France, the largest country in the European Union, is located in western Europe. It is bordered by Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Spain. France is one the founding members of the United Nations and the European Union. It is the 2nd largest European country by population, with around 65 million people.
France has had a big influence culturally, economically and politically in Europe and all over the globe during the last 500 years. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the country colonized land in North-America and Southeast Asia and in the 19th and 20th centuries, France ruled the second largest colonial empire after the British empire.
Paris is the capital and the biggest city of France. Population in the city is about 2,2 million or about 12 million including the metropolitan area. Today, Paris is one of the leading business and cultural centers in the world. It is the host city for many important international organizations such as OECD, ESA and UNESCO. The Paris region produces more than 25% of the GDP of France.
France has the fifth largest economy in world and is the 2nd largest economy in Europe. As well, France is the wealthiest nation in Europe and fourth wealthiest in terms of household wealth. The standards of living and the public education level are both very high. In addition, France is the most visited country in the world, receiving around 82 million tourists a year!
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