I compiled a list of the most asked questions by Americans (from the USA) on Google. Actually, most of those questions make sense but some of them made me laugh a lot especially the ones related to Italy and Belgium. I am not that surprised since an American already asked me this question in the past about Italy. I divided this article into three with subtopics about geography, another one about history, and the last one about traveling.

Most asked questions by Americans about French geography 

Is France a country?

France is a country and it has been officially a Republic since the 22nd of September 1792 with the creation of its first Republic. The French King Louis XVI was later condemned for treason and was guillotined by the National Convention on January 21, 1793. 

Where is France?

France is located in Europe in the Western part. The “Metropolis” (La Métropole) is the way, in international law,  that the French territory located in Europe is called. This includes the island of Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea. It might be interesting, you can find my article about France nicknames: 10 Names for France That You Probably Did Not Know. It is the only country in Europe to be considered as part of Southern and Northern Europe. Actually, France is not only in Europe, it has territory around the world. France is composed of twelve territories called DROM-COM: 

North America:

Saint-Pierre and Miquelon

Caribbean:

Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin

South America:

French Guiana

Indian ocean:

Reunion, Mayotte

Polynesia:

New Caledonia, French Polynesia, the islands of Wallis and Futuna 

Antarctica:

The French Southern and Antarctic Territories

Is France in Europe? 

Yes, France is in the European continent on the western part. 

What is the population of France? 

On the 1st of January 2020, the population of France has 67.064 million inhabitants: 64.898 million live in metropolitan France and 2.166 million in the five overseas counties (1*).

What is the capital of France? 

The capital of France is the city of Paris. In 508, Clovis made Paris his capital, and it was for the first time in French history that Paris was the French capital. Before and later, there were a lot of changes and many cities were during a certain time the capital of France like Lyon, Tournai (Belgium), Soisson, Troyes, Tours, Versailles, Bordeaux, Vichy, Brazzaville (Congo).

Is Italy in France? 

Italy is a country by it itself. Italy shares a border with France along the Alps Mountains of 515 km (320 miles), located in the south-east of France. 

What countries border France? 

It has land borders with Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, and the two principalities of Andorra and Monaco. Outside Europe, France has land borders with Brazil, Suriname, and the Netherlands (on Saint-Martin island). Fun fact, the biggest land border is 730 km (454 miles) with Brazil.

You can actually find some fun facts about France in my article: 10 Fun Facts About France That are Mindblowing.

How big is France? 

France is the biggest European country in terms of size with 643 801 km² (248 573 mi²). Depending on your point of view, if you consider Russia as a European country (77% of its territory is in Asia) and you remove the size of the French territories outside of Europe (France in Europe 536 464 km² = 207129.9mi²). Then, Russia (17,13 million km² = 6.61 million mi²) and Ukraine (603 628 km² = 233062.1 mi²) are bigger in terms of size than France. 

Is France in the United Kingdom? 

France is a country by itself. The United Kingdom shares a maritime border with France. The border is located in the North Sea, the English Channel, and the Atlantic Ocean. Fun fact there is now a land border that is actually an underground border is in the Channel Tunnel, defined by the Treaty of Canterbury. This is the only border that is not a maritime border in between France and England.

Can you see France from England? 

When the weather is good enough, you can see the opposite coastline of France from England and vice versa with no instruments. 

Is Texas bigger than France?

Yes, Texas is bigger in terms of size than France. Texas is about 1.08 times bigger than France. Texas is approximately 695 662 km² (268596,6 mi²) whereas France is 643 801 km² (248572mi²). The population of Texas is lower than the French one with 29 million inhabitants versus 67 million inhabitants for France. 

How big is France compared to the USA? 

The United of America is about 15.27 times bigger than France. France is 643 801 km² (248572mi²) whereas the United of America is 9,834 million km² (3,8 million mi²). 

Is Belgium in France?

Belgium is a country by itself. Belgium shares a border with France. The border is 620 km (385,25 mi), located in the northeast of France.

Most asked questions by Americans about French history

Is France a democracy? 

Yes, France is a democracy more exactly a representative democracy with a president elected every five years. France became a complete democracy with the right to vote for women in 1944. 

Why did France give us the Statue of Liberty? 

This Statue of Liberty is a gift from France to the United States to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the independence of the United States of America. It was built in Paris, then disassembled and transported by boat to America. The Statue of Liberty was inaugurated in New York on October 28, 1886. For your information, it was the French sculptor Bartholdi who created the Statue. The iron framework of the Statue was created by a certain Gustave Eiffel, the same person that created the well-known Eiffel Tower. 

Who is the president of France? 

The actual president of France is Emmanuel Macron, elected in May 2017 for five years. 

Is France socialist? 

Yes, France is a socialist country, a big part of its annual budget goes to social benefits. The social benefits (health, retirement, family, unemployment) paid in 2018 in France reached 741 billion euros. An amount that represents 31.5% of gross domestic product (GDP) (2*). A percentage amongst the highest in the world. Do not make the mistake of thinking socialism is communism because it is not.  

What territory did the USA buy from France in 1803? 

The Louisiana Purchase was the 1803 cession by France of more than 828,000 square miles (2,145,000 km2) of territory to the United States. This territory represented 22.3 percent of the current area of the United States. Louisiana was not the size of the actual state. In this giant state there were actual Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska; parts of Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado; and parts of present-day Alberta and Saskatchewan in Canada.

Who was the last king of the king of France? 

The Last King of France was Louis-Philippe, he reigned from 1830 to 1848.

Does France have a king? 

No, France does not have a king since 1848.

What is Paris France named after? 

Paris was named after the Gauls of Parisii. After a while, the Parisii people recognized the defeat at Alésia of the Gauls against Jules Cesar in -52 B.C. The Romans obliged them to change the name of their city from Lutéce to Paris. Actually, the exact change was “Civitas Parisiorum” or “City of the Parisii”.

Are French fries from France? 

French fries were invented in France more exactly in Paris in 1780. Most Belgian people keep claiming that the French fries are from Belgium but it is fake news (*3). They are confused between the origin and the culture. There is a real French fries culture in Belgium with the use of multiple sauces or the double cooking. At the origin, around 1842, a Bavarian immigrant learned to cook French fries in Montmartre (Parisian district). Later on, in 1844, he settled in Belgium as a fairground vendor and opened the country’s first French fry stand.

What is the National Anthem of France? 

The National Anthem of France is “La Marseillaise”. It was in the first place a violent war song written in 1792 during the French Revolution. This song is above all a hymn of freedom fighters, it calls to fight against the tyranny of monarchs, slavery. France in 1792 was going to be at war against many European monarchies that would form a coalition. The goal of the French Revolution was to be universal. Later, in 1795, because of its success, it became the National Anthem of France.

Most asked questions by Americans about traveling in France 

Can Americans travel to France? 

Yes, Americans can travel to France. There are two main cases:

  • Short stay visa up to 90 days:

U.S. passport holders do not need a visa if their stay in France does not exceed 90 days in a 180-day period.

  • Long-stay visas: over 90 days

All U.S. passport holders whose stay in France exceeds 90 days must have a visa.

What is the currency of France? 

The currency of France is the Euro (€) since 1999. 

What France is known for? 

France is known for its gastronomy (for example its wine and cheese). The country is well known for its luxury industry (world-leading luxury group LVMH), for its writers (15 literature Nobel prize), for its football players, its nuclear industry, and so on. 

Does it snow in France? 

Yes, it snows in France. When we talk about snow, we inevitably think of winter. However, snow can also occur on the French plains/mountains during the fall and spring. Most frequently, it is in the Vosges, the Jura, the Alps, the Massif Central, or the Pyrenees that it snows in France. To summarize, it snows mainly in the East part of France.

What is the drinking age in France? 

Minors may purchase “lightly alcoholic beverages”, such as wine or beer, from the age of 16. You must be 18 to purchase alcoholic beverages in bars, nightclubs, and supermarkets. There is a custom in France where people under the age of 16 can drink alcohol. At a family gathering for wine tasting, for example. Unlike the United States of America, France does not have a puritan culture and as a result, it did not create a drinking culture like binge drinking. 

What language is spoken in France? 

In France, the official language spoken is French. Besides the French language, there are some regional languages and some dialects. Linguists estimate that there are about 75 regional languages in France! Among them, some are taught at school like Occitan, Breton, Basque, Corsican, Alsatian, or Tahitian.

I hope I’ve answered well to the most asked question about France. Do you have other questions about France? Let me know about it in the comment section! 

Work cited: 

(1*) https://www.insee.fr/fr/statistiques/4277615?sommaire=4318291

(2*) https://www.lesechos.fr/economie-france/social/la-france-parmi-les-pays-qui-depensent-le-plus-pour-la-protection-sociale-1141918

(3*)https://www.rtbf.be/lapremiere/emissions/detail_week-end-premiere/accueil/article_la-frite-belge-ou-francaise?id=10137480&programId=12394#:~:text=En%20fait%2C%20la%20frite%20est,probablement%20aux%20environs%20de%201800.