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Interesting facts about France: People

1. French kiss varies regionally 

French people cheek kiss to greet each others between family and friends, even between men. The number of kisses varies according to the region, from 1 (e.g. in the tip of Brittany) to 4 (e.g. Paris and most of the North), and occasionally up to 5 in Corsica.

2. The most sexually active

The 2003 Durex Global Sex Survey found that the French are the people who have sex the most often in a year.

3. 44% of French people are Atheists

According to a 2004 IFOP survey, 44% of French people are Atheists (up by 24% since 1947).

4. Highest female life expectancy in EU

French people have the highest female and third highest male life expectancy in the European Union.

5. French men the least obese in EU

According to the WHO (2002 stats), French men have the lowest incidence of obesity in the EU (women come 2nd after Denmark).

6. Biggest consumers of psychotropic drugs

The French are the world's biggest consumers of psychotropic drugs. About one fourth of the population admits having taken anti-depressants or tranquillisers over the past year.

7. 20% in the Parisian region.

20% of the French people live in the Parisian region.

8. French people are Italian people in a bad mood

AndrĂ© Gide, French writer and Nobel Prize of Literature, said that "French people are Italian people in a bad mood".

9. The most diversified genetic make-up of Europe

Although French language is a direct descent of Latin, French people have some of the most diversified genetic make-up of Europe, with genes inherited from the Celts (or Gauls), the Basques, the Romans, the Franks (originally from the Benelux) and the Normands (originally from Denmark), which explains the wide physical diversity in French facial traits, as well as hair and eye colours.

10. Two thirds of the French population rural until 20th century

Until the early 20th century at least two thirds of the French population was rural and most people lived in communities numbering less than 100 people. Few people knew anything a dozen miles beyond their place of birth, and few identified themselves with France as a country. 

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