France, officially the French Republic, is a transcontinental republic that spans Western Europe as well as a number of overseas territories and areas. Its metropolitan area stretches from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, and from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea; its overseas territories include French Guiana in South America, as well as a number of islands in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. In the northeast, France shares borders with Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany; in the east, it shares borders with Switzerland, Monaco, and Italy; in the south, it shares borders with Andorra and Spain; and in the Americas, it shares borders with the Netherlands, Suriname, and Brazil.

Its eighteen integral areas (five of which are located outside the country) cover a total area of 643,801 km2 (248,573 sq mi) and have a population of nearly 67 million people (as of May 2021). France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country’s largest metropolis and key cultural and commercial centre; Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille, and Nice are other prominent cities. France has the most time zones of any country, with twelve, including its overseas territories.

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