Education in France - Statistics


The French Republic has 63 million inhabitants, living in the 22 regions of metropolitan France and four overseas departments (1.7 million). Despite the fact that the population is growing slightly (up 0.4% a year), the number and proportion of young people under 25 is falling. There are now fewer than 19 million young people in metropolitan France, or 32% of the total population, compared with 40% in the 1970s and 35% at the time of the 1990 census. France is seeing a slow aging of the population — less marked however than in other neighbouring countries (Germany and Italy), especially as the annual number of births is currently increasing slightly.

18 million pupils and students, i.e. a quarter of the population, are in the education system. Of these, over 2 million are in higher education.

In 1999, France's GDP was close to FF 9,000 billion (EUR 1,330 billion), i.e. FF 150,000 (EUR 22,000) per inhabitant. Of this total, just over FF 600 billion (EUR 95 billion) were devoted to initial or continuing education: 7.2% of GDP. As far as school education spending is concerned, France is in a middle position, behind two Nordic countries (Sweden and Denmark), but ahead of Italy and Japan.

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