With 66 million inhabitants by end 2013, France is the second largest country of the EU27 ranking second only to Germany. It is home to 12.9% of the total EU27 population.
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The 2008 economic crisis has affected France’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate, as it has in other EU countries, albeit less severely. In 2007, the GDP growth rate was 2.3%, but this fell sharply to 0.1% in 2008 and even plunged to -2.7% in 2009. But, unlike other countries which quickly recovered after the plunge, France’s GDP growth was null in 2012 and almost remained so in 2013 (0.1%). Foreign trade contribution to GDP growth stood at 1% in 2012 but decreased and even turned negative in 2013, at -0.3%.
In terms of R&D expenditures, France’s GERD has kept growing since 2006. Within the EU28, France ranks second (Germany is first). France's GERD stood at €42.7b in 2009, €43.4b in 2010, €45b in 2011 and €46b in 2012, which represents 17.2% of total EU28 expenditure (as compared with the share of Germany: 29.2%).
The GERD to GDP ratio was 2.26% in 2012. France ranks 7th, above the EU27 average (which was 2.04% in 2011 and 2.06% in 2012); even though R&D intensity has sharply decreased since the 1990s (it stood at 2.38% in 1992). GBAORD has overall been decreasing since 2009, from €17.5b to slightly below €15b in 2013. In terms of percentages of GDP, a steady decrease is observable over the same period, from 0.93% to 0.73% in 2013.