Transport and infrastructure in France

Our listing of the primary types of transport compares the infrastructure of France with the average of all countries in Europe. Overall, the traffic routes are above average and in good condition.

In terms of the length of its rail network, France ranks 38th in the world with 0.44 meters per inhabitant. In total, the rail network is 29,640 kilometers long. Freight traffic on the rails most recently totaled 35.75 billion tons and kilometers traveled. Passenger traffic reached 86.85 billion passenger-kilometers in 2021.

Airports in France

Back to overview: France

Road traffic

The network of roads and highways has a total length of 1.05 million km. For each of the country's 67.75 million inhabitants, this corresponds to 15.55 meters. This puts France in 34th place in the global ranking. However, the country's size and population density of around 123 inhabitants per km² must also be taken into account. Countries with fewer inhabitants in the same or even larger area naturally achieve quite different values here and have to connect remote areas to the transport network despite a smaller population.

With an average of 3586 traffic fatalities per year (2013 - 2019), road traffic in France is considered relatively safe. This corresponds to 5.4 accident fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year. By comparison, this figure is 12.3 in the USA and 17.0 worldwide.

In France, traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road, i.e. people drive in the right-hand lane and overtake on the left. Oncoming traffic comes toward you on the left side. This regulation was enforced in January 1st, 1970. Here you can also find an overview of all countries with left-hand traffic.



 totalper 1 mio
per km²
Roadways1,053,200 km15,545.69 km1,918.12 m
Railroads29,600 km437.49 km53.98 m
Waterways0 km0.00 km0.00 m
Commercial harbors5488.090.001


 total per 1 mio
per km²
Roadways6,708,900 km11,154.38 km1,111.71 m
Railroads258,600 km429.97 km42.85 m
Waterways54,800 km91.17 km9.09 m
Commercial harbors15,27325.390.003

Data sources used

Global Health Observatory Data Repository (World Health Organization)
Internation Union of Railways (UIC)
CIA Factbook
OECD Statistics
Wikipedia (german)
France: AirportsLargest airports and airlines in FranceThe 30 biggest airports and 8 airlines in France with further information and data with further information on airlines and destinations
France: ClimateClimate and temperature development in FranceA climate analysis for France incl. temperatures, humidity, rain days per month, hours of sunshine, water temperature, rainfalls
Ranking: MegacitiesMega cities - the biggest cities all over the worldRanking of the biggest cities worldwide. On top: Shanghai, Chongqing and Beijing