France is a state in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is often referred to as l’Hexagone (“The Hexagon”) because of the geometric shape of its territory. It is bordered (clockwise starting from the northeast) by Belgium, Luxembourg,Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Monaco; with Spain and Andorra to the south. France is linked to the United Kingdom by the Channel Tunnel, which passes underneath the English Channel. In addition to these borders on the European continent France has land borders with Suriname and Brazil through French Guiana, as well as with the Netherlands through the Collectivity of Saint Martin. It is the largest west-European country and it possesses the second-largest Exclusive Economic Zone in the world, covering 11,035,000 km2(4,260,000 mi2), just behind that of the United States (11,351,000 km2 / 4,383,000 mi2).
France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its main ideals expressed in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. The French Republic is defined as indivisible, secular, democratic and social by its constitution. France is one of the world’s most developed countries . and possesses the world’s fifth largest and Europe’s second largest economy by nominal GDP. France is the wealthiest European (and the world’s 4th) nation.. in aggregate household wealth. France enjoys a high standard of living as well as a high public education level, and has also one of the world’s highest life expectancies. France has been listed as the world’s “best overall health care” provider by the World Health Organization. It is the most visited country in the world, receiving 82 million foreign tourists annually.