France Economy

France is home to the world's fifth largest economy in nominal figures and falls behind Germany for second place as the second largest economy in Europe. It has historically been a member of the world's most wealthy and developed economies.

The country of France currently ranks 4th in the Fortune Global 500 with 39 of the world's 500 biggest companies headquartered in country falling just behind the U.S., Japan, and China. There are more Fortune 500 companies in Paris than there are Bejing, New York, London and Munich.

France generally runs a budget deficit, and has every year since the early 1970's. In 2012, French government debt levels reached 1.833 billion Euros, and equivalent of 91% of French GDP. In late 2012, credit rating agencies were concerned that growing debt levels put France's AAA credit rating at risk.

The world's leader in nuclear energy, nuclear power now accounts for 78% of France's electricity production, up from only 8% in 1973. The country is also the smallest emitter of carbon dioxide of the seven most industrialized countries of the world.

Rate of wealth per adult has grown sharply in France since the early 2000's, tripling in value between 2000 and 2007. This number fell 15% with the recession and has not yet reached its former value.