France is about 80% the size of Texas. In the Alps near the Italian and Swiss borders is western Europe’s highest point—Mont Blanc (15,781 ft; 4,810 m). The forest-covered Vosges Mountains are in the northeast, and the Pyrénées are along the Spanish border. Except for extreme northern France, the country may be described as four river basins and a plateau. Three of the streams flow west—the Seine into the English Channel, the Loire into the Atlantic, and the Garonne into the Bay of Biscay. The Rhône flows south into the Mediterranean. For about 100 mi (161 km), the Rhine is France’s eastern border. In the Mediterranean, about 115 mi (185 km) east-southeast of Nice, is the island of Corsica (3,367 sq mi; 8,721 sq km).
Telephones: main lines in use: 38.433 million (2005); mobile cellular: 49.37 million (2005).
Radio Broadcast Stations: AM 41, FM about 3,500 (this figure is an approximation and includes many repeaters), shortwave 2 (1998). Television broadcast stations: 584 (plus 9,676 repeaters) (1995).
Internet Hosts: 3.149 million (2006).
Internet Users: 29.945 million (2006).
Railways: Total: 29,085 km (2005).
Highways: Total: 956,303 km; paved: paved: 951,220 km (including 10,490 km of expressways); unpaved: 0 km (2002).
Waterways: 8,500 km (1,686 km accessible to craft of 3,000 metric tons) (2000).
Ports and Harbors:
Bordeaux, Calais, Dunkerque, La Pallice, Le Havre, Marseille, Nantes, Paris, Rouen, Strasbourg.
Airports: 501 (2006 est.).
Madagascar claims Bassas da India, Europa Island, Glorioso Islands, and Juan de Nova Island; Comoros claims Mayotte; Mauritius claims Tromelin Island; territorial dispute between Suriname and the French overseas department of French Guiana; France asserts a territorial claim in Antarctica (Adelie Land); France and Vanuatu claim Matthew and Hunter Islands, east of New Caledonia.