By Vexen Crabtree 2013
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|Social and Moral Index||22nd best|
|Land Area||547 660 km21|
|Population||63.46 million (2011)2|
|Life Expectancy||82.36yrs (2017)3|
|GNI||$38 085 (2017)4|
|ISO3166-1 Codes||FR, FRA, 2505|
“France today is one of the most modern countries in the world and is a leader among European nations. It plays an influential global role as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, NATO, the G-8, the G-20, the EU and other multilateral organizations. France rejoined NATO's integrated military command structure in 2009, reversing de Gaulle's 1966 decision to take French forces out of NATO. Since 1958, it has constructed a hybrid presidential-parliamentary governing system resistant to the instabilities experienced in earlier, more purely parliamentary administrations. In recent decades, its reconciliation and cooperation with Germany have proved central to the economic integration of Europe, including the introduction of a common currency, the euro, in January 1999. In the early 21st century, five French overseas entities - French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Reunion - became French regions and were made part of France proper.”
CIA's The World Factbook (2013)9
|UN HDI (2016)10|
|Social and Moral Development|
|26||St Vincent & Grenadines||73.0|
The United Nations produces an annual Human Development Report which includes the Human Development Index. The factors taken into account include life expectancy, education and schooling and Gross National Income (GNI) amongst many others..
The Social and Moral Development Index is a formulaic aggregation of many factors. It concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2017).
|Life Expectancy (2015)11|
|3||St Vincent & Grenadines||2.0|
France's population is predicted to rise to 68.47 million by 2030. This rise is despite a low fertility rate, meaning, that this country is helping to alleviate problems with growing population in neighbouring countries by accepting immigrants, very likely as a requirement of maintaining an active workforce. This country has a fertility rate of 1.99.
The fertility rate is, in simple terms, the average amount of children that each woman has. The higher the figure, the quicker the population is growing, although, to calculate the rate you also need to take into account morbidity, i.e., the rate at which people die. If people live healthy and long lives and morbidity is low, then, 2.0 approximates to the replacement rate, which would keep the population stable. If all countries had such a fertility rate, population growth would end. The actual replacement rate in most developed countries is around 2.1.
|Female Vote and Stand|
|Gender Inequality (2015)12|
Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.
|Disbelief In God|
|How Many Are Religious?|
France is a highly secular country, and even amongst those who declare themselves to be religious there is a high degree of non-belief. 51% of the French people are Catholic, but only half of those Catholics actually say they believe in God. Of the god-believers, only 18% of them have Catholic beliefs about God. These statistics led scholar Nikolai G. Wenzel (2011) to ask "what does it really mean to be Catholic any more?".13. Those statistics from 2007 have been verified by later data:
Data from the Pew Forum, a professional polling outfit, states that in 2010 the religious makeup of this country was as follows in the table below14:
By adding up the Pew Forum data for the major monotheistic religions we can see that these make up 71% of the population. Yet there are simply too many who disbelieve in God for this to be true (44%). This is due to the so-called 'Census Effect', whereby many put down a religion for cultural reasons rather than because it reflects their beliefs. In highly Christian countries, as many as half of those who say they're a Christian lack any connection to a Church, and do not hold Christian beliefs (such as believing in God!).
It appears that when asked "What religion are you" many give pollsters the 'correct' answer despite how they actually feel, and despite what they actually believe. Although 71.9% of the populace say they belong to a religion, only 30% say that they are religious when the question is phrased as "Is religion an important part of your daily life?".
For more on this phenomenon, see:
The CIA World Factbook has slightly different data, and states: Roman Catholic 83%-88%, Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 5%-10%, unaffiliated 4%. overseas departments: Roman Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, pagan15.
“In France, the secularist movement started at the end of the eighteenth century with laws introducing gradually the separation of church and state... state schools were compelled by law to be 'laïque' and 'neutral' towards the different creeds.”
"The Meaning and Scope of Secularization" by Karel Dobbelaere (2011)16
The International Humanist and Ethical Union produced a report in 2012 entitled "Freedom of Thought" (2012), in which they document bias and prejudice at the national level that is based on religion, belief and/or lack of belief. Their entry for France is one of the shortest of all countries (a good sign). It states:
“The constitution and other laws, including the 1905 law on the "Separation of the Churches and the State", ensure state secularism (laïcité) and protect freedom of religion or belief. There are some exceptions to the policy of strict secularism. For example the French government owns and maintains free of charge all the Roman Catholic churches built before 1905, but no other religious building. And the law of 1905 does not completely apply to regions that (re)joined France after 1905. For example, there are still blasphemy laws on the book in the regions of Alsace and Moselle, as Articles 166 and 167 of the local penal code, although no convictions have been registered.”
"Freedom of Thought" by IHEU (2012)17
|IT Security Risks|
|237||British Virgin Islands||1.08|
|Internet Users in Population|
|22||St Kitts & Nevis||76.59|
Internet access has become an essential research tool. It facilitates an endless list of life improvements, from the ability to network and socialize without constraint, to access to a seemingly infinite repository of technical and procedural information on pretty much any task. The universal availability of data has sped up industrial development and personal learning at the national and personal level. Individuals can read any topic they wish regardless of the locality of expert teachers, and, entire nations can develop their technology and understanding of the world simply because they are now exposed to advanced societies and moral discourses online. Like every communications medium, the Internet has issues and causes a small range of problems, but these are insignificant compared to the advantages of having an online populace.
|Alcohol Consumption (2010)18|
(World Position, 2013-2016)20
|Personal, Civil and Economic Freedom (2014)21|
|Global Peace Index|
|Human Rights Treaties|
|20||Bosnia & Herzegovina||21|
|Press Freedom Index|
|40||Papua New Guinea||99.2|
|R & D Spending|
|Country||% RDP PPP|
|Gross National Income Per-Capita (2011)11|
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Anti-Defamation League. (ADL)
(2014) ADL Global 100, Executive Summary. Accessed on global100.adl.org on 2017 Jan 02. The numbers given are of those who state that racist stereotyped statements about Jews are true; they have to agree to 6 or more of the 11 statements to be counted. An example statements is "Jews are hated because of the way they behave". The data was collected from 53,100 interviews across 101 countries plus the West Bank and Gaza. The global average is 26%.
(2013) World Factbook. The USA Government's Central Intelligence Agency (USA CIA) publishes The World Factbook, and the online version is frequently updated.
Clarke, Peter B.. Peter B. Clarke: Professor Emeritus of the History and Sociology of Religion, King's College, University of London, and currently Professor in the Faculty of Theology, University of Oxford, UK.
(2011) The Oxford Handbook of The Sociology of Religion. Paperback book. Originally published 2009. Current version published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
(2017) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2017). Accessed 2017 Mar 24.
(2011) The Meaning and Scope of Secularization. This essay is chapter 33 of "The Oxford Handbook of The Sociology of Religion" by Peter B. Clarke (2011) (pages p599-615).
Donegani, J. M.
(2007) Article "L'église sera vaincue par le libéralisme" published by Le Monde (2007 Jan 20, at www.lemonde.fr. In Wenzel (2011) p185.
(2009) Religiosity. gallup.com/poll/142727/.... The survey question was "Is religion an important part of your daily life?" and results are charted for those who said "yes". 1000 adults were polled in each of 114 countries.
IHEU. International Humanist and Ethical Union.
(2012) Freedom of Thought. A copy can be found on iheu.org/...Freedom of Thought 2012.pdf, accessed 2013 Oct 28.
Lynn, Harvey & Nyborg
(2009) Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations. Richard Lynn, John Harvey and Helmuth Nyborg article "Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations" in Intelligence (2009 Jan/Feb) vol. 37 issue 1 pages 11-15. Online at www.sciencedirect.com, accessed 2009 Sep 15.
The Fraser Institute
(2016) The Human Freedom Index. Published by The Cato Institute, The Fraser Institute and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Covers data up to 2014. On www.fraserinstitute.org/.../human-freedom-index-2016..
(2011) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Published on the United Nation's website at hdr.undp.org/.../HDR_2011_EN_Complete.pdf (accessed throughout 2013, Jan-Mar). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2013) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. Published on the United Nation's HDR website at hdr.undp.org/.../hdr2013/ (accessed throughout 2013). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2017) Human Development Report. Data for 2015. Available on hdr.undp.org/..
Wenzel, Nikolai G.
(2011) Postmodernism and Religion. This essay is chapter 9 of "The Oxford Handbook of The Sociology of Religion" by Peter B. Clarke (2011) (pages p172-193).
World Health Organisation. (WHO)
(2014) Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health. A copy can be found on the WHO website. Accessed 2015 Jan 04. It "presents a comprehensive perspective on the global, regional and country consumption of alcohol, patterns of drinking, health consequences and policy responses in Member States" and was published in Geneva on 2014 May 12.
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