One of Earth's oldest nations and Western Europe’s largest country by landmass, France supports a population of more than 66 million people. Covering more than 210,026 square miles, this nation has much more to offer than its most iconic landmark—the Eiffel Tower.
Coastlines, beaches, and mountains on its southern and eastern sides contribute to France’s varied landscape. Home to Mont Blanc, the “White Mountain” that stands 15,781 feet high as Europe’s tallest peak, France also offers habitat to a large number of plants and animals. By preserving vast open spaces, the French government has allowed many of these species, from deer and wild boar to migrating African birds and flamingos, to thrive.
Like France’s wildlife population, this nation’s people are diverse. In fact, France is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in all of Europe. Because of this, France is often cited as a historical world-leader in many cultural realms like art, philosophy, cuisine, literature, fashion, politics, film, and music.
Throughout the years, France has seen many political crises. This republic’s current government combines parliamentary and presidential systems. The people of France elect their president, the head of the state, who then selects the prime minister, who works with parliament—also elected by the people—to pass laws.
One of the world’s largest economies, France produces many items including wine, cheese, automobiles, electronics, and clothing. Tourism is a particularly bustling industry in France. Approximately 75 million people visit this country each year.
With France’s diverse culture and wildlife, its gateway position between Northern and Southern Europe, and its rich history, it is no wonder that France is an important, successful world power. Perhaps you can one day join the millions who have visited this great European nation!
[Source: National Geographic Kids]