Cultural Aspects In France

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Demographics, Population & Ethnicities:

France is the 19th most populous country in the world. The total French population is estimated to be 63,718,187 with around 60, 876,135 living in metropolitan France. The largest cities in France are Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Lille, Toulouse, Nice, and Nantes The French society has a wide diversity of people and ethnicities. Ethnic groups include Celtic, Latin, Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Indochinese, in addition to the Basque minorities in the south. However, there is a large percentage of immigrants in France (Legal & Illegal). In 2004 a total of 140,033 people immigrated to France, 90,250 were from Africa, and 13,710 were from Europe, the following year immigration fell to 135,890. According to to the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies, France has an estimate of 4.9 million foreign born immigrants, 2 million of which have acquired French citizenship.

Religion:

France is a secular country and freedom of religion is a constitutional right. Religious Statistics in France show that the population consists of 83%-88% Roman Catholics, 2% Protestants, 1% Jewish, 5%-10% Muslims, and 4% unaffiliated. However these statistics may not be accurate in practice. According to a January 2007 poll by the Catholic World News; 51% were identified as being Catholics, 31% were identified as being atheists or agnostic, 10% were identified to be from other religions or without opinion, 4% were identified as Muslims, 3% were identified as Protestants, and 1% as Jewish. The French political system is legally prohibited from recognizing any religion, and it merely recognizes religious organizations, according to formal legal criteria that do not address religious doctrine. Religious organizations do not intervene in policy making, and certain religious symbols are prohibited from being worn in public institutions like the Islamic veil, and the Jewish Kippah, which erupted a lot of demonstrations among minorities especially Muslims.

Language:

French is known to be the one and only spoken language in France, and it is considered to be only western European nation (excluding microstates) to have only one officially recognized language. The French people take pride in their language and do not like to be addressed in other languages from non French speaking visitors. There are other regional dialects like Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish, however their use is rapidly declining. Other languages such as Portuguese, Italian, Maghrebi Arabic, and other Arabic Berber dialects are spoken among immigrants.
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