eurostat: Demographic Statistics, (5) Secretariat of the Pacific Community: Statistics and Demography Programme, and (6) U.S. Census Bureau: International Database.; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dates_of_establishment_of_diplomatic_relations_with_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_recognition_of_Abkhazia_and_South_Ossetia#States_that_do_not_recognise_Abkhazia_or_South_Ossetia_as_independent; Wikipedia: International recognition of Kosovo (United Nations member states); Wikipedia: List of countries by date of transition to republican system of government (List)

Citation

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