Society and everyday life
Since France is officially a secular state, which means that the state and religious communities are completely separate, there is no precise data on the religious affiliation of french people. According to a survey held in 2016, 51.1% of the total population of France was Christian as of that year; at the same time 39.6% of the population had no religion (atheism or agnosticism), 5.6% were Muslims, 2.5% were followers of other faiths, and the remaining 0.4% were undecided about their faith. Estimates on the number of Muslims present in France vary widely. The current Jewish community in France (as of 2016, about 0.8% of the population are religious Jews) is the largest in Europe and the third-largest in the world, after those in Israel and the United States.
The French Republic is a strong democratic republic with solid democratic traditions. The Constitution of the Fifth Republic was approved by a referendum on 28 September 1958. It greatly strengthened the authority of the executive in relation to parliament. The executive branch itself has two leaders: the President of the Republic, currently Emmanuel Macron, who is the head of the state. He is elected directly by universal adult suffrage for a 5-year term (formerly 7 years) and the Government, led by the president-appointed Prime Minister.
Language and communication
The French language is spoken in France, but there are also some regional languages which have been French cultural heritage since 2008 and are spoken occasionally. These include: Alsatian and Lorraine, Catalan, Basque, Breton, Corsican and Flemish. However, the regional languages are not official languages. French is the first mother tongue of 87.2% of the total population, or roughly 55.81 million people, followed by Arabic (3.6%, 2.50 million), Portuguese (1.5%, 0.96 million), Spanish (1.2%, 0.77 million) and Italian (1.0%, 0.64 million). People who have other languages as their mother tongue make up the 5.2% of the population.
The Paris Métro is one of the most famous subway systems in the world. It was inaugurated in 1900. In addition to Paris, the cities of Lyon, Marseille and Toulouse have an equally good metro system, although not as crowded. In cities such as Strasbourg, Bordeaux and Nantes, for example, there is modern and reliable tram systems. Most French cities have regular buses and night buses. Nationwide, you can travel inland using the TER (Transport Express Régional) that connects many cities and towns. The RER connects you to most areas outside of Paris but within the department of Île-de-France.