France is a relatively large country in terms of population and area. It is also one of the most prosperous countries with very high standards of health, education and standard of living. The modern day country can be traced back to 486 with the Kingdom of Francia. Throughout much of its history France has also been one of the major world powers and was once the second largest colonial empire. This means that the country has had a major influence on the culture, politics and economy in its region and in the world. In fact, France still retains some of its territory from when it was a colonial force. Let’s find out where France is located and which overseas territories it still lays claim to.
Where is France located?
The area best known as France, also called Metropolitan France, is located in Western Europe where it shares a border with Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Andorra and Spain. France is an important member of the European Union and the Eurozone. The following is a political map of Europe with the location of Metropolitan France shown.
France also claims many overseas regions, territories and collectives. The 5 overseas regions, each is also a department of France, are considered to be an essential part of the country. These regions share a similar status to the other 96 departments of Metropolitan France and are considered to be part of the European Union. These five regions are French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Réunion.
There are also 5 overseas collectives, one collectivity, one overseas territory and one island possession. These are still part of the French Republic, but are not considered to be a part of the European Union. The overseas collectives are French Polynesia, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, and Wallis and Futuna. The collectivity is New Caledonia, the overseas territory is French Southern and Antarctic Lands, and one island possession is Clipperton Island.
Did you know?
Due to these overseas territories, France has the second largest exclusive economic zones (seazone) in the world. This zone covers 11,035,000 km2 (4,260,000 sq mi) and is approximately 8% of the total area of the planet! The following is a map of the EEZ of France.