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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Political, social and economic background and trends


1.Political, social and economic background and trends

Last update: 27 November 2023

France is a democratic republic. Its head of state is a President of the Republic, elected by direct universal suffrage. The national territory is 633,186 km² including the overseas territories. There are 13 regions and 101 départments, with 35,000 municipalities. The official language is French. Eleven regional languages have been recognised as part of the national heritage. France is a secular republic, which organises the separation of religions and the State and therefore does not have a State religion.

At the start of the 2019 school year, the French population is 67 million. In metropolitan France and the Overseas Departments and Regions, the public and private education system as a whole has 15.8 million pupils, students and apprentices. There are 6.7 million pupils in pre-primary and primary education, 5.6 million pupils in secondary education and 2.7 million pupils in higher education.