There is an article in today’s Guardian about how France might change now that Sarkozy is in charge. What interested me most was a few statistics comparing the USA, which the new president openly admires and wants to emulate, and France as they are now.
America v France
How the two countries compare
US: 301m. France: 61m
US: male 75.15 years, female 80.97 years.
France: male 77.35 years, female 84 years.
US: 36.6 years. France: 39 years
US: approx 46 hours. France: usually 35 hours
Population living below the poverty line (for two adults and one child)
US: 12%. France: 6.2%
US: varies widely from state to state – no such thing in Alabama. France: 8.27
Usual retirement age
US: 65-67. France: 60
US: 2 million plus. France: 50,500 plus
Number of murders a year
US: 16,692. France: approx 1,000
Number of overweight citizens
US: a little more than two thirds. France: a little under one third
US: bus, train and subway are all hit and miss. France: train, metro, bus and tram are all notoriously punctual
It’ll be interesting to see whether some of these figures change much in the next five years (the working week, the minimum wage, the retirement age, the prison population in particular).