Economy of France

France has the world's 6th largest economy by 2018 nominal figures and the 10th largest economy by PPP figures. It has the 3rd largest economy in the European Union after Germany and United Kingdom.[16]

France has a diversified economy. The chemical industry is a key sector for France, helping to develop other manufacturing activities and contributing to economic growth.[17] France's tourism industry is a major component of the economy, as France is the most visited destination in the world.[18][19] Sophia Antipolis is the major technology hub for the economy of France. Paris is ranked as the most elegant city in the world, which propels the agglomeration of the fashion industry.[20] According to the IMF, in 2013, France was the world's 20th country by GDP per capita with $44,600 per inhabitant. In 2013, France was listed on the United Nations's Human Development Index with 0.884 (very high human development) and 25th on the Corruption Perceptions Index. The OECD is headquartered in Paris, the nation's financial capital.

France's economy entered the recession of the late 2000s later and appeared to leave it earlier than most affected economies, only enduring four-quarters of contraction.[21] However, France experienced stagnant growth between 2012 and 2014, with the economy expanding by 0% in 2012, 0.8% in 2013 and 0.2% in 2014, though growth picked up in 2015 with a growth of 0.8% and a growth of 1.1% for 2016, to a growth of 2.2% for 2017 and to later reach 2.1% for 2018.[22]

Economy of France
La Défense from the Arc de Triomphe, Paris 6 March 2015 003
La Défense is the financial hub of France
Currency1 Euro = 1.14 USD
1 January – 31 December
Trade organisations
GDP$2.761 trillion (nominal; 2019)[1]
$3.054 trillion (PPP; 2019)[1]
GDP rank
GDP growth
1.6% (2018)[2]
GDP per capita
$42,931 (nominal; 2018)[1]
$45,474 (PPP; 2018)[1]
GDP per capita rank
GDP by sector
agriculture (1.6%), industry (19.4%), services (78.9%) (2017 est)[3]
Increase 2% (May 2018)[4]
Population below poverty line
5,5% or 13,2% with DOM-TOM
30.0 (2017 est.)[3]
Labour force
35.5 million (2017)[5]
Labour force by occupation
services (71.8%), industry (24.3%), agriculture (3.8%) (2016)
UnemploymentPositive decrease 8.8% (Q4 2018)[6]
Average gross salary
€35,484 / $42,300 annually (2017)[7]
€26,700 / $30,840 annually (2017)[8]
Main industries
Decrease 32nd (2019)[9]
ExportsIncrease $522.8 billion (2017 est.)[3]
Export goods
machinery and equipment, aircraft, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, iron and steel, beverages
Main export partners
 Germany 16%,
 Spain 7.6%,
 United States 7.3%,
 Italy 7.2%,
 United Kingdom 7%,
 Belgium 6.8%, (2016)[3]
ImportsNegative increase $611.7billion (2017 est.)[3] i
Import goods
machinery and equipment, vehicles, crude oil, aircraft, plastics, chemicals
Main import partners
 Germany 19.3%,
 Belgium 10.6%,
 Netherlands 7.9%,
 Italy 7.8%,
 Spain 7%,
 United States 5.8%,
 China 5.1%,
 United Kingdom 4.2%, (2016)[3]
FDI stock
$842.5 billion (31 December 2017)[3]
$5.250 trillion (31 March 2017)[10]
Public finances
96.8% of GDP (2018 est.)[3]
Revenues$1.3 trillion (2017 est.)
Expenses$1.5 trillion (2017 est.)
Economic aiddonor: ODA, $9.50 billion (2016)[11]
  • AA
  • Outlook: Stable
  • Aa2
  • Outlook: Stable
  • AA
  • Outlook: Stable
  • AA
  • Outlook: Stable
Foreign reserves
$153.8 billion (March 2016)
Main data source: CIA World Fact Book
All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars.


With 28 of the 500 biggest companies of the world in 2018, France ranks 5th in the Fortune Global 500, behind the USA, China, Japan and Germany

Several French corporations rank amongst the largest in their industries such as AXA in insurance and Air France in air transportation.[23] Luxury and consumer good are particularly relevant, with L'Oreal being the world's largest cosmetic company while LVMH and PPR are the world's two largest luxury product companies. In energy and utilities, GDF-Suez and EDF are amongst the largest energy companies in the world, and Areva is a large nuclear-energy company; Veolia Environnement is the world's largest environmental services and water management company; Vinci SA, Bouygues and Eiffage are large construction companies; Michelin ranks in the top 3 tire manufacturers; JCDecaux is the world's largest outdoor advertising corporation; BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole and Société Générale rank amongst the largest in the world by assets.

Carrefour is the world's second largest retail group in terms of revenue; Total is the world's fourth largest private oil company; Danone is the world's fifth largest food company and the world's largest supplier of mineral water; Sanofi Aventis is the world's fifth largest pharmaceutical company; Publicis is the world's third largest advertising company; PSA is the world's 6th and Europe's 2nd largest automaker; Accor is the leading European hotel group; Alstom is one of the world's leading conglomerates in rail transport.

Rise and decline of dirigisme

France embarked on an ambitious and very successful programme of modernization under state coordination. This programme of dirigisme, mostly implemented by governments between 1944 and 1983, involved the state control of certain industries such as transportation, energy and telecommunications as well as various incentives for private corporations to merge or engage in certain projects.

The 1981 election of president François Mitterrand saw a short-lived increase in governmental control of the economy, nationalising many industries and private banks. This form of increased dirigisme, was criticised as early as 1982. By 1983, the government decided to renounce dirigisme and start an era of rigueur ("rigour") or corporatization. As a result, the government largely retreated from economic intervention; dirigisme has now essentially receded, though some of its traits remain. The French economy grew and changed under government direction and planning much more than in other European countries.

Despite being a widely liberalized economy, the government continues to play a significant role in the economy: government spending, at 56% of GDP in 2014, is the second highest in the European Union. Labour conditions and wages are highly regulated. The government continues to own shares in corporations in several sectors, including energy production and distribution, automobiles, transportation, and telecommunications. However these shareholdings are being rapidly sold, the state keeping mostly symbolic stakes in those companies (aside rail transportation and energy).

Government finance

Public Deficit of France
French Government borrowing (budget deficits) as a percentage of GNP, 1960–2009.
Dette publique france percent du PIB
France's public debt from 1978 to 2009
French economy 2016 - expenditures
Composition of the French economy (GDP) in 2016 by expenditure type

In April and May 2012, France held a presidential election in which the winner François Hollande had opposed austerity measures, promising to eliminate France's budget deficit by 2017. The new government stated that it aimed to cancel recently enacted tax cuts and exemptions for the wealthy, raising the top tax bracket rate to 75% on incomes over a million euros, restoring the retirement age to 60 with a full pension for those who have worked 42 years, restoring 60,000 jobs recently cut from public education, regulating rent increases; and building additional public housing for the poor.

In June 2012, Hollande's Socialist Party won an overall majority in the legislative elections, giving it the capability to amend the French Constitution and allowing immediate enactment of the promised reforms. French government bond interest rates fell 30% to record lows,[24] less than 50 basis points above German government bond rates.[25]

National debt

The Government of France has run a budget deficit each year since the early 1970s. In mid-2012, French government debt levels reached €1,833 billion.[26] This debt level was the equivalent of 91% of French GDP.[26]

Under European Union rules, member states are supposed to limit their debt to 60% of output or be reducing the ratio structurally towards this ceiling, and run public deficits of no more than 3.0% of GDP.[26]

In late 2012, credit-rating agencies warned that growing French government debt levels risked France's AAA credit rating, raising the possibility of a future credit downgrade and subsequent higher borrowing costs for the French government.[27] In 2012 France was downgraded by ratings agencies Moody's, Standard&Poor's, and Fitch to the AA+ credit rating.[28][29]

In December 2014 France's credit rating was further downgraded by Fitch (and S&P) to the AA credit rating.[30]


The following table shows the main economic indicators in 1980–2017.Inflation below 2% is in green.[31]

Year GDP
(in Bil. Euro)
GDP per capita
(in Euro)
GDP growth
Inflation rate
(in Percent)
(in Percent)
Budget balance
(in % of GDP)
1980 453.2 Increase8,435 Increase1.8 % 13.1 % 6.2 % Decrease−0.4 %
1981 Increase511.7 Increase9,470 Increase1.1 % Negative increase13.3 % Negative increase7.4 % Decrease−2.4 %
1982 Increase587.9 Increase10.821 Increase2.5 % Negative increase12.0 % Negative increase8.1 % Decrease−2.8 %
1983 Increase652.8 Increase11,945 Increase1.2 % Negative increase9.5 % Positive decrease7.4 % Decrease−2.5 %
1984 Increase709.6 Increase12,927 Increase1.5 % Negative increase7.7 % Negative increase8.5 % Decrease−2.7 %
1985 Increase760.5 Increase13,788 Increase1.6 % Negative increase5.8 % Negative increase8.7 % Decrease−2.9 %
1986 Increase817.8 Increase14,759 Increase2.4 % Negative increase2.5 % Negative increase8.9 % Decrease−3.2 %
1987 Increase859.8 Increase15,442 Increase2.6 % Negative increase3.3 % Negative increase9.2 % Decrease−2.0 %
1988 Increase929.4 Increase16,607 Increase4.7 % Negative increase2.7 % Positive decrease8.8 % Decrease−2.5 %
1989 Increase1,001.8 Increase17,805 Increase4.4 % Negative increase6.6 % Positive decrease8.7 % Decrease−1.8 %
1990 Increase1,058.6 Increase18,711 Increase2.9 % Increase0.3 % Positive decrease8.4 % Decrease−2.4 %
1991 Increase1,097.1 Increase19,304 Increase1.0 % Negative increase3.4 % Negative increase8.6 % Decrease−2.8 %
1992 Increase1,136.8 Increase19,906 Increase1.6 % Negative increase2.5 % Negative increase9.4 % Decrease−4.6 %
1993 Increase1,148.4 Increase20,018 Decrease−0.6 % Negative increase2.2 % Negative increase10.3 % Decrease−6.3 %
1994 Increase1,186.3 Increase20,609 Increase2.3 % Increase1.7 % Negative increase10.7 % Decrease−5.4 %
1995 Increase1,225.0 Increase21,211 Increase2.1 % Increase1.8 % Positive decrease10.5 % Decrease−5.1 %
1996 Increase1,259.0 Increase21,730 Increase1.4 % Negative increase2.1 % Negative increase10.8 % Decrease−3.9 %
1997 Increase1,299.7 Increase22,365 Increase2.3 % Increase1.3 % Negative increase10.9 % Decrease−3.6 %
1998 Increase1,358.8 Increase23.307 Increase3.6 % Increase0.7 % Positive decrease10.7 % Decrease−2.4 %
1999 Increase1,408.1 Increase24,072 Increase3.4 % Increase0.6 % Positive decrease10.4 % Decrease−1.6 %
2000 Increase1,485.3 Increase25,235 Increase3.9 % Increase1.8 % Positive decrease9.2 % Decrease−1.3 %
2001 Increase1,544.6 Increase26,026 Increase2.0 % Increase1.8 % Positive decrease8.5 % Decrease−1.4 %
2002 Increase1,594.3 Increase26,711 Increase1.1 % Increase1.9 % Positive decrease8.3 % Decrease−3.1 %
2003 Increase1,637.4 Increase27,244 Increase0.8 % Negative increase2.2 % Negative increase8.5 % Decrease−3.9 %
2004 Increase1,710.7 Increase28,274 Increase2.8 % Negative increase2.3 % Negative increase8.8 % Decrease−3.5 %
2005 Increase1,772.0 Increase29,066 Increase1.6 % Increase1.9 % Negative increase8.9 % Decrease−3.2 %
2006 Increase1,853.2 Increase30,184 Increase2.4 % Increase1.9 % Positive decrease8.8 % Decrease−2.3 %
2007 Increase1,945.7 Increase31,486 Increase2.4 % Increase1.6 % Positive decrease8.0 % Decrease−2.5 %
2008 Increase1,995.8 Increase32,121 Increase0.2 % Negative increase3.2 % Positive decrease7.5 % Decrease−3.2 %
2009 Decrease1,939.0 Decrease31,041 Decrease−2.9 % Increase0.1 % Negative increase9.1 % Decrease−7.2 %
2010 Increase1,998.4 Increase31,841 Increase2.0 % Increase1.7 % Negative increase9.3 % Decrease−6.8 %
2011 Increase2,059.3 Increase32,651 Increase2.1 % Negative increase2.3 % Positive decrease9.2 % Decrease−5.1 %
2012 Increase2,086.9 Increase32,929 Increase0.2 % Negative increase2.2 % Negative increase9.8 % Decrease−4.8 %
2013 Increase2,115.3 Increase33,208 Increase0.6 % Increase1.0 % Negative increase10.3 % Decrease−4.0 %
2014 Increase2,147.6 Increase33,542 Increase0.9 % Increase0.6 % Steady10.3 % Decrease−3.9 %
2015 Increase2,194.2 Increase34,125 Increase1.1 % Increase0.1 % Negative increase10.4 % Decrease−3.6 %
2016 Increase2,228.9 Increase34,524 Increase1.1 % Increase0.3 % Positive decrease10.0 % Decrease−3.4 %
2017 Increase2,288.1 Increase35,309 Increase1.8 % Increase1.2 % Positive decrease9.4 % Decrease−2.6 %

Economic sectors


2006 electricity production of France

  Nuclear power (78.1%)
  Hydroelectric power (11.1%)
  Fossil fuel power (9.5%)
  Other (1.3%)

The leading industrial sectors in France are telecommunications (including communication satellites), aerospace and defense, ship building (naval and specialist ships), pharmaceuticals, construction and civil engineering, chemicals, textiles, and automobile production.

Research and development spending is also high in France at 2.26% of GDP, the fourth-highest in the OECD.[32]


France is the world-leading country in nuclear energy, home of global energy giants Areva, EDF and GDF Suez: nuclear power now accounts for about 78% of the country's electricity production, up from only 8% in 1973, 24% in 1980, and 75% in 1990. Nuclear waste is stored on site at reprocessing facilities. Due to its heavy investment in nuclear power, France is the smallest emitter of carbon dioxide among the seven most industrialized countries in the world.[33]

In 2006 electricity generated in France amounted to 548.8 TWh, of which:[34]

  • 428.7 TWh (78.1%) were produced by nuclear power generation
  • 60.9 TWh (11.1%) were produced by hydroelectric power generation
  • 52.4 TWh (9.5%) were produced by fossil-fuel power generation
    • 21.6 TWh (3.9%) by coal power
    • 20.9 TWh (3.8%) by natural-gas power
    • 9.9 TWh (1.8%) by other fossil fuel generation (fuel oil and gases by-products of industry such as blast furnace gases)
  • 6.9 TWh (1.3%) were produced by other types of power generation (essentially waste-to-energy and wind turbines)
    • The electricity produced by wind turbines increased from 0.596 TWh in 2004, to 0.963 TWh in 2005, and 2.15 TWh in 2006, but this still accounts only for 0.4% of the total production of electricity (as of 2006).

In November 2004, EDF (which stands for Electricité de France), the world's largest utility company and France's largest electricity provider, was floated with huge success on the French stock market. Notwithstanding, the French state still retains 70% of the capital.

Other electricity providers include Compagnie nationale du Rhône (CNR) and Endesa (through SNET).


Champ de blé Seine-et-Marne
A wheat field in Île-de-France region.

France is the world's sixth largest agricultural producer and EU's leading agricultural power, accounting for about one-third of all agricultural land within the EU.

Northern France is characterized by large wheat farms. Dairy products, pork, poultry, and apple production are concentrated in the western region. Beef production is located in central France, while the production of fruits, vegetables, and wine ranges from central to southern France. France is a large producer of many agricultural products and is currently expanding its forestry and fishery industries. The implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) have resulted in reforms in the agricultural sector of the economy.

As the world's second-largest agricultural exporter, France ranks just after the United States.[35] The destination of 49% of its exports is other EU members states. France also provides agricultural exports to many poor African countries (including its former colonies) which face serious food shortages. Wheat, beef, pork, poultry, and dairy products are the principal exports.

Exports from the United States face stiff competition from domestic production, other EU member states, and third-world countries in France. US agricultural exports to France, totaling some $600 million annually, consist primarily of soybeans and soybean products, feeds and fodders, seafood, and consumer products, especially snack foods and nuts. French exports to the United States are much more high-value products such as its cheese, processed products and its wine.

The French agricultural sector receives almost €11 billion in EU subsidies. France's competitive advantage is mostly linked to the high quality and global renown of its produce, such as cheese and wine.


The Palace of Versailles is one of the most popular tourist destinations in France.

France is the most popular tourist destination with more than 83.7 million foreign tourists in 2014,[2] ahead of Spain (58.5 million in 2006) and the United States (51.1 million in 2006). This figure excludes people staying less than 24 hours in France, such as northern Europeans crossing France on their way to Spain or Italy during the summer.

France is home to cities of much cultural interest (Paris being the foremost), beaches and seaside resorts, ski resorts, and rural regions that many enjoy for their beauty and tranquillity. France also attracts many religious pilgrims to Lourdes, a town in the Hautes-Pyrénées département, which hosts several million visitors a year.

According to figures from 2003, some popular tourist sites include (in visitors per year):[36] Eiffel Tower (6.2 million), Louvre Museum (5.7 million), Palace of Versailles (2.8 million), Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie (2.6 million), Musée d'Orsay (2.1 million), Arc de Triomphe (1.2 million), Centre Pompidou (1.2 million), Mont-Saint-Michel (1 million), Château de Chambord (711,000), Sainte-Chapelle (683,000), Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg (549,000), Puy de Dôme (500,000), Musée Picasso (441,000), Carcassonne (362,000). However, the most popular site in France is Disneyland Paris, with 9.7 million visitors in 2017 [37]

Arms industry

The French arms industry's main customer, for whom they mainly build warships, guns, nuclear weapons and equipment, is the French government.

Record high defence expenditure (currently at €35 billion), which was considerably increased under the government of Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, goes largely to the French arms industries.

During the 2000–2015 period, France was the fourth largest weapons exporter in the world[38][39]

French manufacturers export great quantities of weaponry to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Greece, India, Pakistan, Taiwan, Singapore and many others.

It was reported that in 2015, French arms sales internationally amounted to 17.4 billion U.S. dollars,[40] more than double the figure of 2014.[41] Vice News explained that "While the United Kingdom has lapsed somewhat in this regard, France has maintained a high-level of production of military equipment for land, air, and sea defense – an expensive approach that relies on the export of arms and technology."[42]


Transportation in France relies on one of the densest networks in the world with 146 km of road and 6.2 km of rail lines per 100 km2. It is built as a web with Paris at its center.[43] The highly subsidised rail transport network makes up a relatively small portion of travel, most of which is done by car. However the high-speed TGV trains make up a large proportion of long-distance travel, partially because intercity buses were prevented from operating until 2015.

France also boasts a number of seaports and harbours, including Bayonne, Bordeaux, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Brest, Calais, Cherbourg-Octeville, Dunkerque, Fos-sur-Mer, La Pallice, Le Havre, Lorient, Marseille, Nantes, Nice, Paris, Port-la-Nouvelle, Port-Vendres, Roscoff, Rouen, Saint-Nazaire, Saint-Malo, Sète, Strasbourg and Toulon. There are approximately 470 airports in France and by a 2005 estimate, there are three heliports. 288 of the airports have paved runways, with the remaining 199 being unpaved. The national carrier of France is Air France, a full service global airline which flies to 20 domestic destinations and 150 international destinations in 83 countries (including Overseas France) across all 6 major continents.

Labour market

According to a 2011 report by the American Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), France's GDP per capita at purchasing power parity is similar to that of the UK, with just over US$35,000 per head.[44] To explain why French per capita GDP is lower than that of the United States, the economist Paul Krugman stated that "French workers are roughly as productive as US workers", but that the French have allegedly a lower workforce participation rate and "when they work, they work fewer hours". According to Krugman, the difference is due to the French making "different choices about retirement and leisure".[45]

Labour productivity levels in Europe. OECD, 2015
The labour productivity level of France is one of highest in Europe. OECD, 2015[46]

Keynesian economists sought out different solutions to the unemployment issue in France, and their theories led to the introduction of the 35-hour workweek law in 1999. Between 2004 and 2008, the government attempted to combat unemployment with supply-side reforms, but was met with fierce resistance;[47] the contrat nouvelle embauche and the contrat première embauche (which allowed more flexible contracts) were of particular concern, and both were eventually repealed.[48] The Sarkozy government used the revenu de solidarité active (in-work benefits) to redress the allegedly negative effect of the revenu minimum d'insertion (unemployment benefits which do not depend on previous contributions, unlike normal unemployment benefits in France) on the incentive to accept even jobs which are insufficient to earn a living.[49]

French employment rates for 15–64 years is one of the lowest of the OECD countries: in 2012, only 71% of the French population aged 15–64 years were in employment, compared to 74% in Japan, 77% in the UK, 73% in the US and 77% in Germany.[50] This gap is due to the low employment rate for 15–24 years old: 38% in 2012, compared to 47% in the OECD. Neoliberal economists attribute the low employment rate, particularly evident among young people, to allegedly high minimum wages that would prevent low productivity workers from easily entering the labour market.[51]

A December 2012 New York Times article reported on an allegedly "floating generation" in France that formed part of the 14 million unemployed young Europeans documented by the Eurofound research agency.[52] In the same article, Anne Sonnet, a senior economist studying unemployment at the OECD claimed that nearly two million young people in France had given up looking for employment at that time, while French labour minister Michel Sapin said that 82 percent of people hired were only on temporary contracts. Sapin further explained that, in his opinion, the challenge at that time was to create a more flexible system, in which greater trust existed between unions and companies, and "partial unemployment" was accommodated during difficult periods. The so-called floating generation was attributed to an allegedly dysfunctional system: "an elitist educational tradition that does not integrate graduates into the work force, a rigid labour market that is hard to enter for newcomers, and a tax system that makes it expensive for companies to hire full-time employees and both difficult and expensive to lay them off".[53] In July 2013, the unemployment rate for France was 11%.[54]

In early April 2014, employers' federations and unions negotiated an agreement with technology and consultancy employers, as employees had been experiencing an extension of their work time through smartphone communication outside of official working hours. Under a new, legally binding labour agreement, around 250,000 employees will avoid handling work-related matters during their leisure time and their employers will, in turn, refrain from engaging with staff during this time.[55]

Everyday, about 80,000 French citizens are commuting to work in neighbouring Luxembourg, making it the biggest cross-border workforce group in the whole of the European Union.[56] They are attracted by much higher wages for the different job groups than in their own country and the lack of skilled labour in the booming Luxembourgish economy.

External trade

France is the second-largest trading nation in Europe (after Germany).[57] Its foreign trade balance for goods had been in surplus from 1992 until 2001, reaching $25.4 billion (25.4 G$) in 1998; however, the French balance of trade was hit by the economic downturn, and went into the red in 2000, reaching a US$15bn deficit in 2003. Total trade for 1998 amounted to $730 billion, or 50% of GDP—imports plus exports of goods and services. Trade with European Union countries accounts for 60% of French trade.

In 1998, US–France trade stood at about $47 billion – goods only. According to French trade data, US exports accounted for 8.7% – about $25 billion – of France's total imports. US industrial chemicals, aircraft and engines, electronic components, telecommunications, computer software, computers and peripherals, analytical and scientific instrumentation, medical instruments and supplies, broadcasting equipment, and programming and franchising are particularly attractive to French importers.

The principal French exports to the US are aircraft and engines, beverages, electrical equipment, chemicals, cosmetics, luxury products and perfume. France is the ninth-largest trading partner of the US.

Export in Billion US-Dollar
Rank Country[58] Export
1.  Germany 70.1
2.  United States 40.4
3.  Belgium
4.  Italy 35.3
5.  United Kingdom 35.3
6.  Spain 34.6
7.  China 18.6
8.  Netherlands 16.8
9.   Switzerland 16.2
10.  Japan 8.9
11.  Poland 7.9
12.  Singapore 7.8
13.  Turkey 7.5
14.  Hong Kong 6.4
15.  Ireland 6.3
16.  Russia 6.1
17.  Sweden 5.7
18.  South Korea 5.7
19.  Algeria 5.3
20.  Portugal 5.3
Import in Billion US-Dollar
Rank Country[58] Import
1.  Germany 99.8
2.  China 47.9
3.  Italy 43.7
4.  Belgium
5.  United States 37.9
6.  Spain 37.1
7.  Netherlands 26.4
8.  United Kingdom 22.4
9.   Switzerland 15.8
10.  Poland 10.4
11.  Japan 10.1
12.  Ireland 7.6
13.  Czech Republic 7.6
14.  Turkey 7.5
15.  Norway 6.4
16.  Portugal 6.3
17.  Sweden 6.0
18.  Austria 5.6
19.  India 5.1
20.  Vietnam 5.0
Total Trade in Billion US-Dollar
Rank Country[58] Total Trade
1.  Germany 169.9
2.  Italy 79.0
3.  United States 78.3
4.  Belgium
5.  Spain 71.7
6.  China 66.5
7.  United Kingdom 57.7
8.  Netherlands 43.2
9.   Switzerland 32.0
10.  Japan 19.0

Régions economy

Nominal GDP per capita, 2015 Eurostat France
Nominal GDP per capita, 2015 Eurostat

The economic disparity between French regions is not as high as that in other European countries such as the UK, Italy or Germany, and higher than in countries like Sweden or Denmark, or even Spain. However, Europe's wealthiest and second largest regional economy, Ile-de-France (the region surrounding Paris), has long profited from the capital city's economic hegemony.

The most important régions are Île-de-France (world's 4th and Europe 2nd wealthiest and largest regional economy), Rhône-Alpes (Europe's 5th largest regional economy thanks to its services, high-technologies, chemical industries, wines, tourism), Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (services, industry, tourism and wines), Nord-Pas-de-Calais (European transport hub, services, industries) and Pays de la Loire (green technologies, tourism). Regions like Alsace, which has a rich past in industry (machine tool) and currently stands as a high income service-specialized region, are very wealthy without ranking very high in absolute terms.

The rural areas are mainly in Auvergne, Limousin, and Centre-Val de Loire, and wine production accounts for a significant proportion of the economy in Aquitaine (Bordeaux (or claret)), Burgundy, and champagne produced in Champagne-Ardennes.

Several Bordeaux wines
The Bordeaux wine region is world-famous for its high-end wines.
The Château de Chambord is one of the most popular tourist destinations in France.
Rank Region GDP
(in million euros, 2009)
GDP per capita
(euros, 2009)
(in million US Dollars, 2009)
GDP per capita
(US Dollars, 2009)
1 Île-de-France 552,052 51,101 769,705 69,973
2 Rhône-Alpes 181,810 29,420 253,491 41,019
3 Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur 138,002 27,855 192,411 38,837
4 Nord-Pas de Calais 96,839 24,025 135,019 33,497
5 Pays de la Loire 94,032 26,481 131,105 36,921
6 Aquitaine 85,693 26,710 119,478 37,241
7 Brittany 81,632 25,739 113,816 35,887
8 Midi-Pyrénées 76,522 26,628 106,692 37,126
9 Centre-Val de Loire 65,173 25,571 90,868 35,653
10 Languedoc-Roussillon 60,523 22,984 84,385 32,046
11 Lorraine 55,396 23,653 77,237 32,978
12 Alsace 50,701 27,322 70,690 38,094
13 Upper Normandy 48,555 26,599 67,698 37,086
14 Picardy 43,725 22,894 60,964 31,920
15 Poitou-Charentes 42,379 24,046 59,087 33,526
16 Burgundy 41,805 25,516 58,287 35,576
17 Champagne-Ardenne 35,779 26,768 49,885 37,322
18 Lower Normandy 34,869 23,737 48,617 33,096
19 Auvergne 33,174 24,680 46,253 34,410
20 Franche-Comté 28,083 24,042 39,155 33,521
21 Limousin 17,509 23,637 24,412 32,956
22 Corsica 7,279 23,800 10,149 33,183

Source : INSEE. Source :

Departments economy and cities

Departmental income inequalities

Eiffel Tower from the Tour Montparnasse, 1 May 2012 N3
Paris is France's largest urban economy (and the world's third)

In terms of income, important inequalities can be observed among the French départements.

According to the 2008 statistics of the INSEE, the Yvelines is the highest income department of the country with an average income of €4,750 per month. Hauts-de-Seine comes second, Essonne third, Paris fourth, Seine-et Marne fifth. Île-de-France is the wealthiest region in the country with an average income of €4,228 per month (and is also the wealthiest region in Europe) compared to €3,081 at the national level. Alsace comes second, Rhône-Alpes third, Picardy fourth, and Upper Normandy fifth.

The poorest parts of France are the French overseas departments, French Guiana being the poorest department with an average household income of €1,826. In Metropolitan France it is Creuse in the Limousin region which comes bottom of the list with an average household income of €1,849 per month.[59]

Urban income inequalities

Huge inequalities can also be found among cities. In the Paris metropolitan area, significant differences exist between the higher standard of living of Paris Ouest and lower standard of living in areas in the northern banlieues of Paris such as Seine-Saint-Denis.

For cities of over 50,000 inhabitants, Neuilly-sur-Seine, a western suburb of Paris, is the wealthiest city in France with an average household income of €5,939, and 35% earning more than €8,000 per month.[60] But within Paris, four arrondissements surpass wealthy Neuilly-sur-Seine in household income: the 6th, the 7th, the 8th and the 16th; the 8th "arrondissement" being the wealthiest district in France (the other three following it closely as 2nd, 3rd and 4th wealthiest ones).



In 2010, the French had an estimated wealth of US$14.0 trillion for a population of 63 million.[61]

  • In terms of aggregate wealth, the French are the wealthiest Europeans, accounting for more than a quarter of wealthiest European households.[62] Globally, the French nation ranks fourth-wealthiest.[63][64]
  • In 2010, wealth per French adult was a little higher than $290,000, down from a pre-crisis high of $300,000 in 2007. According to this ratio, French are the wealthiest in Europe. The tax on wealth is paid by 1.1M of people in France, the payment of this tax starts when a €1.3M of assets is reached (there is a discount on the principal residence value).
  • Almost every French household has at least $1,000 in assets.[65] Proportionally, there are twice as many French with assets of over $10,000 and four times as many French with assets of over $100,000 than the world average.[66]
  • The French are also among the least indebted populations in the developed world with personal debt accounting for "little more than 10% of household assets".[67]


France has the third highest number of millionaires in Europe as of 2017. There were 1.617 million millionaire households (measured in terms of US dollars) living in France in 2017, behind the UK (2.225M) and Germany (1.637).[68]

The wealthiest man in France is the LVMH CEO and owner Bernard Arnault.

See also


Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c d "France, World Economic Outlook Database, April 2019". International Monetary Fund.
  2. ^ "Real GDP growth; Annual percent change". International Momentaryq Fund.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "The World Factbook- France". Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Labor force, total". World Bank. France: World Bank. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  6. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "Average wage in France: net, gross, by sex, by CSP". Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  8. ^ "Salary after Tax Calculator - France (FR)". Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  9. ^ "Ease of Doing Business in France". Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  10. ^ "Banque de France". Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  11. ^ "Development aid rises again in 2016 but flows to poorest countries dip". OECD. 11 April 2017. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  12. ^ "Sovereign Ratings List". Standard & Poor's. 6 January 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2015. Note: this source is continually updated.
  13. ^ "Moody's downgrades France's government bond ratings to Aa2 from Aa1; outlook changed to stable from negative". Moody's Investors Service. 18 September 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  14. ^ "France's credit downgraded to AA at Fitch Ratings - MarketWatch". Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  15. ^ "Scope confirms and publishes France's credit rating of AA and changes the Outlook to Stable". Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  16. ^ "GDP ranking | Data". Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  17. ^ "Chemical industry" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 August 2010.
  18. ^ "Tourism industry sub-sectors: COUNTRY REPORT – FRANCE" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 February 2015.
  19. ^ "UNWTO Tourism Highlights 2014 Edition" (PDF). 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 December 2014.
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Germany, France pull out of recession". CNN. 13 August 2009.
  22. ^ "5. Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". International Monetary Fund.
  23. ^ "Global 2000 Leading Companies". Forbes. May 2015.
  24. ^ Bloomberg (2012) French government bond interest rates (graph)
  25. ^ Bloomberg (2012) German government bond interest rates (graph)
  26. ^ a b c "French debt jumps, minister promises to meet deficit target". FRANCE 24. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  27. ^ John, Mark (26 October 2012). "Analysis: Low French borrowing costs risk negative reappraisal". Reuters. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  28. ^ "France loses AAA rating as euro governments downgraded". BBC News. 13 January 2012.
  29. ^ Deen, Mark (12 July 2013). "France Loses Top Credit Rating as Fitch Cites Lack of Growth". Bloomberg.
  30. ^ Deenpattern dots, Mark (12 December 2014). "France's Credit Rating Cut by Fitch to 'AA'; Outlook Stable". Bloomberg. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  31. ^ "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  32. ^ "France in the United States: Economy". Embassy of France in Washington. Archived from the original on 9 October 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  33. ^ "CO2 emissions per capita in 2006". Environmental Indicators: Greenhouse Gas Emissions. United Nations. August 2009.
  34. ^ Source: L’Electricité en France en 2006 : une analyse statistique
  35. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in French) L'Agriculture en chiffres
  36. ^ "Musées et Monuments historiques". Archived from the original on 24 December 2007.
  37. ^ "Disneyland Park Paris attendance".
  38. ^ SIPRI Arms Transfers Database, data 2000–10. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  39. ^ Arms trade: One chart that shows the biggest weapons exporters of the last five years, The Independent
  40. ^ France doubles arms sales in 2015,
  41. ^ Arms sales becoming France’s new El Dorado, but at what cost?, France24
  42. ^ If the US Won't Sell You Weapons, France Might Still Hook You Up, Vice News
  43. ^ Les grands secteurs économiques Ministère des Affaires étrangères Retrieved 4 November 2007
  44. ^ "International Comparisons of GDP per Capita, and per Hour, 1960–2011" (PDF). Bureau of Labor Statistics. 7 November 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  45. ^ Paul Krugman (28 January 2011). "GDP Per Capita, Here and There". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  46. ^
  47. ^ "More than 1 million protest French jobs law". CNN. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  48. ^ "Q&A: French labour law row". BBC News. 11 April 2006. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  49. ^ "Le Revenu de Solidarité active". Archived from the original on 17 July 2010. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
  50. ^ Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2012). "OECD Employment Outlook 2012 – Statistical Annex" (PDF). Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  51. ^ Philippe Aghion; Cette, Gilbert; Cohen, Élie; Pisani-Ferry, Jean (2007). Les leviers de la croissance française (PDF) (in French). Paris: Conseil d'analyse économique. p. 55. ISBN 978-2-11-006946-7. Retrieved 1 September 2008.
  52. ^ "Young, Educated and Jobless in France".
  53. ^ Steven Erlanger; Maïa de la Baume; Stefania Rousselle (6 December 2012). "Young, Educated and Jobless in France". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  54. ^ "Harmonised unemployment rate by gender – total – % (SA)". 11 March 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  55. ^ Lucy Mangan (9 April 2014). "When the French clock off at 6 pm, they really mean it". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  56. ^ "Foreign labour in 2014". Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques du Luxembourg. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  57. ^ "Leading exporters and importers in world merchandise trade, 2007". World Trade Organization. Retrieved 3 June 2009.
  58. ^ a b c (1) The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC)
  59. ^ [1] Archived 4 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  60. ^ "Salaire moyen Neuilly-sur-Seine – 92200 (60501 habitants) : 4649 euros / mois par ménage – Tout savoir sur revenu moyen, salaire net, salaire brut et retraite par ville de France". Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  61. ^ Credit Suisse 2010's Global Wealth Report p32
  62. ^ "Europe as a whole accounts for 35% of the individuals in the global top 1% (of wealthiest households), but France itself contributes a quarter of the European contingent." 2010's Global Wealth Report
  63. ^ Rankings: 1st: USA with $54.6 trillion for 318 million inhabitants; 2nd: Japan with $21 trillion for 127 million inhabitants; 3rd: China with $16.5 trillion for 1.331 billion inhabitants; 4th: France with $14.0 trillion for 63 million inhabitants
  64. ^ " Although it has just 1.1% of the world’s adults, France ranks fourth among nations in aggregate household wealth – behind China and just ahead of Germany" 2010's Global Wealth Report "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 April 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  65. ^ 2010's Global Wealth Report, p32: Very few households in France are recorded as having less than US$1000 per adult
  66. ^ 2010's Global Wealth Report, p32: The proportion with assets over $10,000 is double the world average, and the proportion with more than $100,000 is four times the global figure
  67. ^ (2010's Global Wealth Report)
  68. ^ "The 18 countries with the most millionaires". Business Insider. Retrieved 19 December 2017.

External links

Agence des participations de l'État

Agence des participations de l'État (APE) is a special agency of the French Republic managing the state's holdings in about 70 firms, including France Telecom, Renault and Air France. It was established in 2004. These firms can all be considered SOEs.

Bank of France

The Bank of France known in French as the Banque de France, headquartered in Paris, is the central bank of France.

It is an independent institution, member of the Eurosystem since 1999. Its three main missions, as defined by its statuses, are to drive the French monetary strategy, ensure financial stability and provide services to households, small and medium businesses and the French state.

It is a member of the European System of Central Banks, which consists of the European Central Bank (ECB), and the national central banks (NCBs) of all European Union (EU) members.

Economy of French Guiana

The economy of French Guiana is tied closely to that of mainland France through subsidies and imports. Besides the French space center at Kourou, fishing and forestry are the most important economic activities. The large reserves of tropical hardwoods, not fully exploited, support an expanding sawmill industry which provides sawn logs for export. Cultivation of crops is limited to the coastal area, where the population is largely concentrated; rice and manioc are the major crops. French Guiana is heavily dependent on imports of food and energy. Unemployment is a serious problem, particularly among younger workers.


real exchange rates - US$3.52 billion (in 2006)GDP - real growth rate:

6.4% (in 2006)GDP - per capita:

real exchange rates - US$17,336 (in 2006)GDP - composition by sector:







spaceflight and other related activities:


Population below poverty line:


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%:


highest 10%:

Na %

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

1% (2002)

Labor force:

58.800 (1997)

Labor force - by occupation:

services, government, and commerce 60,6%, industry 21,2%, agriculture 18,2% (1980)

Unemployment rate:

19,2% (2001 est.)



$135,5 million


$135,5 million, including capital expenditures of $105 million (1996)


construction, space exploration, shrimp processing, forestry products, rum, gold mining

Industrial production growth rate:


Electricity - production:

465,2 GWh (2003)

Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel:







0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption:

432,6 GWh (2003)

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2003)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2003)

Agriculture - products:

rice, manioc (tapioca), sugar, cocoa, vegetables, bananas; cattle, pigs, poultry


US$1,501 million (in 2006)Exports - commodities:

satellites, shrimp, timber, gold, rum, rosewood essence, clothing

Exports - partners:

France 62%, Switzerland 7%, United States 2% (2004)


US$1,693 million (in 2006)Imports - commodities:

food (grains, processed meat), machinery and transport equipment, fuels and chemicals

Imports - partners:

France 63%, United States, Trinidad and Tobago, Italy (2004)

Debt - external:

$800,3 million (1988)

Economic aid - recipient:



1 euro (currency sign: €; banking code: EUR) = 100 cent

Exchange rates:

See: Euro#Euro exchange rate

Fiscal year:

calendar year

Economy of French Polynesia

French Polynesia's economy is one of a developed country with a service sector accounting for 75%. The GDP per capita is around $22,000, one of the highest in the Pacific area.

Economy of Martinique

The economy of Martinique is mostly based in the services sector. Agriculture accounts for about 6% of GDP and the small industrial sector for 11%. Sugar production has declined, with most of the sugarcane now used for the production of rum. Banana exports are increasing, going mostly to France. The bulk of meat, vegetable, and grain requirements must be imported, contributing to a chronic trade deficit that requires large annual transfers of aid from France. Tourism has become more important than agricultural exports as a source of foreign exchange. The majority of the work force is employed in the service sector and in administration.

Economy of Mayotte

The economic activity of Mayotte is based primarily on the agricultural sector, including fishing and livestock raising. The island is not self-sufficient and must import a large portion of its food requirements, mainly from Metropolitan France. The economy and future development of the island are heavily dependent on French financial assistance, an important supplement to GDP. Mayotte's remote location is an obstacle to the development of tourism.

GDP (official exchange rate):

US$547 million (in 2001)GDP - per capita (official exchange rate):

US$3,550 (in 2001)GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: NA%

industry: NA%

services: NA%

Labour force:

48,800 (2000)

Unemployment rate:

38% (1999)

Population below poverty line:


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):



revenues: $NA

expenditures: $73 million; including capital expenditures of $NA (1991 est.)

Agriculture - products:

vanilla, ylang-ylang (perfume essence), coffee, copra


newly created lobster and shrimp industry, construction

Industrial production growth rate:


Electricity - production:

NA kWh

Electricity - consumption:

NA kWh


$3.44 million f.o.b. (1997)

Exports - commodities:

ylang-ylang (perfume essence), vanilla, copra, coconuts, coffee, cinnamon

Exports - partners:

France 80%, Comoros 15%, Reunion (2004)


$141.3 million f.o.b. (1997)

Imports - commodities: food, machinery and equipment, transportation equipment, metals, chemicals

Imports - partners:

France 66%, Africa 14%, Southeast Asia 11% (2004)

Debt - external:


Economic aid - recipient:

$107.7 million; note - extensive French financial assistance (1995)


1 euro (currency sign: €; banking code: EUR) = 100 cent

Exchange rates:

euros per US dollar - 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002), 1.1175 (2001)

Fiscal year:

calendar year

Economy of New Caledonia

New Caledonia is a major source for nickel and contains roughly 10% of the worlds known nickel supply. The islands contain about 7,100,000 tonnes of nickel. With the annual production of about 107,000 tonnes in 2009, New Caledonia was the world's fifth largest producer after Russia (266,000), Indonesia (189,000), Canada (181,000) and Australia (167,000). In recent years, the economy has suffered because of depressed international demand for nickel, due to the ongoing global financial crisis. Only a negligible amount of the land is suitable for cultivation, and food accounts for about 20% of imports. In addition to nickel, the substantial financial support from France and tourism are keys to the health of the economy. In the 2000s, large additions were made to nickel mining capacity. The Goro Nickel Plant is expected to be one of the largest nickel producing plants on Earth. When full-scale production begins in 2013 this plant will produce an estimated 20% of the global nickel supply. However, the need to respond to environmental concerns over the country's globally recognized ecological heritage, may increasingly need to be factored into capitalization of mining operations.

The GDP of New Caledonia in 2007 was 8.8 billion US dollars at market exchange rates, the fourth-largest economy in Oceania after Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii. The GDP per capita was 36,376 US dollars in 2007 (at market exchange rates, not at PPP), lower than in Australia and Hawaii, but higher than in New Zealand.In 2007, exports from New Caledonia amounted to 2.11 billion US dollars, 96.3% of which were mineral products and alloys (essentially nickel ore and ferronickel). Imports amounted to 2.88 billion US dollars. 26.6% of imports came from Metropolitan France, 16.1% from other European countries, 13.6% from Singapore (essentially fuel), 10.7% from Australia, 4.0% from New Zealand, 3.2% from the United States, 3.0% from China, 3.0% from Japan, and 22.7% from other countries.

Economy of Réunion

The economy of Réunion has traditionally been based on agriculture. Sugarcane has been the primary crop for more than a century, and in some years it accounts for 85% of exports. The government has been pushing the development of a tourist industry to relieve high unemployment, which amounts to more than 40% of the labour force.

The gap in Réunion between the well-off and the poor is large and accounts for the persistent social tensions. The outbreak of severe rioting in February 1991 illustrated the seriousness of socio-economic tensions. However, this gap has been closing in the last 15 years.In 2007 the GDP per capita of Réunion at nominal exchange rates, not at PPP, was €17,146 (US$23,501). However, while this is exceptionally high compared with its neighbours in Madagascar and the African continent, it is only 57% of the 30,140 euros per capita GDP of metropolitan France in 2007. The total GDP of the island was US$18.8 billion in 2007.

Economy of Saint Martin

The economy of Saint Martin, divided between the French Collectivity of Saint Martin (north side) and the Dutch Sint Maarten (south side), is primarily driven by tourism. For more than two centuries, exports have generally been salt and locally grown commodities, like sugar.

Tourism accounts for 80% of the economy and about four-fifths of the labor force is engaged in this sector. As an island in the Caribbean Sea, Saint Martin enjoys the kind of weather and natural geography that supports tourism. Its proximity to the rest of the Caribbean has also provided economic benefits with its largest airport, Princess Juliana International Airport on the Sint Maarten side, serving as the main gateway to the Leeward Islands and the larger post-Panamax cruise ships making regular stops to the island. The island offers duty-free shopping and there are few business restrictions to hinder growth. Though the French and Dutch parts differ slightly in terms of their economies and types of tourists, they share the Caribbean's largest lagoon, which is frequented by yachts.

Nearly 1.8 million visitors came to the island by cruise ship and roughly 500,000 visitors arrived through Princess Juliana International Airport in 2013. Cruise ships and yachts also call on Saint Martin's numerous ports and harbors. Limited agriculture and local fishing means that almost all food must be imported. Energy resources and manufactured goods are also imported. The Dutch territory of Sint Maarten has the highest per capita income among the five islands that formerly comprised the Netherlands Antilles.

Economy of Saint Pierre and Miquelon

The economy of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, due to the islands' location, has been dependent on fishing and servicing fishing fleets operating off the coast of Newfoundland. The economy has been declining, however, due to disputes with Canada over fishing quotas and a decline in the number of ships stopping at the islands. In 1992 an arbitration panel awarded the islands an exclusive economic zone of 12,348 square kilometres (4,768 sq mi) to settle a longstanding territorial dispute with Canada, although it represents only 25 percent of what France had sought. The islands are heavily subsidized by France, which benefits the standard of living. The government hopes an expansion of tourism will boost economic prospects, and test drilling for oil may pave the way development of the energy sector.

Economy of Wallis and Futuna

This page is an overview of the economy of Wallis and Futuna.

Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques

The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (French: Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques), abbreviated INSEE (French pronunciation: ​[inse]), is the national statistics bureau of France. It collects and publishes information about the French economy and people and carries out the periodic national census. Headquartered in Paris, it is the French branch of Eurostat. The INSEE was created in 1946 as a successor to the Vichy regime's National Statistics Service (SNS). It works in close cooperation with the Institut national d'études démographiques (INED).

John Law (economist)

John Law (baptised 21 April 1671 – 21 March 1729) was a Scottish economist who believed that money was only a means of exchange that did not constitute wealth in itself and that national wealth depended on trade. He was appointed Controller General of Finances of France under the Duke of Orleans, who served as regent for the youthful king, Louis XV.

In 1716 Law established the Banque Générale, a private bank, in France and that one year later was nationalised, at John Law's request to become the Banque Royale, the first Central Bank of France. The original private bank was substantially funded by John Law and Louis XV and three-quarters of its capital consisted of government bills and government-accepted notes, effectively making it the first central bank of the nation and was only partially backed by silver making it a fractional reserve bank. He set up and was director of the Mississippi Company, which was funded by the Banque royale. Its eventual chaotic collapse in France has been compared to the early-17th century tulip mania in Holland. The Mississippi Bubble was contemporaneous with the South Sea Company bubble of England which allegedly borrowed ideas from the Mississippi Company design.

Law was a gambler and a brilliant mental calculator. He was known to win card games by mentally calculating the odds. He originated economic ideas such as the scarcity theory of value and the real bills doctrine. Law held that money creation will stimulate the economy, that paper money is preferable to metallic money, and that shares are a superior form of money since they pay dividends.The term "millionaire" was coined specifically to describe the beneficiaries of Law’s scheme.

List of Finance Ministers of France

This is a list of French finance ministers, including the equivalent positions of Superintendent of Finances and Controller-General of Finances during the ancien régime.

List of French people by net worth

The following is a Forbes list of French billionaires is based on an annual assessment of wealth and assets compiled and published by Forbes magazine in 2016, according to Forbes' list of billionaires.

List of French regions and overseas collectivities by GDP

This article lists French regions and overseas collectivities by gross domestic product (GDP).


INSEE and affiliate statistical offices in the overseas collectivities produce estimates of GDP in France's 13 regions and 5 overseas collectivities every year, and in some overseas collectivities where GDP estimates are made only every few years.

In 2011, France (whose territory in the national accounts refers to Metropolitan France plus the four old overseas regions of Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, and Réunion, but excludes Mayotte and the six overseas collectivities) had a GDP of US$2,778 bn, 98.2% of which was produced in Metropolitan France, and 1.8% in the four overseas regions.

List of French regions and overseas departments by GRP per capita

This article is about the gross regional product (GRP) per capita of French regions and overseas departments in nominal values. Values are shown in EUR€. For easy comparison, all the GRP figures are converted into US$ according to annual average exchange rates. All values are rounded to the nearest hundred.

List of French regions by Human Development Index

This is a list of French regions and overseas territories by Human Development Index as of 2015. The regions since 2016 that the pre-2016 regions correspond to or are part of are shown alongside.

List of exports of France

The following is a list of the exports of France. Data are for 2012, in millions of United States dollars, as reported by The Observatory of Economic Complexity. Currently the top thirty exports are listed.

Sovereign states
States with limited
Dependencies and
other entities
Other entities
Economies of the dependencies of European Union states European Union
United Kingdom
Agriculture in Europe
Sovereign states
States with limited
Dependencies and
other entities
Other entities

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.